Oregano is a favourite herb in Italian cooking. The good news is, it not only improves the taste of your food, but is extremely healthy for you too. Whether used in its dry or fresh form, oregano improves your palate and brings a host of health benefits with it. The herb is now known to have large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium and several anti oxidants. That’s certainly more than what you could expect from a herb.
As a natural remedy, oregano has long been gaining popularity. Have you ever wondered why that is? Well, here’s how this kitchen ingredient can guide you to wellness:
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K is one of the least talked about vitamins. That certainly does not mean it is not important. Vitamin K is an important clotting factor that helps the blood clot and prevents a hemorrhaging. Oregano oil is rich in this vitamin. Sprinkling the oil on your salads can help you get the daily recommended dosage of the vitamin.
- Antibacterial Properties: Oregano contains two chemical compounds known as thymol and carvacrol. Both of these have anti bacterial properties. Consuming the oil can naturally fight bacteria in your body. Oregano oil is one of the best treatments for the giardia bacteria, which is responsible for a number of stomach disorders and upsets. So well known are the oil’s therapeutic benefits that it is often prescribed for the treatment of giardia infection.
- Antioxidant Rush: The therapeutic properties of any food ingredient are increased manifold if they contain antioxidants. Like most other herbs, oregano also contains a lot of antioxidants. Research has shown that one gram of fresh oregano contains 42 times as much antioxidants as contained in the same amount of apples. Oregano, therefore, is far superior when it comes to both the quantity and quality of bioavailable antioxidants. Besides improving overall functioning of the body, antioxidants are also anti-carcinogenic and prevent cancers.
- Minerals: Oregano also contains both iron and manganese – minerals that are important for the maintenance and health of the body. Iron is important for the formation of hemoglobin – a pigment that helps carry oxygen in the body. Manganese is an important mineral for the formation of connective tissues and bone cells. It is also responsible for the formation of sex hormones and clotting factors in the blood.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Oregano oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid which is not synthesized in the body. The fatty acids have a host of therapeutic benefits, including relief in inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial for various neurological conditions such as depression and Alzheimer’s.
Uses of Oregano Oil
Just like the herb itself, oregano oil is also extremely flavorful. A spoonful of the oil contains a lot of nutrients as well as bursts of flavor. It has a lot of culinary and therapeutic uses. These include:
- Drizzle the oil on top of salads, scrambled eggs, a bowl of pasta or any dish of your choice. The healthy goodness of the oil and its flavor will turn the dish around.
- Dilute oregano oil in coconut oil and rub the resulting mixture all over your skin. This mixture has increase antibacterial and skin softening properties. It will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, and will take care of all the bacteria in it too.
- Mix oregano oil with olive oil and rub it on your joints or sore muscles to get instant relief from pain and soreness. A simple massage with this mixture of oils can leave you feeling rejuvenated. This mixture of oils is also extremely beneficial for getting rid of ringworms and other skin conditions. Simply apply the oil topically and leave it over night. Continue till the ringworm is completely treated.
The therapeutic benefits of oregano oil are many. Apply it topically, or ingest it to get both its flavors and therapeutic benefits.