Oregano: Benefits, Sources, Deficiency

A native of the Mediterranean region and Southwest Eurasia, oregano belongs to the mint family. The herb is perennially grown, but usually does not survive cold climates and hence, in some places, is cultivated annually instead.

It is a culinary herb that is famously used as an aromatic or flavouring agent. Used mostly by those who cook American or Italian cuisine, it is commonly used to flavour meat, grilled vegetables and salad. 

Most of us must have recognized this herb from having used it at some point in time. However, what we do not realize is that it is a rich source of vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, calcium, manganese and omega fatty acids.

Benefits of Oregano

The origins of the use of oregano as a medicinal herb can be traced back to ancient Greek times, where it was used as an antiseptic

It also contains antimicrobial properties, both of which are essential to fight possible infections that may occur. The antimicrobial property arises from a compound present in it called carvacrol.

When applied topically, it can be used to treat skin conditions such as dandruff and acne. The herb also contains high levels of antioxidants, which prevent the cell from getting damaged owing to the actions of free radicals.

While further studies are required to confirm the result, a study has shown that oregano contains certain components which help to slow down or prevent the progression of a particular kind of breast cancer. 

This is achieved by promoting apoptosis in the cancer cells. Furthermore, it is used in the treatment of urinary tract disorders, respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and menstrual cramps in some cases. 

Some studies have also shown that oregano is effective against cold, muscle pain, bronchitis, allergies, intestinal parasites, fatigue, toothache and earache.

More research needs to be conducted with regard to this herb as it may uncover a whole new world of alternative medication – owing to the large number of benefits it provides.

 

Sources of Oregano

As previously stated, oregano is a herb that was initially grown in the Mediterranean region – and the plant has many medicinal properties. Apart from this, there are certain extracts (such as oil of oregano) that can be derived from the same, making it a versatile source.

Deficiencies of Oregano

As oregano is not an essential nutrient, its absence does not lead to any kind of deficiency in an individual. However, you must keep in mind that this applies only to the herb itself – not the nutrients that it is abundant in. 

For example, vitamin E and calcium are very important for the proper functioning of the body – and lack of availability of those vitamins and minerals can lead to several problems and disorders. Hence, you must make sure that you continue to have a regular source for the same.

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