The Health Benefits of Oregano

By on September 30, 2008
oreganoOregano has been cultivated for both culinary and medicinal effects in the Mediterranean for thousand of years.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare ) is a perennial herb of the mint family of plants and is native to northern Europe. In ancient Greek and Roman cultures the herb was regarded as a symbol of joy and happiness, and it was traditional to crown a bride and groom with laurels of oregano. Its name is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain), and ganos (joy).

Oregano has been used as an herbal remedy to treat respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. The main constituients are the phenolic compounds carvacrol and thymol, two powerful antimicrobial agents.

Health Benefits of Oregano

  • Intestinal and Urinary Parasites
    600 mg oregano oil extract was orally administered for 6-weeks to 14 patients who had tested positive for the intestinal parasites Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba hartmanni and Endolimax nana. After the 6 week treatment there was complete disappearance of Entamoeba hartmanni in 4 cases, Endolimax nana in 1 case, and Blastocystis hominis in 8 cases. Gastrointestinal symptoms also improved in 7 of the 11 patients who had tested positive for Blastocystis hominis.
    Oregano extract immobilized all of the furcocercariae (parasitic larva) of Schistosoma haematobium exposed to the extract within 15 min. Schistosoma haematobium are parasites found in the urinary bladder.
    Mexican oregano (Lipia beriandieri) extract has been shown in vitro to be effective against the giardia parastite, and superior to tinidazol which is a drug of common use in the treatment of giardiasis.
  • Anti Fungal
    The inhibitory effects of 10 selected Turkish spices, including oregano, towards growth of 9 food borne fungi were investigated. Of the spices tested, only oregano showed effect on all fungi. Oregano essential oil and it’s ingredients thymol and carvacrol at concentrations of 0.025% and 0.05% completely inhibited the growth of all fungi.
    The oil of oregano is a potent inhibitor of yeast, including Candida albicans.

    Some essential oils and their main constituents were evaluated in-vitro against a strain of Candida albicans. The essential oil of Origanum vulgare was one of 5 oils that showed maximum inhibitory activity against Candida albicans after 7 days.

  • Antioxidants
    The culinary herbs oregano, sage, peppermint, garden thyme, lemon balm, clove, allspice and cinnamon all contain very high concentrations of antioxidants and intake of herbs may contribute significantly to the total intake of plant antioxidants, and may be an even better source of dietary antioxidants than many other food groups such as fruits, berries, cereals and vegetables.
Nutrient Values of Dried Oregano per 100g
Calories
306kcal

Energy Value
1280kj
Total Fat
10.25g

Carbohydrates
64.43g

Sugars
4.09g
Dietary Fiber
42.8g
Protein
11.00g

Sodium
15mg
Zinc
4.43mg
Potassium
1669mg
Iron
44.00mg

Magnesium
4.667mg
Copper
0.943mg
Calcium
1576mg
Vitamin C
50.0mg
Vitamin E
18.86mg
Vit. B3 (Niacin)
6.220mg
Vitamin B6
1.210mg
Vit. B1 (Thiamin)
0.341mg
Vit. B2 (Riboflavin)
0.320mg


References:
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
4. Akgül A, Kivanç M. Inhibitory effects of selected Turkish spices and oregano components on some foodborne fungi. Int J Food Microbiol. 1988 May;6(3):263-8. PMID: 2978951.
5. Dragland S, Senoo H, Wake K, Holte K, Blomhoff R. Several culinary and medicinal herbs are important sources of dietary antioxidants. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1286-90. PMID: 12730411.
6. Force M, Sparks WS, Ronzio RA. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):213-4. PMID: 10815019.
7. Lahlou M. Potential of Origanum compactum as a cercaricide in Morocco. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2002 Sep;96(6):587-93. PMID: 12396321.
8. Ponce-Macotela M, Navarro-Alegría I, Martínez-Gordillo MN, Alvarez-Chacón R. [In vitro effect against Giardia of 14 plant extracts]. Rev Invest Clin. 1994 Sep-Oct;46(5):343-7. PMID: 7839013.
9. Tampieri MP, Galuppi R, Macchioni F, Carelle MS, Falcioni L, Cioni PL, Morelli I. The inhibition of Candida albicans by selected essential oils and their major components. Mycopathologia. 2005 Apr;159(3):339-45. PMID: 15883716.
10. Stiles JC et al.  The inhibition of Candida albicans by oregano, J Applied Nutr 1995; 47:96-102.
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3 Comments

  1. Judsa

    December 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) is a great on how to get rid of a yeast infection BTW!

  2. Helen

    April 19, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Thanks for sharing the benefits of using Oreganol. Oreganol can also be applied directly to athlete’s foot, ringworm or sunburn. It is a very effective treatment. Oreganol is also a great alternative to antibiotic.

  3. Pingback: Uses for Oregano Extract | World Wide Articles

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