Health Benefits of Oregano

Health Benefits of Oregano

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Oregano - A Healing Herb

Oregano is a culinary as well as a medicinal herb that has been used for more than a thousand years in cooking and medicine. Origanum Vulgarae, commonly called as oregano belongs to the family ‘Lamiaceae’. It comprises of 42 different species that are widely distributed in North Africa and Eurasia. Though it is widely used in the Italian cuisine, it originated from mountainous parts of the Mediterranean region of Asia and Europe. Its name is derived from ancient Greek word which means ‘joy of mountains’.

Studies have found that besides enhancing the taste of the food, oregano possesses high medicinal value. Since ancient time, oregano and its other plant parts have been used in the treatment of toothache, kidney stone, diarrhea, spasm, asthma, jaundice, rheumatism and flatulence. Such medicinal properties of oregano are attributed to the presence of antioxidants, volatile oils and various health-promoting plant chemicals.

Health Benefits of Oregano

Health benefits of Oregano

Treats Kidney Stones

Research has found that oregano has been traditionally used in the treatment of kidney stones. It acts as a diuretic which increases urine volume and reduces supersaturation of crystals and anti-spasmodic agent or relieves pain. Oregano increases the dissolution of kidney stones. It further helps in the breakdown of calcium oxalate stones and inhibits stone formation. It possesses antioxidant properties that scavenge free radicals and keep oxidative stress at bay. Oregano also works by protecting kidney cells against injury caused by calcium oxalate and other such crystals.

Anti-Bacterial Effects

Bacteria can affect any part of the body and can cause infectious diseases. Throughout the history of mankind, herbal remedies are used in the treatment of such bacterial infections. Oregano is one such herb that possesses strong anti-bacterial properties and it helps in the treatment of bacterial infections. Studies have found that decoction of oregano and oregano oil can fight against bacterial infections and inhibit the growth of certain bacteria.

Cures Dental Caries

Dental caries are rising public health concern. With an increased intake of sugar-laden foods, soft drinks and processed foods, the problem of dental caries has increased. If left untreated, it can lead to loss of teeth and can have detrimental effect on quality of life. Oregano is considered as an effective remedy for dental caries because it exhibits antioxidant and anti-microbial properties and it fights against bacteria and fungi that negatively affect the overall oral health. The anti-microbial property of oregano is due to the presence of health-promoting compounds such as polyphenols, phenolics, quinines, flavones, tannins and quercetin. These compounds prevent the growth of oral pathogens and protect against dental caries.

Treats Gut Problems

Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that causes onset of stomach and duodenal ulcers. Research has found that oregano is a strong inhibitor of H. pylori and thus, it helps in the treatment of ulcers. Oregano further protects the inner lining of the stomach against damage caused by H. pylori and helps in the treatment of dyspepsia and heartburn. The antioxidant potential of oregano protects against the harmful effects of H. pylori and fights against the oxidative stress. Oregano and oregano oil also inhibit pathogens that cause food poisoning and stomach discomfort.

Oregano Herb Helps Ease Stomach Discomfort

Relieves Pain

Oregano helps to relieve pain and it possesses significant analgesic properties. Such a property of oregano is attributed to the existence of ‘carvacrol’. Carvacrol inhibits the compound that causes pain. Oregano also contains ‘rosmarinic acid’, a potent antioxidant that produces analgesic effect in the brain.

Fights Cold, Cough and Flu

Research has found that oregano oil contains a compound ‘carvacrol’ that is effective against cold and flu. This compound helps to relieve runny nose and sore throat. You can add few drops of oregano oil to your vaporizer or dilute 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil in water and drink it. Very high doses of oregano oil is not safe due to the presence of carvacrol which can be cytotoxic when used in large amounts.

Oregano Oil Helps Relieve Runny Nose & Sore Throat

Anti-cancer Agent

Studies have found that oregano is an anti-cancer and anti-tumor agent. It stops the growth of cancer cells, prevents the spread of cancer and kills the harmful cancer cells. Furthermore, oregano contains antioxidants that scavenge free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and thus, it helps in the overall treatment of cancer.

Antioxidant Properties and Immunity

Oregano and oregano oil are strong natural antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and keep oxidative stress at bay. Oxidative stress weakens the immunity and leads to the onset of various diseases and disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, arthritis, heart diseases, chronic inflammation, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Oregano and oregano oil help strengthen the immune system and prevent the onset of diseases.

Cooking with Oregano

You can easily change a bland dish to a tasty one by just adding oregano to it. Both fresh and dried oregano have a complex flavor with a peppery bite and zing. It has a strong and bold flavor that goes well with other herbs that have strong flavors too.

Fresh oregano: Choose green and fresh oregano that is not wilted or bruised. Cut the oregano, place it in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. Here are some ways to use fresh oregano in cooking:
  • You can chew fresh oregano leaves
  • Add fresh oregano leaves to your stir-fry vegetables
  • Make some fresh oregano pesto or chutney
  • Add fresh oregano leaves to your salad
  • Flavor some grilled chicken or fish with oregano leaves
Besides this, you can also prepare fresh oregano water at home which is beneficial for people with respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal infections and urinary tract infections. Drinking oregano water or chewing fresh oregano leaves helps to relieve menstrual cramps. Simply boil 8-10 oregano leaves with 2 glasses of water. Allow it to boil till it is reduced to half. Your refreshing oregano water is ready.

Drinking Orgeno Water Can Help Treat Respiratory Tract Infections

Another way to consume oregano is by making ‘oregano tea’. Boil 1 tablespoon oregano with 1 mug of water. To this add sugar and flavoring of your choice, for example ginger or lemon juice. Let it boil for another 2 minutes. Strain and serve hot.

Dried oregano: The best way to store dried oregano is in an air-tight container. Keep in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight or heat.
  • Dried oregano is widely used in pasta and pizza
  • It can also be added to salads to enhance the overall taste
  • Dried oregano is often added to soup along with other soup seasoning
  • You can also use oregano along with other herbs to make herbed potatoes or herbed vegetables

Nutrition Facts for Oregano

The nutritional values of "Oregano" per 100 grams are:


Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 265
Protein 9 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 68.9 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 1597 mg 159.7 %
Copper, Cu 0.63 mg 31.65 %
Iron, Fe 36.8  mg 204.44 %
Magnesium, Mg 270 mg 67.5 %
Manganese, Mn 4.99 mg 249.5 %
Phosphorus, P 148 mg 14.8 %
Potassium, K 1260  mg 36 %
Selenium, Se 4.5 mcg 6.43 %
Sodium, Na 25 mg 1.04 %
Zinc, Zn 2.69 mg 17.93 %
Vitamin A 1701  IU 34.02 %
Vitamin C 2.3 mg 3.83 %
Vitamin B6 1.04 mg 52.2 %
Vitamin E 18.26 mg 60.87 %
Vitamin K 621.7  mcg 777.12 %
Riboflavin 0.53  mg 31.06 %
Thiamin 0.18 mg 11.8 %
Folate, DFE 237  mcg 59.25 %
Niacin 4.64  mg 23.2 %
Sugars 4.09 g
Fiber 42.5  g 170 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 9.93 g
Carotene, alpha 20 mcg
Carotene, beta 1007  mcg
Choline 32.3 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

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