Oregano contains at least four compounds that soothe coughs and 19 chemicals with antibacterial action that may help reduce body odor. The ingredients in oregano that soothe coughs may also help un-knot muscles in the digestive tract, making oregano a digestive aid.
This familiar spice also contains compounds that can lower blood pressure too.
Oregano is also applied topically (onto the skin) to help treat a number of skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF OREGANO
Excellent source of dietary antioxidants – a report published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that oregano contains very high concentrations of antioxidants (i.e., >75 mmol/100 g).
Oregano contains numerous phytonutrients that have also been shown to function as potent antioxidants that can prevent oxygen-based damage to cell structures throughout the body protecting cells against the effects of free radicals and improving your ability to fight infection.
In laboratory studies, oregano has demonstrated stronger anti-oxidant capacity than either of the two synthetic (and toxic) anti-oxidants commonly added to processed food BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole). Additionally, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.
Packed with nutrients – oregano is very rich in fiber which is known to reduce high cholesterol levels and lower the risk of colon cancer. In addition, the herb is an excellent source of vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and typtophan.
Fiber works in the body to bind to bile salts and cancer-causing toxins in the colon and remove them from the body. This forces the body to break down cholesterol to make more bile salts. These are just some of the reasons that diets high in fiber have been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Anti-cancer properties – biologists at the United Arab Emirates University reported in the journal PLoS ONE that oregano exhibits anticancer activity by encouraging cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (cancer cells commit suicide) of the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer line.
The scientists concluded “Our findings identify Origanum majorana as a promising chemopreventive and therapeutic candidate that modulate breast cancer growth and metastasis.” Put simply, they believecomponents in oregano may help slow down or prevent the progression of cancer in patients with breast cancer.