Benefits of oregano
There are several health benefits of oregano. Those discussed below are based on scientific studies, references to which can be found at the end of the article.
- Reduces inflammation and associated diseases
Because oregano is rich in antioxidants such as carvacrol or thymol, it can reduce inflammation and the diseases it causes, such as diabetes, heart disease or autoimmune diseases. To give you an idea, oregano has more than 42 times the antioxidant power of the apple.
Its content of carvacrol, the chemical compound that produces its aroma, also has anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, its content in cariophilene can help treat osteoporosis or arteriosclerosis.
If taken with other antioxidant-rich foods, especially vegetables and fruits, oregano can be a rich source of ontioxidants that help improve health and prevent disease.
- Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare), marjoram (Origanum majorana), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) are concentrated sources of bioactive compounds.
Herbs popularly used in recipes, such as Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens), have been found to have the ability to control type 2 diabetes, much like certain drugs do.
This is because these culinary plants have in their composition the phytochemicals eryodictyol, naringenine, hispiduline, cirsimaritine and carnosol, which inhibit the protein DPP-IV, which is involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Cancer prevention
The antioxidants in oregano help neutralize free radicals and prevent the development of cancer, and may even help kill cancer cells.
One of the components of oregano, carvacrol, may help suppress the growth and spread of colon cancer. On the other hand, the species Origanum majorana may slow the progression of breast cancer.
More studies are needed to understand this property, although a healthy lifestyle, with exercise, low stress and a healthy diet, is necessary to enhance its effects.
- Combats pathogenic bacteria
Oregano also has some components with antibacterial properties. Particularly oil of oregano can block the growth of the bacteria Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, whose pathogenic strains can cause diarrhea and cystic fibrosis respectively.
- Reduces viral infections
In addition to helping control infections from disease-causing bacteria, oregano can fight certain viruses, thanks to its antioxidants thymol and carvacrol.
Specifically, carvacrol can help inactivate viruses of the genus Norovirus, which can cause nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea. Thymol and carvacrol can also inactivate herpes simplex virus.