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Scientific Name: Origanum vulgare **A common species of Origanum, a genus of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterraneanregion. Oregano is a perennial spice, growing from 20 80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1 4 cm long. Oregano will grow in a pH range between 6.0 (mildly acid) and 9.0 (strongly alkaline) with a preferred range between 6.0 and 8.0. The flowers are purple, 3 4 mm long, produced in erect spikes. It is sometimes called Wild Marjoram, and its close relative O. majorana is then known as "Sweet Marjoram". Medicinal Uses of Oregano Oregano plant has been used for the treatment of various diseases since thousands of years back. Medical researches reveal that oregano contains antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-parasitic compounds. Considering these medicinal properties, the studies are ongoing to use oregano for the treatment of severe diseases such as cancer, heart disease and muscular degeneration. An antioxidant nature of oregano is evident from the presence of thymol and rosmainic acid. These compounds help in scavenging free radicals, thus preventing cell damage and membrane alteration. The amount of antioxidant present in a tablespoon of fresh oregano and a medium-sized apple are the same. The volatile oil carvacrol present in oregano inhibits the growth of bacteria and other parasitic microorganisms. Some studies found this medicinal herb to be more effective in killing Giardia than the prescription drugs. Oregano supplements are also used for external and internal fungal infections. Patients with candidiasis have experienced a remarkable relief from the symptoms after using oregano. Oregano is used for the treatment of flatulence, bloating and other indigestion problems. It enhances the secretion of saliva and serves in improving digestion. It is also effective in overcoming menstrual symptoms and promoting menstruation. Some people use oregano as a natural remedy to treat cold and flu symptoms. Herbal tea prepared with oregano helps in alleviation of headache, urinary problems, lung disorders, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and jaundice. Oregano boiled in plain water can be used as a mouthwash. Gargling with this water can help to prevent tooth infection and sore throat. Oregano oil applied directly to the infected tooth helps in combating toothache. Ground oregano leaves soothe arthritis pain, insect bites and other skin problems. Its bitter taste and strong aroma help in controlling head lice.
How to Use Oregano
y y y 1 Help a toothache by applying oregano oil to the sore area. Consuming fresh oregano can also help fight infections such as the flu and colds. Wild oregano contains Terpene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. 2 Add oregano to omelets, frittatas and quiches for a peppery flavor. Use in dishes in combination with garlic, thyme, parsley and olive oil to spice them up. 3 Fill a muslin bag with fresh oregano leaves and toss it into a hot bath. You'll enjoy the delightful aroma, but oregano is also recommended for helping aches and stiff joints. Oregano contains COX-2-inhibitors, which hinder the enzyme, Cox-2. Cox-2 closes an inflammation pathway which can lead to swelling. If nothing else, it will cure a sour mood. 4 Dry oregano flowers and use them in flower and herb arrangements. The flowers dry well and if you include a few leaves with the flowers will give the flower arrangement a hint of an oregano smell. 5 Plant oregano alongside beans to enhance their growth. Oregano's potent smell deters insects which commonly infest bean plants.
Externally, Oregano leaves can be pounded into a paste (add small amounts of hot water or tea to reach the desired consistency oatmeal may also be added for consistency purposes). This paste can then be used for pain from rheumatism, swelling, itching, aching muscles, and sores. For tired joints and muscles, put a handful of Oregano leaves in a coffee filter, mesh bag, or cheesecloth bag and run steaming bath water over it. Allow it to steep in the tub with you as you relax in the warm, fragrant water. Lastly, an Oil can be made with Oregano leaves to use for toothache pain. Put a few drops on the affected tooth for relief.