Surprising Health Benefits of Oregano:
Oregano has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years and its health benefits are numerous.
You may not realize this common kitchen spice is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, so it can help reduce the symptoms of colds and the flu, stomach cramps, colic in babies, asthma, acne and more.
Plus oregano contains many vitamins and minerals that promote overall health in all areas of your body. This article lists 9 surprising health benefits of oregano that you’ll want to know about now!
1) Oregano fights infection
In Health Benefits of Oregano: Many of us reach for over-the-counter medications when we’re feeling under the weather. It turns out, however, that oregano might do a better job at fighting infection than most drugs.
A study in Phytotherapy Research found that oregano oil could be as effective as antibiotics for combating tooth decay and gum disease.
Another study in Planta Medica discovered that oregano oil could also fight respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia by preventing bacteria from attaching to cells in your lungs.
Yet another study in Microbial Pathogenesis found that it was just as effective as commercial mouthwash at killing germs on surfaces like sinks and countertops—plus, it doesn’t contain alcohol or artificial flavors.
2) Improves digestion
Did you know that oregano contains a compound called carvacrol, which has been proven to help reduce flatulence and improve digestion?
It also reduces stomach cramps, indigestion and bloating. Boosts immune system: Carvacrol, an active ingredient in oregano oil is known to be an effective antioxidant.
Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals in our body (these are produced when our cells process oxygen), preventing them from damaging healthy cells.
This herb can also act as a mild disinfectant for minor cuts and wounds, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
3) Regulates blood sugar
New research from Italy’s University of L’Aquila shows that oregano is able to keep blood sugar levels in check. The team found that oregano was active against digestive enzymes and prevented them from breaking down glucose into a form that can be absorbed by our bodies.
As a result, those who consumed oregano daily experienced a lower rise in blood sugar after meals, which prevented spikes in insulin levels. Reduces dental problems:
You probably know you should floss regularly to reduce your risk for gum disease and tooth decay, but did you know that it’s also one of nature’s best tools for whitening teeth?
4) Improves metabolism
Since oregano can improve your digestion, it also boosts your metabolism. Faster metabolism means you’re more likely to lose weight and reduce belly fat.
An animal study at Texas A&M University found that cumin and carvacrol, two compounds in oregano oil, increased energy expenditure by 24 percent and oxygen consumption by 10 percent—suggesting that its a great ingredient for anyone trying to slim down.
In fact, there’s some preliminary evidence that oregano could be helpful for those with hypothyroidism or obesity because it regulates thyroid hormone activity in rats.
One study published in Phytotherapy Research even shows potential for use as an effective antithyroid drug in humans; however, further research is needed before we know whether these results are applicable to people.
5) Boosts your energy levels
One of oregano’s chief benefits is its ability to give you a boost. The herb stimulates circulation, which increases energy levels and leads to a feeling of well-being.
This can be helpful for anyone suffering from fatigue or lethargy. For extra energy, mix crushed oregano with a cup or two of water and drink just once or twice daily.
If you want to maximize your effects, combine with equal parts each ground cinnamon and ginger root powders and consume on an empty stomach in early morning hours—just before breakfast time if possible.
A simple recipe that also contains lemon juice as a natural cleanser as well as beetroot powder will help optimize both digestion and absorption so more nutrients are transferred into your system for greater health benefit results!
6) May help with cancer prevention
Oregano has been used for thousands of years to help fight disease and infection. Now, it may help with cancer prevention. In laboratory studies, oregano oil has stopped or slowed growth in cancer cells. Antioxidants called carvacrol and thymol are believed to be behind oregano’s anti-cancer properties.
A 2012 study showed that carvacrol also had anti-proliferative effects on melanoma cells, which could be good news for preventing skin cancer. Another study showed that oregano helped kill colon cancer cells when used with chemotherapy drugs to slow tumor growth.
7) May help prevent heart disease
A study in Iran found that when people took 500 mg of oregano oil daily for 8 weeks, their blood pressure levels were significantly lower than at baseline.
Another study found that taking 1 to 2 g per day for 3 months reduced systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 4 mm Hg.
The researchers attributed these results to antioxidants called phenols and flavonoids (antioxidants are chemicals that fight free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause cell damage and speed up aging).
Interestingly, an animal study showed it was actually oregano’s aroma, not its taste or antioxidant content, that made it effective at lowering blood pressure.
8) Enhances memory and brain function
One oregano oil constituent, carnosic acid, inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine—an important neurotransmitter involved in memory and cognitive function.
In other words, consuming oregano oil can improve brain function and enhance memory.Note: many studies on oregano’s effects on brain function have been conducted on animals rather than humans—so more research is needed to confirm these findings.
9) Has anti-fungal properties
Some species of fungi and yeasts can be dangerous to humans. These can cause infections in our bodies, like candidiasis, and trigger immune responses.
The anti-fungal properties in oregano are especially powerful against these types of pathogens, making it an excellent natural supplement to prevent such fungal infections.
While it is best taken as a supplement, oregano oil can also be applied topically to wounds or fungal-prone areas on your body.
Just be sure to dilute it with some carrier oil first (like coconut or almond) so you don’t irritate your skin. Here’s more about why you should add oregano oil to your daily regimen!