The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the world 'oregano' is probably pizza. However, this commonly found herb has gained popularity as a natural remedy for a number of common health problems and as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. These are some of the health benefits of oregano that you may not have known about.
Note: It is recommended that you purchase oregano oil for a number of these home remedies due to its concentrated strength. Oregano oil can be found at most health stores and in some pharmacies. Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin, but should be mixed with a carrier oil (such as olive oil).
1. Can Be Used to Treat the Common Cold
Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and has antiseptic properties that flush out your system, making it an excellent treatment for the common cold.
When you feel a sore throat coming on, add three drops of oregano oil to a glass of orange juice or water. Drink it once a day for up to five days until the symptoms are gone. You can also use dried oregano in tea and drink it two to three times a day.
Oregano is a completely natural and safe antihistamine that few people know about.
To clear out a blocked nose and sore throat, add two or three drops of oregano oil to one half-cup of boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapor. Do this twice daily and you will be breathing freely.
3. Treat the Flu
Oregano can even be used to treat the flu! It has antiviral properties that can effectively shorten the duration of flu symptoms such as high fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and aching in the joints and muscles.
An effective treatment for some of the flu symptoms is to mix a few drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and drink it once daily for three to five days.
Oregano is also an effective pain reliever and can be a great treatment for those that suffer from menstrual cramps.
Chew fresh oregano leaves three times a day to reduce the pain. You can also drink oregano tea for quick relief. To make the tea, mix one-half teaspoon of dried oregano in one cup of water and bring it to a boil over the stove. Strain it and add sugar to taste. Drink this tea three to four times daily.
Oregano oil can also be used to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce the negative effects of menopause, and even prevent premature menopause.
5. Kills Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal parasites are those unwanted inhabitants of the gastrointestinal system that can cause you discomfort and increase your risk of contracting various diseases. Dried oregano effectively kills off these parasites, especially in its oil form. Oregano also contains two antimicrobial agents called thymol and carvacrol which have been proven effective in treating intestinal parasites.
Add two to three drops of oregano oil to water along with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and drink up to three times a day.
Oregano is also a great source of potassium, which is a component of our cell and body fluids that helps control rapid heart rate and blood pressure. Using these remedies can counteract high intakes of sodium and other substances that are dangerous to heart health.
The antioxidants in oregano are believed to prevent and repair oxidative stress and heart disease, among a number of other heart conditions. It is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of heart disease.
Drink one cup of oregano tea daily to improve your heart health.
7. Control Asthma Attacks
Rich in lung-cleansing elements like carvacrol, flavonoids, and terpenes, oregano clears the respiratory tract to provide relief from asthma attacks.
When suffering from an asthma attack, drink oregano tea sweetened with honey four to five times a day. You can also extract the juice from the oregano leaves (using a blender) and take one teaspoon of it every hour to relieve asthma and chronic coughing.
If you have a weak appetite, oregano is a great option to keep it up. Studies have shown that oregano can relax stomach tension, which then stimulates the appetite.
Dilute oregano oil in water and use in the bath as a hot steam treatment or rub it into your skin to encourage an increased appetite. The herb also treats indigestion and bloating if you experience them.
9. Maintains Body Weight
Anyone looking to shed pounds or maintain a healthy weight should surely add oregano to their daily diet. The herb is free of cholesterol and is a rich source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps you manage your weight and can keep the body fit and free of disease.
Oregano actually helps dissolve fat build up in areas like the liver, gallbladder, lymph system, and more. This is because oregano contains carvacrol which is capable of dissolving fat into droplets.
Because oregano is a good source of fiber, it removes bile salts and cancer-causing toxins from the colon and other areas of the body. This then forces the body to break down cholesterol to make more bile salts, thus lowering high cholesterol on the way.
Oregano is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and it can be used to slow down the progress of some cancers like breast and prostate cancers.