Properties of Oregano or Wild Marjoram

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wild marjoram

Oregano or wild marjoram is commonly known to be used as a spice,flavor food and brew tea but it has several alternate uses.The leaves of this plant contain a variety of compounds such as carvacrol and rosmarinic acid . Traditionally,  its leaf was taken alongside meals to aid digestion, an active compound thymol (structurally similar to menthol , compound in peppermint ) is known to relax the soft tissues of throat and stomach.It is also an effective pain reliever.It can soothe bee stings and treat venomous spider and snake bites as well.

 Chemical Constituents

Oregano contains Iron, vitamin E, Vitamin C, Copper, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Thiamine and Raboflavin. It has unique pleasant smell due to presence of thymol , pinene, lemonene, carvacrol and caryophallene.

One should be cautious while using this herb as it also inhibits the production of nitric oxide which is necessary to regulate blood flow.

Medicinal Properties

Oregano or Origanum vulgare  (a pink flower vibrant) has a number of medicinal properties that may be surprising to you.It is botanically related to a spice known as Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) thus it is also called wild marjoram . It is traditionally used as medicine for flatulence and stomach (taken with meals to reduce gastrointestinal distress as it increases salivation), sometimes as tea, as well as diuretic and various other purposes. It acts as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic agent.It also helps in protection against cancer.

Antibacterial property

Oregano has antibacterial properties because its oil contains a compound known as carvacrol (major component of oregano, which is also responsible for the aroma of oregano or wild marjoram ) .

It has also shown antimicrobial activity against 41 strains of food pathogen Listeria monocytogens. Being antibacterial , its oil has been used to prolong the shelf life of food products by reducing the rate of  the growth of microbes and reducing the spoilage of fatty acid.

Essential oils from oregano kills MRSA (hospital Super-bug) both as a liquid and as vapor.Its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”

The antibacterial property of oregano or wild marjoram oil suggests that it is effective at warding off infection and boosting human immune system making it a useful enhancement for soups and disinfectants.

Oregano or Wild Marjoram as an Antioxidant

Oregano contains thymol and rosmarinic acid that works on human body to minimize the destructive effects of free radicals. It has one of the highest antioxidant activity rating. A tablespoon of fresh oregano may contain the same amount of antioxidant power as stored in a medium sized apple. Researchers have a lot of current medical interest in the ability of antioxidants to help repair damage to the body on cellular level and combat cancer, high blood pressure, muscular degeneration and help slow geriatric muscle deterioration. The antioxidant properties of oregano are also desirable for the purpose of food  preservation as it can reduce oxidation of fatty acids in food products with prolonged storage and preserve the quality of oil products.

Anti- inflammatory

Oregano has an active phyto-ingredient known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) which helps to treat disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. Scientists from Germany and Switzerland identified that E-BCP (beta-caryophyllin) is a dietary cannabinoid which treats metabolic syndrome.

Anti-fungal

Historically, Oregano has been used as a food preservative due to its impressive credentials as an antifungal food element. Fungal infections tend to be nasty organisms and even fatal in some circumstances. Oregano has been used as both internal and external preparations in treating fungal infections.It has also shown successful results in treating and inhibiting the growth of yeasts like Candida albicans.

Antibiotic

Oregano might just be a little herb but it has powerful and strong medicinal property.A phenol known as carvacrol, which has a powerful ability to kill bacteria.Thus it can be used as an antibiotic in stead of streptomycin and penicillin.

Treats Upper Respiratory Infections

Oregano also has a potential antiviral activity which can be useful if you are suffering from a cold or flu. Generally, its effectiveness depends upon the level of concentration of carvacrol. It also encourages sweat production and ingesting it helps human body to get rid of unwanted phlegm in your lungs.

Anti-cancer agent

A phyto-chemical in oregano or wild marjoram, carnosol, has been evaluated for having anti cancer properties in prostate, breast, skin, leukemia and colon cancer with promising results. It has also led to arrest and growth of colon cancer cells in a time dependent manner by slowing or preventing its progression.

[ READ MORE ABOUT OREGANO ]

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