Oregano Health Benefits


Oregano Health Benefits

What is the Oregano Herb?

Oregano health benefits – Origanum vulgare

Oregano is a culinary herb commonly used in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine. It belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae, and its scientific name is Origanum vulgare. Oregano is known for its aromatic leaves, which have a warm, slightly bitter taste. It is often used as a seasoning in dishes like pizza, pasta sauces, roasted vegetables, and marinades.

Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region, specifically the regions of Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It has been used in these areas for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The herb was highly valued by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed in its various health benefits. Oregano was later introduced to other parts of the world through trade and exploration.

Today, oregano is cultivated in many countries with suitable climates, including the Mediterranean countries, Mexico, the United States, and various regions in South America. It is also commonly grown in herb gardens and used fresh or dried for cooking.

Oregano Health Benefits

Oregano is known for its potential health benefits due to its rich content of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. However, it's important to note that while some studies suggest potential health benefits, more research is needed to establish definitive conclusions. Here are some of the potential health benefits associated with oregano:

  • Oregano Health Benefits #1 – Antioxidant properties: Oregano contains several compounds, such as rosmarinic acid and thymol, which have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the body against damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can contribute to various diseases and aging.
  • Oregano Health Benefits #2 – Anti-inflammatory properties: Some studies suggest that oregano may possess anti-inflammatory effects. The compounds in oregano, including carvacrol and thymol, have been shown to inhibit inflammatory markers in certain studies. Chronic inflammation is associated with various diseases, so reducing inflammation may have health benefits.
  • Oregano Health Benefits #3 – Antimicrobial properties: Oregano has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for fighting infections. Some research suggests that oregano oil and its active compounds, particularly carvacrol and thymol, exhibit antimicrobial properties, which can help inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and parasites. However, more studies are needed to fully understand its effectiveness.
  • Oregano Health Benefits #4 – Digestive health: Oregano has been used to promote digestion and relieve digestive issues. It may help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and bile, aiding in the breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients. Some evidence suggests that oregano oil may be effective against certain gastrointestinal pathogens.
  • Oregano Health Benefits #5 – Potential anticancer properties: Preliminary studies have shown that certain compounds in oregano, such as carvacrol, thymol, and rosmarinic acid, exhibit anticancer properties in test-tube and animal studies. However, further research is required to determine their effectiveness in humans.

It's important to note that while oregano can be a flavorful addition to a balanced diet, the health benefits of oregano should not be considered a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have specific health concerns, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Oregano Side Effects

Oregano is generally considered safe for consumption when used in moderate amounts as a culinary herb or spice. However, some individuals may experience certain benefits uses and side effects or reactions. Here are a few considerations regarding potential effects of oregano:

Allergies: Some people may have an allergic reaction to oregano. Allergic symptoms can include skin rash, itching, swelling, or respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or wheezing. If you suspect an allergy to oregano or any other herb, it is advisable to avoid its consumption and consult a healthcare professional for appropriate guidance.

Gastrointestinal issues: In some cases, consuming large amounts of oregano or taking oregano supplements may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach upset, heartburn, or diarrhea. This is more likely to occur with concentrated forms of oregano, such as oregano oil. If you experience any digestive issues after consuming oregano, it is best to reduce the amount or discontinue use.

Interactions with medications: Oregano, particularly in concentrated forms like oregano oil, may interact with certain medications. It may interfere with the absorption or metabolism of certain drugs, leading to changes in their effectiveness. If you are taking any medications, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using oregano supplements or concentrated forms.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Oregano, especially in concentrated forms, is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to the lack of sufficient safety data. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional for specific guidance in such cases.

Bleeding disorders: Oregano contains compounds that may have anticoagulant properties, which could potentially interfere with blood clotting. Individuals with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional.

It's important to note that these potential side effects are usually associated with consuming large amounts of oregano or using concentrated forms like oregano oil. When used as a culinary herb or spice in normal culinary amounts, oregano is generally well-tolerated. If you have any concerns or pre-existing health conditions, it is always advisable to seek advice from a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or using oregano supplements.

Oregano Bioactive Compounds

Oregano flowers

Oregano contains several bioactive compounds that contribute to its potential health benefits. Here are some of the key bioactive compounds found in oregano:

  • Oregano Health Benefits – Phenols: Oregano is rich in phenolic compounds, including carvacrol, thymol, rosmarinic acid, and others. These phenols possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Carvacrol and thymol, in particular, are well-known for their antimicrobial effects.
  • Oregano Health Benefits – Terpenes: Oregano contains various terpenes, such as limonene, pinene, and caryophyllene. These compounds contribute to the aromatic profile of oregano and have potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They may also contribute to the antimicrobial activity of oregano.
  • Oregano Health Benefits – Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a group of compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Oregano contains flavonoids such as apigenin, luteolin, and naringin, among others. These compounds have been studied for their potential health benefits, including their role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Oregano Health Benefits – Rosmarinic acid: Rosmarinic acid is a phenolic compound found in oregano as well as other herbs like rosemary and basil. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Rosmarinic acid may contribute to the overall health benefits of oregano.
  • Oregano Health Benefits – Triterpenoids: Oregano also contains triterpenoid compounds, including ursolic acid and oleanolic acid. These compounds have been studied for their potential anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects.

It's important to note that the concentrations and proportions of these bioactive compounds can vary among different oregano species and even within different cultivars of the same species. Additionally, the bioactive compounds in oregano can interact synergistically, potentially enhancing their individual effects.

Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and potential health benefits of these bioactive compounds in oregano.

Oregano Vitamins and Minerals

Oregano contains various vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals, although the amounts may be relatively small compared to the recommended daily intake. Here are some of the vitamins and minerals found in oregano:

Oregano Health Benefits – Vitamins

  • Oregano is a source of vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E. However, the amounts of these vitamins in oregano are generally low compared to other food sources. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health, vitamin C is important for immune function and collagen synthesis, and vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body.
Oregano Health Benefits – Minerals
  • Oregano contains minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper. These minerals play various roles in the body, including bone health, oxygen transport, energy production, and enzymatic functions.

Oregano Health Benefits – Trace minerals

  • Oregano also contains trace minerals, albeit in small amounts. These include zinc, selenium, and potassium. Zinc is important for immune function and cellular metabolism, selenium acts as an antioxidant and supports thyroid function, and potassium is essential for maintaining fluid balance and proper muscle function.

While oregano does provide some vitamins and minerals, it is usually consumed in small quantities as a seasoning. To meet the recommended daily intake of these nutrients, it is important to have a varied and balanced diet that includes a wide range of nutrient-rich foods. Oregano can contribute to the overall nutrient intake, but it should not be relied upon as a primary source of vitamins and minerals.

Oregano Essential Oils

The essential oils of oregano species are primarily responsible for their distinct aroma and potential oregano health benefits. The composition of essential oils can vary slightly among different oregano species. The two most commonly studied oregano species and their essential oil components are:

Origanum vulgare (Common Oregano):

Carvacrol: This compound is the primary component of oregano essential oil and is responsible for its strong antimicrobial properties.

Thymol: Another important component with antimicrobial properties.

P-Cymene: Contributes to the aromatic profile and potential health benefits of oregano oil.

Origanum heracleoticum (Greek Oregano):

Carvacrol: Like common oregano, carvacrol is the dominant component in Greek oregano essential oil.

Thymol: Present in smaller amounts compared to carvacrol but still contributes to the oil's properties.

P-Cymene: Similar to common oregano, p-cymene is also found in Greek oregano essential oil.

It's worth noting that the exact composition of oregano essential oil can be influenced by factors such as the region, climate, and cultivation methods. Additionally, different chemotypes of oregano exist, which are variations in the composition of their essential oils. These variations can lead to slightly different aroma profiles and potential oregano health benefits.

Oregano essential oil is highly concentrated, and it is important to dilute it properly before using it topically or internally. It is recommended to consult a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare professional for guidance on the safe and appropriate use of essential oils.

Oregano Culinary Uses

Oregano cuisine herb

Oregano is a versatile herb that adds a distinct flavor and aroma to various dishes. It is commonly used in Mediterranean, Mexican, and Italian cuisine. Here are some popular culinary uses of oregano:

  • Seasoning for savory dishes: Oregano is often used as a seasoning for savory dishes, particularly in tomato-based sauces, stews, and soups. It pairs well with ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, onions, and olive oil, enhancing the flavor profile of the dish.
  • Pizza and pasta: Oregano is a classic herb used in pizza and pasta recipes. It is sprinkled over pizza toppings or mixed into pizza sauce to add a savory and aromatic element. Similarly, oregano is commonly added to pasta sauces, such as marinara or arrabbiata, to impart a flavorful kick.
  • Salad dressings and marinades: Oregano can be included in homemade salad dressings, vinaigrettes, and marinades. It adds depth of flavor to dressings when combined with ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic.
  • Roasted and grilled vegetables: Oregano pairs well with roasted or grilled vegetables, adding a savory and aromatic touch. It can be sprinkled over vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers before roasting or grilling.
  • Herbed oils and butters: Oregano can be infused into oils or melted butter to create flavorful condiments. Infused oils can be drizzled over dishes or used for dipping bread, while oregano-infused butter can be spread on bread or used to flavor cooked meats and vegetables.
  • Herb blends and spice rubs: Oregano is often included in herb blends and spice rubs. It is a key ingredient in the popular blend known as "Italian seasoning" or "pizza seasoning." Oregano can also be combined with other herbs and spices, such as thyme, basil, rosemary, and garlic, to create unique flavor profiles for meat rubs and marinades.

Remember that oregano is generally added towards the end of the cooking process to preserve its flavor and aroma. It can be used either fresh or dried, though the flavor intensity may vary between the two forms. Adjust the amount of oregano based on personal preference and the specific recipe you're preparing.

Herbs, Spices, and Minerals

Powdered Minerals

As with everything we eat, herbs and spices work optimally in the presence of the full complement of 75+ pure hydrophilic plant-derived minerals. See this page for a complete rundown of why we need ALL the minerals mother nature ought to give us with our foods. Unfortunately, if the herbs and spices are grown on mineral-deficient soils (most commercial farm soils are), they will also lack vital minerals.

Volcanic And Glacial Soils

Those fortunate to have fresh glacial or volcanic soils added to the soil in which their herbs grow can be certain that their herbs will contain many minerals now missing in most soils around the world.

Can We Add Minerals To Grow Bags?

Yes. Our Powdered Minerals contain 75+ minerals from 70-million-year-old Senonian compost extracted from the TRC mines in Utah. Simply add a spoonful of the powder to a watering can before watering the Grow Bag. You only need to do this once because plants take the minerals in trace amounts to be incorporated into their tissues. Think about tomato plants in greenhouses: mineral-rich, juicy tomatoes every time! But growing your own herbs is just as good.


It’ll be worthwhile experimenting: compare the growth and yields of herbs grown in soils with added powdered minerals with those in grow bags with ordinary compost. First, of course, you must adopt the scientific approach and use controls with various mineral dosages. Then repeat the experiment with other herbs. But one thing is for sure: eating mineral-rich herbs will mean you also get to benefit from the minerals.

Sizzling Minerals – Pure hydrophilic plant-derived Senonian minerals

Learn more about Sizzling Minerals