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Oregano

Oregano is a very healthy culinary choice

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by: P. Simard
Tags: oregano, healthy herbs, culinary herbs

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(NaturalNews) Oregano is a popular herb employed as a pleasant addition to various dishes for many Italians and Greeks. It certainly seems like a very sensible idea to prepare certain meals using oregano, once you understand the important health benefits it brings to the table. This wonderful culinary herb is a symbol of happiness and the word oregano actually translates from Greek as joy of the mountains. Besides being a great source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium, it most importantly displays very potent antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Oregano also known as origanum vulgare can be grown in the cooler temperatures of Europe although it generally prefers the warmer climates from its native environment in Eurasia and the Mediterranean. The plants grow up to approximately 20 inches in height and they deliver some beautiful white and purple flowers. Oregano has an aromatic, warm and somewhat bitter taste which does vary in strength and generally speaking, the good quality spice can be quite intense in your mouth, as sometimes it's enough to sort of numb your tongue.

Oregano has powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties

Oregano comprises an extensive list of plant-derived compounds that are shown to counter disease and encourage health. The herbs contain high sources of dietary fiber which mainly help stabilize cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to regulating cholesterol, fiber tends to bind to bile salts and intrusive toxins present in the colon, before completely removing them from your system. Oregano's essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene and caryophyllene are all active healing agents.

From the above list of essential oils, thymol and carvacrol have shown to restrain the growth of bacteria, notably what is scientifically known as pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococcus aureus. Interestingly, researchers from Mexico found that oregano was actually more effective at healing a bacterial infection named giardia lamblia, than the generally prescribed drug (tinidazol) used in order to treat such a health issue.

Oregano is composed of several phytonutrients such as thymol and rosmarinic acid which have demonstrated to be immensely valuable antioxidants. These antioxidants drastically inhibit oxygen-based damages to cells throughout the human body. Conclusive results from laboratory tests showed that oregano has a stronger antioxidant impact in the body than the two synthetic antioxidants regularly added in processed foods, namely BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole).

As a simple comparison, based on similar weights, oregano shows 42 times more antioxidant action than apples do, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and about four times more than blueberries. There's no denying it would be a wise choice to add oregano to your food whenever possible.

Sources for this article include:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=73

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/oregano.html

About the author:
After spending several years working in property management, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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