Oil of Oregano and Your Health
Oregano oil is best known as an herbal remedy for colds and flu. The plant it is derived from is highly prized for its culinary and medicinal uses. It gives off a distinct aroma and pleasant flavor usually associated with Italian dishes, but it also has a significant presence in many different cuisines from all over the world. It is one of the herbs extensively used as medication in folk medicine of Europe and Asia. Its antimicrobial properties have been noted since ancient times. Oregano oil in particular has become more popular in the past few years.
Origanum vulgare is the plant species we refer to as oregano. It is native to the Mediterranean region. During Greek Antiquity it made its way to the Middle East and consequently China and the rest of Asia. Scholars believed that the Ancient Greeks first cultivated wild oregano as it was a sacred herb in Greek Mythology. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, first documented its antiseptic properties. Followers of Hippocratic medicine and early physicians used parts of the plants, usually the leaves, in treatment of respiratory and digestive ailments.
Oregano oil is sometimes confused with marjoram, which is in fact Origanum majorana. True oregano oil is obtained entirely from oregano, never from marjoram.
Oregano Health Benefits
Fights off Infections
Folk medicine practices of different communities have utilized extracts of the oregano plant to fight off infections. Oregano oil is a purified form of oregano extracts. It is a reputed expectorant that noticeably alleviates dry couch and related problems of the upper respiratory tract, the reason why it is in wide use to fight off colds.
Oregano oil contributes to muscle and joint health. In the old days, physicians believed that the strong taste of crushed and juiced oregano leaves strengthens the body and promotes flexibility. It has long been used as a therapeutic remedy for arthritis. Today the discovery of organic compounds naturally occurring in Origanum vulgare explains its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Individuals who suffer from allergic rhinitis or hay fever, sinusitis, and related autoimmune disorders are likely to benefit from oregano oil. In addition to the fact that oregano appears to interfere with mediators of inflammation, it also wards off potential threats that trigger inflammatory responses.
Herbalists, chefs, and researchers agree that oregano is bacteriostatic in nature. This is supported by studies looking into the antibiotic effects of carvacrol and other organic compounds found in oregano. These compounds inhibit the protein production of many known bacteria, such as E. coli, B. cereus, P. aeruginosa, and L. monocytogenes. Oregano oil contains carvacrol in high quantities.
Oregano oil is rich in phenolic acids ad flavonoids. Both are reputed neutralizers of free radicals, which are known to cause damage to cells and affect progression of diseases. These antioxidants are well investigated and have been proven effective in restoring cellular health and reversing tissue damage.
Oil of oregano is an excellent remedy to be taken in times of sickness as well as taken daily for better health and wellness. Have you tried Oil of Oregano yet?