The health benefits of Greek Oregano (Ριγανη)

What is Oregano and how can it be used?

Oregano is one of the most widely used herbs worldwide and is a familiar herb that many people have come to know. The dried form is quite common, but fresh oregano is also readily available and is used heavily in traditional Greek cooking.

Oregano is a herb that is composed of fresh or dried leaves of the oregano plant. The plant leaves are tiny but pack a pungent aroma and strong flavour when added to a variety of savoury foods. When the plant is in bloom, it sprouts pink and purple flowers which are also edible. As oregano is a herb, it is gluten-free and suitable for both vegans and those on a paleo diet.

The name “oregano” means “joy of the mountain” and has its origins in the ancient Greek ” oros” (mountain) and “ganos” (joy). According to Greek mythology, the sweet, spicy scent of oregano was created by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness.

Dried oregano can be used during the early cooking process for sauces and stews for a bold infusion of flavour. If you are using your own home grown and dried oregano, make sure to only use the dried leaves. It’s best not to use the stems unless you are going to remove it from the dish after cooking.

Consuming oregano in moderate amounts can do wonders for your health. From fighting bacteria to boosting your immune system. There is no doubt that adding oregano to your diet can offer you many health benefits. Let us take a moment to look below at benefits of oregano the top 3 in more detail

Health Benefits of Oregano

When consumed, it can help with:

  • Coughs
  • Asthma and bronchitis
  • Headaches
  • High cholesterol

Oregano can be applied to the skin for the following:

  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Dandruff
  • Athlete’s foot

Antioxidants
You will find oregano is rich in antioxidants which are known to help fight against harmful free radicals that build up in the body. When there is a build-up of free radicals, it can cause diseases in the heart and cancer. By consuming oregano, you are providing your body with a healthy dose of antioxidants needed to help improve your health.

Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation occurs as a natural result of an illness or injury.  While this is a normal immune response, chronic inflammation can lead to health issues such as diabetes and disease of the heart. Oregano has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation of the body.

Protects against cancer
One of the components in Oregano called carvacrol has been found in a study to help suppress the growth and the spread of colon cancer cells. Other studies have shown that the component may also kill this cancer cell. However, it’s important to note that these were conducted under test-tube studies using extremely high dosage amounts.

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