Oregano is considered a must have herb in many cuisines around the world. It can be found fresh, dried or as an oil, and all are said to have health benefits. Though typically used in small amounts, oregano packs in some important nutrients. Just one teaspoon of dried oregano can fulfill about 8% of your daily vitamin K needs (1).
Here are some health benefits of oregano.
Rich in Antioxidants – Oregano is rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help fight damage from harmful free radicals in the body. Oregano essential oil is especially high in carvacrol and thymol, two antioxidants that can help prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals (2).
May Help Fight Bacteria – Oregano contains certain compounds that have potent antibacterial properties. A study showed that oregano essential oil helped block the growth of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two strains of bacteria that can cause infection (3).
Could Decrease Inflammation – Inflammation is a normal immune response that occurs as a result of illness or injury. Oregano is rich in antioxidants, which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation (4). It also contains compounds like carvacrol that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Easy to Add to Your Diet – Though you may think of oregano as a topping reserved solely for pizzas and pasta dishes, this versatile herb can be used in many ways. Try mixing whole oregano leaves into other greens for a nutrient-packed salad or sprinkling the leaves into chili, soups or stews. You can also use it to make fresh pesto or salad dressing, season meat dishes or kick up the flavor of homemade sauces. Oregano is available fresh, dried or as an oil, making it super easy to add to your diet.
Oregano is an herb that boasts some pretty potent benefits when it comes to your health.