Oregano: Properties and benefits What is it for?

Origanum vulgare, better known by the name "oregano," is much more than just a pizza topping. This plant belongs to a species of the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region. Serves to prepare natural remedies and infusions for its multiple properties and benefits. But also, it is still an essential element in many kitchens for thousands of years.

The used parts of oregano are the bracts (organ in the proximity of flowers) and the inflorescence (arrangement of flowers or leaves on the branches). They can be used both fresh and dry, although in the second way they have more smell and flavor.

This aromatic essence can be identified because it has small oval leaves with hairiness on the upper surface and flowers that are arranged in spikes. Its stem is square in shape and often takes on a reddish hue. It usually branches at the top and tends to loosen at the bottom. Usually grow up to 60 centimeters and present tiny reddish leaves that protect the flowers.

The oregano plant has many usable characteristics, for which medicinal effects are attributed.

Properties of oregano

Oregano has multiple properties that have been recognized since ancient times, excellent for the body and totally natural. For all of them it is considered as a vegetable antimicrobial, antiseptic and antioxidant.

It has fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It also contains different minerals such as sodium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium. In addition, it has vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and K.

Also, this aromatic plant contains rosmarinic acids and thymol. These are compounds that contribute to the reduction of free radicals and their effects on the body, responsible at a high level for cellular aging.

Its essential oils are rich in borneol, cineole, lomonen, beta-bisoloben, carvacrol, myrcene, beta pinene, alpha-pinene alpha terponen and camphene. Another of the vitamins it has is Niacin and beta-carotenes.

Oregano benefits

Dried oregano leaves

There are many benefits that we can tell of this wonderful plant, which has been known since ancient times and today many doctors recommend it. This is no coincidence, oregano is healing!

  • It is good for the digestive system

Oregano is indicated as a digestive tonic, it is used to relieve heavy digestions, abdominal bloating. Also to prevent gas formation and gastrointestinal spasms.

  • Can treat flu and sore throats

The plant is beneficial to alleviate the symptoms of cold and colds. Thanks to its medicinal properties with effect anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic, can attack respiratory tract infections.

  • Stops diarrhea and restores appetite

Stimulates gastric juices because it is an aperitif plant, favoring the recovery of appetite in listless or sick people. Associated with other astringents it can combat episodes of diarrhea.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Scientists from the University of Bonn (Germany), and the ETH of Zurich (Switzerland), discovered that oregano has a great anti-inflammatory property. This is known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP), and it is very beneficial against disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.

  • Fight bacteria

Oregano is an excellent ally against microbial activity. Some trials have successfully shown that it is used to treat bacterial infections of the digestive tract. Its antimicrobial effect has been proven against gram positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. Also against gram negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella sp.

  • Effective antioxidant

Thanks to the fact that this plant has a large amount of phenolic acids and flavonoids, it is an effective antioxidant. It is also believed that it can also eliminate viruses that come from infected food.

What is oregano good for?

With all the benefits we mentioned, it is very clear that oregano serves many needs in medicine. However, other uses attributed to the virtuous plant are worth mentioning.

With oregano, you can make dried leaf pastes that are used to relieve pain. It can be used in conjunction with soap to treat pimples and acne problems, thanks to its antibiotic effect.

It is also used to make tea and infusions that are used for many types of digestive, respiratory and even menstrual problems. It can even be used to make useful oils for many health applications. It cannot be forgotten that oregano serves as an aromatic herb and condiment in many kitchen preparations. In fact, in some dishes it is the key element that makes it characteristic.

Oregano tea

Undoubtedly one of the most prominent medicinal uses of this plant is the infusion, or the so-called oregano tea. Since in this way its medicinal properties can be consumed in large quantities.

Oregano tea, and any other herb, is made by placing a handful of fresh leaves in a liter of boiling water. Dried leaf teas should be used in a lower proportion (one tablespoon per liter) since in this way it concentrates its healing effects more.

Preparing an oregano tea is very simple and only requires the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • ½ liter of water

Heat the water until it boils, then add the oregano and let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. After that time, the only thing left to do is place it and serve it, the appropriate dose is two cups a day.

The infusion of this aromatic plant is very effective in treating lung problems and sore throats.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil in moisturizer for external use

Oregano in addition to being a good treatment for respiratory allergies and colds in tea form, it also contains many medicinal properties when used as an oil.

We can highlight that the oil is recommended for the treatment of cavities, gingivitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and other inflammations of the body. Verminosis, parasites and candidiasis They can also be treated with oregano oil.

It should be noted that oregano oil is a very pure concentration of the plant, so it cannot be abused in its use. To be consumed in order to stimulate the immune system, it must be added between 3 to 4 drops in a glass of water and drink it throughout the day.

If you want to treat throat problems, add 4 drops in a glass of water and gargle. In case of nasal congestion, add 2 or 3 drops into a vaporizer and inhale deeply. And for external use, such as acne treatment, place 5 drops in a moisturizer, apply the mixture at night.

How to dry the oregano leaf?

To properly dry the oregano, it is best to have fresh twigs, preferably when it has just blossomed. The branch is cut flush with the ground and tied with thread, then the bundle is hung upside down in a cool, dark place. If you have such a place, wrap the branches in newspaper.

Depending on the area in which it is located, the oregano branches may dry out in days or weeks. Once the leaves are verified to have dried, cut the leaves off the branches and place in a glass jar and voila! in this way it can be kept for a whole year.

Did you know all these properties and benefits of oregano?