If you are regular with Pizzas, you must have spotted small packets of Oregano seasoning in your boxes. It is a mix of salt, pepper and dried Oregano leaves, the central ingredient. But, what is Oregano and why is it so important? Oregano is a tiny herb that is known for its power-packed flavour and pungent aroma. It is widely used in Italian, Mediterranean and other global cuisines. Besides lending a delectable flavour to savoury dishes, Oregano is also loaded with health benefits. In this article, we shall learn each of Oregano benefits for health, hair and skin in detail, along with its nutritional profile and side effects.
What Is Oregano?
Oregano is a herb that is composed of the leaves grown on the Oregano plant. “Origanum Vulgare” is Oregano scientific name. Both, the fresh and the dried leaves are used in cooking, the latter version is more popular due to the density in flavour and aroma. Oregano was originally from the Mediterranean regions and was heavily popularised by the Americans in the 1950s, thanks to the Pizza culture.
Is Oregano Good For Health?
A tiny sprinkle of Oregano can lift up the flavour of a dish to a whole new level. Apart from its culinary benefits, Oregano also offers numerous advantages to our health like:
- Reduces oxidative damage.
- Prevents Cancers.
- Keeps microbial infections at bay.
- Decreases inflammation.
- Boosts immune system.
- Wards off respiratory tract diseases.
How To Consume Oregano?
Oregano is available in both fresh and dried forms. You can either grow Oregano plants in your garden and use them fresh or dried or buy store-bought herbs in easy-to-use containers. Here are some of the top ways to consume Oregano for added health benefits:
- Toss fresh Oregano leaves in your salads for a punch in flavour.
- You can sprinkle some dried Oregano leaves in your soups, curries and stews to make it aromatic.
- If you are looking for a milder flavour, replace dried oregano powder with freshly chopped leaves
- Try experimenting with a variety of Oregano spice mixes to create better versions of your regular dishes.
- You can also go for Oregano oil as a flavouring agent in your dish. But, add no more than 1 or 2 drops.
Oregano’s Nutrition Facts:
Listed below is the nutritional value of 1 teaspoon of Dried Oregano:
- Total Energy: 5 Calories
- Fibre: 0.8 gm
- Calcium: 29 mg
- Iron: 0.66 mg
- Magnesium: 5 gm
- Manganese: 0.09 mg
- Potassium: 23 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.33 mg
How To Prepare Oregano Tea?
Along with its usage in preparing a variety of foods, another lesser-known version of Oregano is the Oregano Tea. This warm beverage can be easily made at home to enjoy its soothing taste and added health benefits. Follow the recipe given below:
- Dried Oregano Leaves – 1 teaspoon
- Water – 1 Cup
Time To Prepare: 5 minutes
- Bring one cup of water to boil.
- Add dried oregano leaves.
- Leave on for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves seep in.
- Remove from heat and serve hot.
Serving Suggestion: To cut down the bitterness, you can add a pinch of sugar or sweetener.
Oregano Benefits for Health, Skin and Hair:
Here we enlisted 16 wonderful oregano uses for skin, hair and health. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Boosts Immunity:
With the weather changing so often, it is possible for most of us to fall sick. A healthy and smart way to prevent such problems and illness is by using boosting the immune system with Oregano. Being rich in nutrients, antimicrobial agents and anti-inflammatory properties, Oregano can keep many infections at bay. All you need to do is prepare a cup of warm Oregano tea and have it to get instant relief.
2. Treats Skin Infections:
Skin infections are quite common these days. They should be treated as fast as possible because procrastination always leads to negative repercussions. One tip you could follow in order to take care of skin infections is by using some oregano. They are excellent medicine and are known for their healing properties. All you need to do for this purpose is mix olive oil with some coconut oil and oregano oil and apply it with a soft cloth of the affected area. Massage gently and let it stay for a while. You will surely reap the benefits.
3. Keeps PMS Away:
A common problem faced by many women these days is related to menstruation. Sometimes we tend to have stomach or abdominal cramps and other times we suffer from mood swings. A smart way to get rid of irregular periods and stomach pain is by using some beneficial Oregano. All you need to do is add a few drops of oregano oil to a glass full of lukewarm water and drink it down. You will surely find a lot of relief within an hour so because of this.
4. Reduces Acne and Pimples:
One of the best ways in which you could get rid of acne and pimples is by using Oregano. This remedy is so natural and has been used several times by so many women. The results have also been appreciated. Take some aloe vera, one spoon full of cucumber juice and one drop of oregano oil and apply it on the affected area. Leave it for five minutes and wash off with cold water. Do this for a week or so and you will successfully get rid of breakouts and pimples. However, make sure your hands have been washed well before application.
5. Works as a Skin Toner:
Oregano leaves benefits our skin in many ways. It works as a great toner which can close your pores and smoothen your skin. You will need some dried oregano leaves for this. Boil them for three minutes and then allow it to cool down. You may also place them in an airtight glass with the help of a strainer. Store this liquid in the fridge and use the liquid two to three times a day in order to tone your skin. Use a cotton ball to dab the liquid into it.
6. Offers Cosmetic Benefits:
The cosmetic uses of Oregano leaves have long been recognised by the beauty industry. They are known for keeping many skin and hair problems at bay and make you look flawless. If you are crazy about beauty tips and are always willing to experiment, you cannot miss out on oregano. They are truly the best when it comes to enhancing your skin and hair beauty and giving you a whole new look.
See More: Dried Oregano Uses
7. Fights Dandruff:
One of the best Oregano herb benefits is its effectiveness in fighting dandruff. Just mix some oregano oil with your shampoo and massage well all over your scalp and hair. You should make sure that from your scalp to the tip, the oregano oil has been touched. Use cold water to wash your hair off and make sure you use a good conditioner in the end. Both of them are so important for healthy and good hair these days. If you use this tip every time you shampoo, we assure you that dandruff shall never come back to your life again.
8. Tames Frizz and Tangles:
Oregano can also be used to detangle your hair. For this purpose, you need to take some dried oregano leaves and some vanilla. Take another cup of water too. Warm this mixture for about 45 seconds. Allow it cool down after that. Now pour this mixture into an airtight bottle and store it in your fridge. Use it while you shampoo and condition at least two to three times a week. Comb your hair after it has dried completely. This will surely give you smoother and glossy hair.
9. Culinary Benefits:
Oregano goes well when it comes to cooking. You can use this while preparing eggs, tomatoes, beans, mushroom and lamb. It can also be used while making some tasty Mexican style pizza. You can also prepare the outstanding marinade with chicken and pork with the help of lovely oregano leaves. Another cool way to use some oregano while cooking is by sprinkling some leaves on toasted cheese or garlic bread. This will increase the taste in your food and help you cook better every time you are in the kitchen.
10. Rich in Antioxidants:
Oregano is rich in antioxidants which can fight free radicals. This results in preventing the cells from getting destroyed due to oxidation. Two powerful antioxidants-Carvacrol and Thymol can protect the body from Cancers and dangerous heart diseases, which are caused due to free radical damage.
11. Anti-Cancer Properties:
Being high in antioxidants, Oregano is known to neutralise the effect of free radicals and shield the body from different types of Cancers. Studies have shown that Oregano was effective in suppressing the growth of cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading to other organs. This is one of the best Oregano tea benefits for our health.
12. Antibacterial Properties:
Oregano is found to be quite effective in killing certain types of bacteria like E-Coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Both these species are known to spread many types of lie threatening infections in the body. Oregano, when used in the essential oil form can instantly kill these organisms and protect the body.
13. Improves Heart Health:
The anti-inflammatory properties of Oregano are linked to the prevention of cardiovascular problems. Plus, Oregano is also rich in many key nutrients which can lower your cholesterol levels and prevent the blockages in the heart. Oregano also prevents the infections caused in your heart, thanks to its antimicrobial properties.
See More: Oregano Oil Uses
14. Detoxifies Body:
As per research, Oregano accelerates the functionality of your liver to allow for better digestion. This helps in eliminating toxins from the body and keeping your body clean from inside. Regular consumption of Oregano in recommended quantities can cleanse your internal system and get it rid of unwanted waste. The benefits of Oregano for weight loss makes it one of the most popular herbs.
15. Improves Bone Health:
Oregano leaves are laden with many vital nutrients including Vitamin K, which is important for maintaining the health of your bones. It also contains some crucial minerals like calcium, manganese and iron which can lower your chances of Osteoporosis. This is why a daily dose of Oregano is highly recommended.
16. Aids In Digestion:
Oregano is rich in dietary fibre, which helps in speeding up your digestive process. It works by adding bulk to your stools for a seamless movement in the intestines. Oregano also prevents constipation and the painful symptoms associated with it by pushing out the stools in a seamless way.
Oregano Side Effects:
There is no sufficient evidence that overconsumption of Oregano can be lethal. However, taking this herb in large quantities is linked to minor side effects like:
- Stomach Upset.
- Burning Sensation.
Besides, Oregano essential oil can be dangerous to health when taken in excess. It must never be applied directly on broken or bruised skin and near eyes or mucous membranes.
Now that you are familiar with Oregano, it’s time to stock it up in your pantry. Oregano is a perfect way to spice up the flavour of your savoury dishes and works quite well with many continental cuisines. Whether it’s a taco or a pasta, adding a dash of Oregano can uplift its taste to a great extent. Along with its taste, you can also enjoy its incredible health benefits without worrying about calories!