Health Benefits of Oregano

health+benefits by Karen Foster

Oregano is widely considered as nature’s antibiotic. It is an indispensable spice in Turkish, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Latin American and Italian cuisine, oregano is the must-have ingredient in tomato sauces and pairs well with capers and olives. It may be one reason why people who eat a Mediterranean diet tend to live longer and healthier lives. The oil of the wild oregano plant has been shown to kill unwanted bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites and viruses and is a powerful antihistamine.
Oregano is an important culinary and medicinal herb that has been used in medicine and cooking for thousands of years – with a number of health benefits. It is a species of Origanum, belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae).
It is one of the top five spices in the world with one of the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scores meaning it will more effectively neutralize free radicals.
Oregano typically grows 50 cm tall and has purple leaves around 2 to 3 centimeters in length.
The chemicals that give the herb its unique and pleasant smell are thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene, and caryophyllene

Not only does oregano provide food flavor, there are also a substantial number of health claims associated with its potent antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties.
Oregano is a rich source of:
  • fiber
  • iron
  • manganese
  • vitamin K – an important vitamin which promotes bone growth and the maintenance of bone density and the production of blood clotting proteins.
The herb is used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders.
Oregano contains at least four compounds that soothe coughs and 19 chemicals with antibacterial action that may help reduce body odor. The ingredients in oregano that soothe coughs may also help un-knot muscles in the digestive tract, making oregano a digestive aid.
This familiar spice also contains compounds that can lower blood pressure too.
Oregano is also applied topically (onto the skin) to help treat a number of skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF OREGANO

Excellent source of dietary antioxidants – a report published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that oregano contains very high concentrations of antioxidants (i.e., >75 mmol/100 g).
Oregano contains numerous phytonutrients that have also been shown to function as potent antioxidants that can prevent oxygen-based damage to cell structures throughout the body protecting cells against the effects of free radicals and improving your ability to fight infection.
In laboratory studies, oregano has demonstrated stronger anti-oxidant capacity than either of the two synthetic (and toxic) anti-oxidants commonly added to processed food–BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole). Additionally, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.
Packed with nutrients – oregano is very rich in fiber – which is known to reduce high cholesterol levels and lower the risk of colon cancer. In addition, the herb is an excellent source of vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and typtophan.
Fiber works in the body to bind to bile salts and cancer-causing toxins in the colon and remove them from the body. This forces the body to break down cholesterol to make more bile salts. These are just some of the reasons that diets high in fiber have been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Antibacterial properties – oregano has shown antimicrobial activity in a number of studies. A group of Portuguese researchers found thatOriganum vulgare essential oils were effective against 41 strains of the food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial, because of an essential compound called carvacol.
In Mexico, researchers have compared oregano to tinidazol, a commonly used prescription drug to treat infection from the amoeba Giardia lamblia. These researchers found oregano to be more effective against Giardiathan the commonly used prescription drug.
A team of British and Indian researchers reported that the essential oil of Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that can even kill the hospital superbug MRSA.
Professor Vyv Salisbury, who was part of the research, said:
“We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”
Effective against inflammations – scientists at Bonn University, Germany, and the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, identified an active ingredient in oregano – known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) – which may possibly be of use against disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.
Anti-cancer properties – biologists at the United Arab Emirates University reported in the journal PLoS ONE that oregano exhibits anticancer activity by encouraging cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (cancer cells commit suicide) of the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer line.
The scientists concluded “Our findings identify Origanum majorana as a promising chemopreventive and therapeutic candidate that modulate breast cancer growth and metastasis.” Put simply, they believecomponents in oregano may help slow down or prevent the progression of cancer in patients with breast cancer.
Oregano may be effective for the following (although more evidence is necessary):
  • Cough
  • Asthma
  • Acne
  • Dandruff
  • Bronchitis
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Heart Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Repelling insects
  • Menstrual cramps

How to Select and Store

Whenever possible, choose fresh oregano over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh oregano should look fresh and be a vibrant green in color, while the stems should be firm. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.
Even through dried herbs and spices like oregano are widely available in supermarkets, you may want to explore the local spice stores in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness compared to those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried herbs, when purchasing dried oregano, try to buy that which has been organically grown since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated.
Fresh oregano should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. It may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Alternatively, you can freeze the oregano in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried oregano should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.

Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance. 

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Those of you who’ve read Psyclone and/or the information on the Centre of the Psyclone website will know that the aim of both is empowering the reader on a variety of levels, and that models, data and information contained and linked to within them ‘can be applied not only to solve problems on a variety of individual and sociopolitical levels, but also to ‘quantum-jump’ an evolutionary advancement in ourselves as individuals and collectively as a species.’

The subject of this post is a solution presented in Psyclone.

Many people nowadays are rightly concerned about taking, among other prescribed drugs, antibiotics. Feeling nauseated or actually throwing up is fairly common when taking the pills, as are diarrhea and skin issues. Kidney stone development, an increased reaction to sunlight, and blood clot formations are much rarer but can occur, depending on the type of antibiotic prescribed. Recent studies in the US have also found a link between birth defects and pregnant mothers having taken antibiotics for urinary tract infections.

Antibiotics work by killing all bacteria. Every time you swallow antibiotics, you kill the beneficial bacteria within your intestines. When you do so, you upset the delicate balance of your intestinal terrain. Yeasts are opportunistic organisms which, as the intestinal bacteria die, thrive, especially when their dietary needs are met. Conditions like Candida and Thrush arise as a result. By altering the normal terrain of the intestines, antibiotics can also make food allergies more likely. An array of intestinal disorders can ensue, as well. Sadly, most doctors claim ignorance concerning their patients’ intestinal disorders rather than admit that the drugs they themselves prescribed actually caused the disorders to begin with.

The situation is made worse for those who eat meat and dairy. Livestock are routinely fed a diet that includes antibiotics. The presence of the drugs in meat and dairy is seen by some to be a contributory factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant ‘super-bugs’, hyper-resistant bacteria that require a stronger form of antibiotic. These super-bugs leave scientists scrambling to create new and more potent treatments, and have led to a situation where now there are bacterial strains that no existing pharmaceutical antibiotic can treat.

So what’s the answer?

Ever heard the phrase ‘born with a silver spoon in their mouth’? Most who have take it as a traditional statement expressing a person’s, usually familial, connection with wealth. And so it was. Silver spoons, rattles and teething rings were traditionally given as gifts to babies by the wealthy. But the phrase was also a statement about a person’s health, a condition which was, and in many ways still is, connected to wealth.

The reason why giving silver gifts came to be a tradition, is that silver is a natural, and very effective, antibiotic. Eating with silver cutlery or gumming and chewing silver rattles and rings would result in tiny particles of silver being ingested, which in turn killed whatever ‘bugs’ it contacted.

It seems likely that this was a leading factor in the ratio of deaths between the rich and the poor resulting from the Plague of the fourteenth century . Norman F. Cantor in his book, In the Wake of the Plague, describes the death rate of the rich as 25% compared to between 40%-50% of the peasant population.

The knowledge of silver’s antibiotic effectiveness was also used by early American settlers who would put a silver dollar in milk to stop it going off.

The following is an entry in the appendix of Psyclone (which links, as all entries in the appendix do, to sections of the novel’s narrative):

Silver is a natural antibiotic and one of the oldest remedies in the world. It is non-toxic, non-addictive, free of ‘side effects’, and doesn’t damage the immune system. In its colloidal form (micro particles held in suspension by electrostatic charge in purified water) it kills over 600 organisms as compared to the 6 or 7 of conventional antibiotics. In addition to that, bacteria are unable to develop a resistance to it, unlike conventional antibiotics. As well as dealing with infection, silver helps human tissue regrow when used in burn therapy. It also stimulates bone-forming cells. Colloidal silver is not a controlled drug and is classified as a food supplement, and is therefore not part of Big Pharma’s monopoly. Indeed, it poses a threat to their lucrative trade. Unsurprisingly then it’s generally labeled a poison by mainstream medicine and demonised whenever possible, as are most other effective alternative medicines and therapies.

UK Colloidal Silver has one of the most balanced and informative colloidal silver sites on the Web (see their excellent Research and FAQs sections) and produces one of the (in my opinion) best colloids on the market.

Those considering making it themselves should read ‘A Closer Look At Colloidal Silver’ by Peter A. Lindemann, developer of  the CS-300C and CS-300D Colloidal Silver Generators.

For more health-related information you won’t find floating  in the mainstream see What Doctors Don’t Tell You, a website that for 30 years has been providing priceless, balanced, informative and revealing independent information on medicine’s dangers and alternatives that work.