Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Oregano

Oregano is a plant or herb, that comes from the mint family. It’s used in cooking and to treat health conditions for many centuries. It contains several antioxidants that contribute to its health benefits. It has been used to treat skins sores, aches and pains, indigestion, and colds.  
 
Some research suggest it may be able to help fight cancer, bacteria, regulate blood sugar, and reduce inflammation in the body. Oregano has two substances that have strong antibacterial properties. These substances are carvacrol and thymol.  
 
In a study conducted in 2019, these substance prevented bacteria from growing in meat and dairy products. This showed that oregano might be able to be used to control the growth of bacteria in foods. Researchers tested oregano to find it showed antibacterial activity against microbes. The conclusion that the research showed is that eating oregano may help prevent infections.  
 
Oregano oil is sold in health food stores and used to help reduce soreness and inflammation in muscles and uses externally. The concentrated oil is rubbed into the muscles or skin. In studies on animals, it was believed to reduce inflammation. 
 
Compounds in oregano have been linked to helping with controlling diabetes. In studies, it has been shown to improve insulin resistance, regulate the digestion of fat and carbs, and repair damaged tissue. It has been use with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.Concentrated oregano oil is believed to be a natural antibiotic, improve gut health, relieve pain, and help with weight loss.  
 
Oregano can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and indigestion in some people. Pregnant women, individuals with bleeding disorders, allergies, and those with chronic illness should check with their doctor before using. It can act as a water pill at times and does not react well with some medications. 
 
Oregano has been used in cooking for centuries. It is in sauces, on pizza and pasta, in stews, soups and salads. It is used as a seasoning in bread. Cooks use it to make flavored oil, marinades for meats, and added it to vegetable dishes for flavor. It is a versatile herb and very popular for cooking.