Oregano

Origin

The linguistic root of the plant comes from the Greek word "Oros" and "Ganas", which means "shining mountain". In Ancient Greece it used to be a symbol of joy and happiness (as wedding wreaths used to contain and branches of oregano), was also used as seasoning in cooking and as one of the most important and strongest remedies.

Aristotle wrote that if an injured kid from an arrow hunter ate oregano, the wound was closed. The Greeks knew the therapeutic value of oregano for thousands of years and used it for convulsions (by drinking the concoction), poisoning, colic and externally to relieve swelling. Dioscorides recommended it to those who had lost their appetite.

 

Oregano is widely known throughout the world it has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and for medical purposes. The decoction of oregano is astringent, slightly bitter and so traditionally used in cases of diarrhea. Today we know that oregano has much more useful properties.

Components

Oregano is a good source of fiber. Dietary fibers bind to bile salts and carcinogenic toxins in the colon and remove them from the body.

Oregano is also an abundant source of many nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin D, manganese, iron, calcium, carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. It also contains pinene, limonene, ocimene, caryophyllene, ursolic acid (maintains healthy muscle mass and prevents weight gain), caffeic acid (polyphenol effectively inhibits the growth of tumors) and rosmarinic acid (antibacterial and antioxidant).

The essential oil of oregano contains two main substances to which is assigned the strong biological effects, and these are carvacrol and thymol.

Generally

Oregano is a strong aromatic herb, which relieves from convulsions and hiccups, facilitates digestion.It has expectorant, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antihaemorrhagic properties and increases urine and sweat. It is widely used in medicine.

Oregano is also valuable for many stomach problems, especially gastric atony. It eliminates gas, bloating in intestinals and abdominal pains. It also has a sedative and spasmolytic activity in muscle pain and diseases of the lungs. It has analgesic effect in acute or chronic rheumatism and dental pain (gargling or chew a twig), expectorant activity (fluidizes sputum) and is particularly useful in chronic bronchitis. It acts as an antiseptic in pulmonary pathways, tuberculosis of the lungs and asthma. Finally oregano stops diarrhea if eaten with a couple of cups of coffee oregano decoction without honey.

Antioxidant benefits

Oregano is a plant rich in antioxidants and substances that protect cells from damage. It slows down cell damage and the aging process. It has 12 times more antioxidant activity than oranges, 30 of potatoes and 42 from the apple.

According to a research conducted by the Georgetown University, oregano's essential oils and the components of the thymol and carvacrol it contains, can help to inhibit the growth of many bacteria and fungi. A study showed that oregano kills bacteria in much the same way antibiotics do (such as penicillin and streptomycin). Moreover, the oil of oregano inhibits the growth of yeast, including candida albicans, which may cause sinusitis or oral infections.

Oregano as decoction

Place a tablespoon of oregano in a pot of water, boil it and drink a cup at each meal, before or after. Oregano decoction is taken orally for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fever, indigestion, upset stomach, and painful menstruation.

Oregano in Cooking

Oregano is an ancient medicinal plant which is also used in cooking. For years it has been recognized as a "functional food" for its antioxidant properties and prevention of many diseases. Indeed, the addition of oregano in olive oil enhances the already strong antioxidant action.

Oregano is the basic ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine. It occurs in almost all recipes, especially in meat and fish. Because of its cooking resistance can be used from the start of cooking.

The Greek oregano is considered the best worldwide, and is the emblem of the Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in general. With the spicy flavor it is combined perfectly with the extra virgin olive oil and lemon. Many foods in Crete and Greece are served or cooked with it, like goat (Goat Ladorigani) or potatoes cooked with olive oil and oregano, liver, fish, feta even steamed zucchini. Oregano in many islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese is added into fish bellies which toasted on the grill in order to give flavor.

The classical Greek salad and feta is also sprinkled with oregano. It fits well in pizzas and various breads which are fermented with spices such as cumin, tomato and oil, as well as with sauteed mushrooms and onions.

You can also scent oils as well as vinegars and olives with oregano which helps them to preserve

A table spoon (1 g) of dried oregano contains one 1 g. of

Water

0.1 (g)

Sodium

0.1(mg)

Energy

3.1 (Kcal)

Zinc

0.0(mg)

Proteins

0.1 (g)

Copper

0.0(mg)

Fat

0.1 (g)

Vitamin C

0.5(mg)

Carbohydrates

0.6 (g)

Thiamine

0.0(mg)

Fibers

0.4 (g)

Riboflavin

0.0(mg)

Calcium

15.8 (mg)

Niacin

0.1(mg)

Iron

0.4 (mg)

Vitamin B-6

0.0(mg)

Megnesium

2.7 (mg)

Vitamin B-12

0.0(mcg)

Phosphorus

2 (mg)

Vitamin A

69(IU)

Potassium

16.7 (mg)

 

 

Oregano