The oregano is an herb from the mint family. It is a native of temperate regions in Europe, Asia and around the Mediterranean. Oregano is a perennial plant. Thus it can grow for more than a year and can grow to a height of about a meter. It has 1-4 centimeter long opposite leaves and bears tiny, purple-colored flowers.
Many varieties of the plant have been cultivated over the centuries. So, there are many differences in flavor ranging from spicy to sweet. It is sometimes called as “wild marjoram” and is closely related to the common marjoram.
Furthermore, there are at least 61 other species referred to by the name “oregano” due to their similar taste and odor. Examples are the “Mexican oregano” and “Cuban oregano” which is also called “Cuban mint” or “Cuban thyme.” The most popular oregano variety is the “Greek” or known scientifically as “Origanum vulgare”.
The nutrients we get from eating Oregano
|Total lipid (fat)||g||4.28||5.56||0.08||0.104|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||68.92||27.57||1.24||0.496|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||42.5||141.67||0.8||2.67|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||2.3||2.56||0||0|
|Vitamin A, RAE||mcg||85||9.45||2||0.222|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||18.26||121.7||0.33||2.2|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||mcg||621.7||888||11.2||16|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||1.369||7.2||0.025||0.132|
The table above lists nutrients found in oregano and their RDA%. (Recommended Daily Allowance).
The information shows that the herb is full of nutrition. There are high concentrations of most vitamins, on a per 100-gram basis.
You should o eat more than 10-15 grams daily. To ensure that you don’t overdose on vitamin K.
10-15 grams can provide significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. This is significant for calcium, iron and vitamin E. One hundred grams of oregano can provide 15% of the RDA for protein. It has almost 1.5 times the required dietary allowance for dietary fiber.
Scientific Studies on Oregano
Scientific research provides concrete evidence for oregano’s beneficial action to ward off many types of infectious bacteria and fungi. The findings also show the herb’s potency for anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant health support. It may also help prevent diabetes.
Recently Discovered Phytochemicals
Recent studies revealed new Phytochemicals in Oregano named “thymol”, “carvacrol”, “cymene”. They exist within the Oregano essential oil. Their quantities vary from 10%-70% of the essential oil depending on the plant species and the place where it was grown.
All three substances are actually very similar in chemical structure.
The most notable health-providing phytochemical agents which were isolated and identified from oregano are:
- Carvacrol is the most significant phytochemical constituent of the essential oil in oregano. Many diverse health supportive activities by this substance have been discovered. Among these effects are as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, pain-killing, and liver protectant. Carvacrol is also present in the essential oils of thyme and caraway. Oregano, however, has a greater concentration of this substance than in either of the two.
Carvacrol has been found in certain studies like this to be able to kill off cancer cells.
There is also a scientific basis for its known benefit as an insecticidal.
- Thymol is the one and same substance which is also the main health-supportive phytochemical in thyme. It is partly responsible for oregano’s pleasant aroma. Even though the concentration in oregano is less than in thyme, it is still quite significant. These two substances have similarities in their chemical structure. They may complement each other to produce the known health benefits of the two herbs.
Thymol was found in a study to repel mosquitoes more strongly than carvacrol.
- Cymene is a phytochemical which is also present in herbs such as cannabis. Inflammation and pain can also be improved in illnesses like inflammation of the lungs and respiratory airways. So getting the positive benefits of this substance, without the addicting side-effects of cannabis can be easily done just by eating oregano.
The Health Benefits of Oregano
Like many other herbs, oregano has been used in traditional medicine through the ages. There are recorded anecdotes of this from ancient Greece. The healer Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic and cure for stomach and respiratory disorders. It was also utilized against skin infections and to help keep food from spoiling.
The phytochemicals mentioned in the previous section were identified and studied through scientific researches. Their effectiveness in the whole oregano plant synergistically combines to bring about the following positive effects on health observed by traditional healers.
- Fights off infections brought by bacteria and fungi.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits that could help stop the suffering from long-term, painful and paralyzing diseases.
- Help prevent and cure heart disease and obesity.
- Possibly has a beneficial effect against certain cancers.
- Help prevent and cure nervous disorders like Alzheimer’s and depression.
- Eases pain and irritation from skin wounds, coughs, and sore throats.
Every person should check this herb and see how “tasty” his body find it.
Recipes using Oregano
Oregano Essential Oil Extract
This is a simple procedure to extract the essential oil component of fresh oregano leaves. (The procedure is similar to that described for tarragon). Please refer to the recipe section of the article for the basic oil extraction process. Fresh oregano can be used instead for the procedure.
The oil extract can be used immediately as aromatherapy by putting a few drops onto a handkerchief or into a vaporizer/humidifier. It could also be used to soothe and disinfect cuts and bruises or a sore throat.
To maximize its use as a homemade remedy for common ailments, the essential oil can also serve as a base ingredient for the following recipes.
Oregano Cough syrup recipe
2 tablespoons oregano essential oil extract
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
2 tablespoons honey
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup water
- Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Transfer into a clean jar or glass bottle with a resealable cap. Store in a cool, dark place or refrigerator.
- Shake well before taking 1-2 tablespoons for a cough or gargle for a sore throat.
Oregano Candies for Cough recipe
1/2 cup cough syrup mixture (from the previous recipe)
1 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
Powdered sugar or cornstarch, for coating
- For baking, line a tray with parchment paper, or grease it very well.
- Cook the syrup in a deep-bottomed pot or in a saucepan at about 300°F until it hardens to cracking.
- Check the result, make drops from a spoon into a bowl of water. It’s ready if it cracks. If it’s still chewy, this needs a few more minutes of cooking.
- Take away from heat. Take care to avoid burning the mixture as this could happen quickly towards the end.
- Cool slightly and drop rounds onto the baking sheet. Allow to completely cool.
- Dust with the powdered sugar or cornstarch. Store in an airtight jar or bottle, away from moisture.
Oregano Vapor Rub recipe
To capture the essence of oregano into a calming rub for the relief of head and chest congestion, along with anti-bacterial properties.
2 tablespoons oregano essential oil
5 tablespoon coconut oil –
2 tablespoon cocoa butter
1 1/2 tablespoon beeswax pellets
5 drops peppermint (or eucalyptus) essential oil
- Put a glass bowl in a saucepan half-filled with water. Put on medium heat.
- Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter. Then combine with the beeswax.
- Remove the bowl. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes. Allow it to cool.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix with a spoon.
Pour into a glass container. Let it cool further to solidify. This should make it into a creamy and spreadable rub.
Why should I grow Oregano?
Oregano is one other herb which is easy to grow and maintain through a hydroponic set-up. Harvesting your own batch of the herb will assure you of the quality of the herb you consume. There are many other species available with less desirable varieties sold commercially.
When you grow your own herb, you know for sure what ha been put into the herb.
There are several varieties of Oregano, and you can choose the one the suite you best.
A large part of oregano’s health benefits come from its essential oils. When the leaves are dried much of the oils dissipate, along with some of the nutrients in it. Even other nutrients and phytochemicals not present in the oils can become damaged and made less effective when the herb is dried for long periods. Thus the fresher the plant is, the better it will be as a nutrient source. This will always be available if you grow your own oregano.
How to Hydro Grow Oregano
Oregano is a perennial bush. You can grow it for many years by using twigs. It needs watering regularly – or it can dry out without any warning.
It flowers in the spring with small purple flowers. If you don’t want to have seeds you should trim the flowers as they draw much energy from the planet.
It has two types of leaves – one for the winter and one for the summer.
It takes about three weeks for the seeds to sprout. Let it has three more weeks in the seedling planter to grow a little before transferring it to the hydro planter.
In southern countries, it could use some shade to protect it from the sun.
You can cut the leaves keep the stems bottoms. Cut it at 20 cm height or trellis the plant to avoid collapse.
Immediately check the impact of Oregano on your body
Growing Oregano until it is matured enough to be eaten can take two months. If you want to test the impact of Oregano on your body, you can order the following products from iHerb, and get them in about a week. Then you can make an educated decision whether you want to grow Oregano or not.
Oregano Veg Capsules
Oil of Oregano
Oregano: Learn How to Grow, Dry, and Use the Popular Herb
Thymol – Compound Summary for CID 6989
Carvacrol inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in human colon cancer cells.
Fan K, Li X, Cao Y, Qi H, Li L, Zhang Q, Sun H.
Anticancer Drugs. 2015 Sep;26(8):813-23.
Chemical Composition, Larvicidal Action, and Adult Repellency of Thymus magnus Against Aedes albopictus
Young-Uk Park, Hyun-Na Koo, and Gil-Hah Kim
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 28(3):192-198. 2012
Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties
Leyva-López N, Gutiérrez-Grijalva EP, Vazquez-Olivo G, Basilio Heredia J.
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 989.
Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids from Oregano: Occurrence, Biological Activity and Health Benefits
Gutiérrez-Grijalva E P et al.
Plants 2018, 7(1), 2
Chemistry and Multi-beneficial Bioactivities of Carvacrol (4-Isopropyl-2-methylphenol), a Component of Essential Oils Produced by Aromatic Plants and Spices.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2014 62 (31), 7652-7670.
Cannabis sativa and Hemp
Hartsel J.A., Eades J., Hickory B., Makriyannis A.
Nutraceuticals: Efficacy, Safety and Toxicity 2016, 53 735-754
Homemade vapor rub mentholatum
Structurally Related Monoterpenes p-Cymene, Carvacrol and Thymol Isolated from Essential Oil from Leaves of Lippia sidoides Cham. (Verbenaceae) Protect Mice against Elastase-Induced Emphysema
Games E et al.
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1390.