Oregano Benefits

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Oregano benefits are many; one of them is the anti bacterial qualities of the oil of oregano, which we all know about. This plant is a native of Europe but nowadays, it is cultivated world wide. Read on for more on the benefits of oregano.

This Mediterranean herb is used extensively in cooking, for its aroma and flavor. It belongs to the mint family. Oregano oil is extracted from the leaves of the variant Origanum Vulgare while in cooking, the common herb Origanum Marjoram is used. There are many oregano benefits, hence this herb finds its way in many remedies for indigestion, diarrhea and more. The oregano variant which is used for cooking has many vital vitamins and minerals. One of the most nutritious parts of oregano is its fiber, which is known to prevent the growth of cancer cells. This herb grows to about 20-80cm tall in the wild and has purple flowers. Many sub species of oregano are grown across the globe and are widely used in Italian and Latin American cuisines.

Oregano Health Benefits

Oregano is known for its aroma and flavor and is used in many food preservatives. Also, oregano benefits health in many ways. The leaves of oregano plant are being used for digestive problems since many centuries. Oregano is a staple content when it comes to alternative medicine and is used in many concoctions. Some of the medical uses of oregano can be seen in the treatment of cancer and heart diseases. Scientific studies have shown that oregano benefits overall health when used in small doses. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of oregano herb.

Antioxidant: Thymol and rosmainic acid are some of the chief constituents of the oregano herb; these help harness free radicals and thereby prevent cell damage. The antioxidant qualities of oregano are more potent than some of the commonly known fruits like apples. The high levels of flavonoids and phenolic acids present in this herb also add to its antioxidant nature. Oregano is not just an antioxidant but also has great antimicrobial characteristics which makes it a good food preservative.

Antibacterial: The antibacterial qualities of the oregano were discovered by the Greeks. They used Oregano oil to treat skin diseases. Other oil of oregano benefits include treating bacterial infections that cause plaque. Adding a drop of oregano oil to your toothpaste will help you protect your teeth against plaque. The antibacterial nature of this herb helps you protect yourself from urinary tract infections and cholera. Some of the other problems like skin infections and food poisoning can also be dealt with, with the help of this herb from the mint family.

Antifungal: The oregano oil uses extend to antifungal treatment. Oregano oil is used to treat some skin and nail fungal infections. A mix of coconut oil and oregano oil is used to treat skin infections and the other cosmetic application is the use of oregano oil for acne treatment. The use of oregano oil externally and internally is effective against fungal infections which are responsible for many dangerous communicable diseases.

Some of the other medicinal uses of oregano include its use in the treatment of arthritis because of its anti inflammatory qualities. It is also a good antiseptic agent due to the high levels of thymol acid and is widely used to treat external wounds and cuts. Oregano oil is also used to treat cold and sore throat and this ancient remedy is very effective in dealing with sinus problems too.

The health benefits of oil of oregano are far reaching and this herb is medicinally used since the time of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. Oregano benefits have been realized by many cultures like the Greeks and the Italians and they have made this herb a part of their cuisine.

By Indrajit Deshmukh
Published: 7/26/2010

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/oregano-benefits.html

Oregano Plant

Oregano plant is a kind of a perennial herb and is from the species Origanum of the mint family. All of us know it as a delicious topping for Italian dishes, especially pizza and pasta. Scroll down to know more about this popular plant.

Oregano – the word invokes a singular response – yummy! I mean just try and imagine your lip smacking chicken pizza without the quintessential oregano. Hard, isn’t it? Thus, considering the love most of us have for this delightful oregano, I am sure you would not mind reading a bit about oregano plant, right? So presenting ladies and gentlemen, a low down on oregano plant!

Oregano Plant Information

Oregano Plant Identification
This plant is a native of Europe, the Mediterranean region and Central Asia. This plant is basically a perennial herb. It grows upto 20 to 80 cm tall and has leaves which can range in length from 1 cm to 4 cm. These however, might not be distinguishing. Although its purple flowers, in erect spikes are what helps people identify it. There are oregano plant varieties, though, which have different flavors.

Oregano Plant Uses
Oregano has uses which can be mainly categorized into 2 – culinary and health.

Culinary Uses
It is a well known fact that oregano herb is a significant constituent of Turkish, Italian, Greek, Spanish and Dominican cuisine. Mostly it’s the leaves which are used for cooking. But the dried form of oregano is much more aromatic and flavorful than fresh leaves. Pizza is what most of us associate this herb with. When it comes to flavor, oregano works in tandem with hot and spicy food.

Health Uses
Oregano has a high level of antioxidant activity, as it has lots of phenolic acids and flavonoids. In addition to this, oregano seemingly has anti-microbial activity acting as a counter attack to food born micobes. Leaves and flowering stems of oregano are highly antispasmodic, antiseptic and can act as expectorants and as tonic. For this reason if oregano oil extracts are taken orally, they are effective in treating influenza, cold, mild fever, stomach upsets, fungal infections and even menstrual pain. It is also a great remedy against Methyl Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) emanated infections.

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How to Grow Oregano

Pointer #1: The place or the positioning of oregano is important so decide where to plant oregano. The trick is to keep it in an area where there is good sunlight. It is one of those typical Mediterranean herbs. Make sure the soil is well drained and you are done.

Pointer #2:: The next thing you need to do is to decide whether you want to grow it through seeds, cuttings or divisions. There could be a chance that you may not get the exact type of oregano you want because different species of oregano cross pollinate. In case you opt for the seeds, make sure that you cover the seeds just a bit with soil. This will expose them to light and they will germinate.

Pointer #3: Once you decide what to use to grow oregano, plant it. Harvest the crop during mid spring. For proper oregano plant care, in winters, mulch the oregano plant using grass or straw to protect it from freezing temperatures. Come early spring and remove the mulch.

Pointer #4: While harvesting, cut off 6 inches at the top of the stem followed by removal of the leaves. Wash them thoroughly and roll the leaves into a small ball. Then chop the leaves using a small cleaver and voila – you are ready to add fresh oregano to your meal. A very important thing to remember here is the timing for picking the leaves. Pick the leaves just after the dew has dried in the morning. What happens is that as the sun gets warmer, the leaves dry out and lose their oil, resulting in loss of aroma and flavor.

Apart from all this, the best part about oregano plant is that it is normally pest resistant. However oregano plant diseases cannot be ruled out as pests like spider mites and aphids bother the plant.

Overall, it is great to have oregano plant in your backyard or vegetable garden or even if you just have a nice airy and well lit balcony. Moreover, you would not need to ask for more toppings or seasonings from the pizza delivery boy if you have oregano handy in your kitchen. What say? Are you all set then, to spice up your kitchen?!

By Medha Godbole

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/oregano-plant.html

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