Seductively aromatic and bountiful in flavor, oregano is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world. But beyond the rich zest it adds to food, oregano is also a nutritional and medicinal powerhouse, regarded by many as one of nature's perfect antibiotics. In fact, this amazing herb is loaded with so many antioxidants, vitamins and other beneficial compounds that it would be foolish not to consume it regularly for good health.
Many people in the natural health community are already aware of oil of oregano, which, like its name implies, is the oil derived from oregano. Particularly when harvested from wild varieties of oregano, this oil has been shown to be a powerful antibiotic, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral, antihistamine and yeast-inhibiting medicine unlike anything ever concocted in a pharmaceutical laboratory. And yet this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of oregano.
Oregano ranks near the top of the ORAC scale
Among oregano's many antioxidant flavonoids and polyphenols are thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene and caryophyllene, which collectively give the herb its enticing and pleasant aroma. Each of these compounds is also what makes oregano medicinal, as they synergistically deter infections, cramping, indigestion and various other conditions.
"Oregano contains at least four compounds that soothe coughs and 19 chemicals with antibacterial action that may help reduce body odor," writes Karen Foster for PreventDisease.com. "The ingredients in oregano that soothe coughs may also help un-knot muscles in the digestive tract, making oregano a digestive aid."
Oregano can help prevent a host of illnesses, including metabolic syndrome and cancer
These same compounds can also help prevent oxidative damage in cells, effectively protecting the body against chronic illness. Individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and various other markers of metabolic syndrome or heart disease, for instance, stand to gain substantially from the inclusion of more oregano in their diets.
The same goes for people with dirty colons, chronic inflammation, osteoporosis, allergies, chronic fatigue and headaches. Numerous studies have identified oregano as containing active compounds that target each of these maladies and more, all without triggering any harmful side effects. Oregano is also a highly effective preventative food against cancer.
One particular study out of United Arab Emirates University found that oregano targets cancer by specifically triggering cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, which is another way of saying cancer cell suicide. In other words, consuming oregano can help the body get rid of malignant cancer cells, while at the same time protecting healthy cells.
"Whenever possible, choose fresh oregano over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor," adds Foster, noting that dried oregano is also suitable, so long as it is organic or nonirradiated. "Just like with dried oregano, try to buy that which has been organically grown since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated."
To learn more about the benefits of oregano, be sure to check out Foster's full report:
You can also check out the NaturalNews archive of stories pertaining to the health benefits of oregano:
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