Oregano is packed full of antioxidants. This common kitchen herb is a huge help in herbal medicine because it builds immunity, fights the effects of aging, and protects the body from diseases. Use of oregano in therapeutic doses and the use of oregano essential oil should be limited to a couple of weeks. Also do not use oregano or the oil if you are allergic to daisies, mint, or basil. Two much oregano can cause swelling of the lips, itching, and even miscarriage. It can also prevent the body from absorbing iron so should not be taken in large doses if pregnant. A little on your pizza will not hurt so don't worry about eating small amounts used to flavor food.
Oregano blooms and butterfly -- photo courtesy of Pexels.com
Oregano is a familiar herb that is used in spaghetti and pizza sauce. Not only is oregano a tasty addition to Italian recipes, it is also a powerful disease fighter. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that fresh oregano has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables with 42 times more antioxidant power than apples. It has more active antioxidants than pure vitamin E! What exactly is an antioxidant? Antioxidants are chemical substances that help protect the body against cell damage from “free radicals”. Well known antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Antioxidants work with the immune system to fight everything from disease to wrinkles.
What are “free radicals”? Any molecule that contains an unpaired electron is a free radical. Free radicals are unstable and will extract electrons from other biological molecules, which generates more free radicals. Free radicals are produced in many different ways including normal metabolic processes, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, nuclear radiation, air pollution, and from the breakdown in the body of rancid (spoiled) fats. Free radicals have been implicated in aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other kinds of damage to the body. Antioxidants fight free radicals and we need to get them into our diets on a daily basis. Add oregano to your soups, salads, and stews for strong immunity!
The whole process may be compared to a rusty old car. When oxygen and moisture work together to attack metal, rust is an obvious result. Once it starts, a little rust leads to more rust. It takes a lot of manpower with a steel brush to remove it. Free radicals are like rust – they are destroyers. Antioxidants are like little power-houses working around the clock to gather up and remove harmful free radicals from the body.
Oregano not only works to destroy free radicals, it is also very useful in the treatment of bronchitis and other lung infections. For best results, brew tea from fresh oregano and breathe the steam deep into your lungs as you sip. Oregano is also good for treating infected sores, colds, flu, sore throat, indigestion, and stomach cramps.
Oregano essential oil is an effective antibacterial agent that can even kill resistant staphylococcus bacteria. Oregano essential oil is very effective when used in aromatherapy to calm the nerves and reduce stress. Use powerful oregano essential oil with extreme care, always diluting with carrier oil before applying to the body.
Oregano likes full sun and well drained soil. Plants are easily started from seed, stem cuttings, or root division and grow from eight to twenty-four inches tall. Oregano can also be grown in pots. If plants start to look ragged, trim severely, add a little topsoil, fertilize, and water well. New growth should appear in a week or so. Harvest leaves when flowers begin to bloom. Prune established plants early in the growing season for lush, bushy growth. Use trimmings in tea or a favorite marinara sauce.
* Oregano should not be taken in large doses for an extended period of time. Use only for a couple of weeks at a time then take a rest. To decrease free radical production in your body, never consume any off-smelling cooking oil or rancid nuts. Fats go bad when exposed to air, heat and light so keep all cooking, bath, body, and massage oils tightly covered, in a dark, cool place. Never consume rancid fats and oils or use them on your body. Once a bottle of oil is opened, use quickly (consider buying smaller sizes). Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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