There are several health benefits of oregano. The following are based on scientific studies, the references of 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 timol, it can decrease inflammation and the diseases it causes, such as diabetes, heart disease or autoimmune diseases. To get an idea, oregano has more than 42 times the antioxidant power of apple.
Its content in carvacrol, the chemical compound that produces its aroma, also has anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, its cariophyllene content can help treat osteoporosis or arteriosclerosis.
If taken alongside other antioxidant-rich foods, especially vegetables and fruits, oregano can be a source rich in ontioxidants that help improve health and prevent disease.
Type 2 diabetes control
Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare), bestase (Origanum majorana), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) are concentrated sources of bioactive compounds.
Herbs popularly used for cooking 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, similar to certain drugs.
This is because these culinary plants have in their composition the phytochemicals eriodictyol, naringenin, hispidulin, cirsimaritine and carnosol, which inhibit the protein DPP-IV, which is involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Oregano antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and prevent the development of cancer, it could even help eliminate cancer cells.
One of the components of oregano, carvacrol can help suppress the growth and extent of colon cancer. On the other hand, the species Origanum majorana could reduce the progress of breast cancer.
More studies are needed to understand this property, although to enhance its effects it is necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle, with exercise, little stress and healthy diet.
Fight pathogenic bacteria
Oregano also has some components with antibacterial properties. In particular oregano oil 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 disease-producing bacterial infections, oregano can fight certain viruses, thanks to its antioxidants timol and carvacrol.
Specifically carvacrol can help inactivate norovirus viruses, which can cause nausea, stomach aches and diarrhea. Timol and carvacrol can also inactivate the herpes simplex virus.
Other possible benefits
According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, oregano can also be used to:
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