Thanks to the easy exchange of ideas and information these days, we are able to reap the fruits of traditional knowledge from other parts of the world. We can now assimilate the cultures and cuisines from different regions into ours and their wisdom can help us become happier and healthier individuals.
A part of such an exchange is the herb oregano. It has been a part of Mediterranean, Spanish and Mexican cuisines for hundreds of years and as it is a plant that isn’t native to the Indian subcontinent (it originated in Northern Europe) we have only recently been introduced to it. Besides its use in food due to its wonderful aroma and rich flavour, High Quality Organic Oregano has traditionally been linked to a variety of medicinal uses. In order to explore these, we present a list of nutritional advantages that oregano can provide if it is added to your food:-
- It can help to prevent cancer
Adding oregano to your diet can have the great benefit of preventing your body from succumbing to cancer. Oregano contains a rich reserve of phytonutrients like rosmarinic acid and thymol which have extremely potent anti-oxidant properties. Anti-oxidants are quite adept at cancelling out the harmful effect of free radicals, which are responsible for healthy cells mutating to cancer cells.
Oregano’s ability to prevent cancer has been demonstrated in the laboratory, where researchers showed that regular usage of oregano can slow down the growth of colon cancer cells and even cause them to die. Another phytonutrient in oregano – carnosol – has also shown to be effective against leukaemia, skin, prostate and breast cancer.
To put things into perspective, the anti-oxidant activity of oregano is 42 times that exhibited by apples and four times of blueberries. Such a comparison only stands to highlight the power of oregano in preventing cancer.
- Has powerful anti-microbial properties
Oregano also has a deadly effect on microbes, especially bacteria. The anti-microbial properties of oregano stem from its rich phytonutrient content, two of which – thymol and carvacol – are noted to destroy a variety of harmful pathogens.
Oregano and its phytonutrients are known to be effective against bacteria like Pseudomonas and Listeria. One of the greatest uses of oregano’s anti-microbial properties may be its ability to neutralize the highly antibiotic resistant bacteria MRSA. MRSA is a class of bacteria that have evolved to survive traditional antibiotics and hence are extremely difficult to treat. Although the research on this is still on going, the results so far have shown that oregano is capable of killing MRSA both as a liquid and vapour.
- It helps to lower cholesterol
Diets that are rich in fiber have always been linked to lower levels of cholesterol. Oregano, which is a rich source of fiber, is an exceptional example of how the relationship between fiber and low cholesterol works.
The fiber found in oregano binds to bile salts in the body as a natural process. The more fiber you consume, the lesser bile salts your body will have. As a result, the body has to break down existing cholesterol in order to create more bile salts. Thus the addition of fiber-rich foods like oregano into the diet leads to lower cholesterol levels.
- Is incredibly rich in useful minerals
Some minerals are indispensable and are a necessity if your body is to function properly. Oregano contains a whole host of such useful minerals including potassium, manganese, calcium and iron.
Potassium is adept at countering the effect of high sodium in the body. It is also a vasodilator as it helps to stretch the blood vessels and relieve high blood pressure. Manganese is a component of an important anti-oxidant enzyme while calcium is necessary for healthy bones. And finally, iron is required by the body to keep the blood oxygenated and prevent diseases like anaemia.
Oregano may have not originated in India but thanks to the technological progress we’ve made, its uses can be availed by everybody.
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