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Many of us have enjoyed oregano with our foods at one point or another. But how much more would you enjoy it if you realized just how beneficial oregano can be to your health? You would probably sprinkle it on more than just your pizza and spaghetti, right? Oregano is one of the most diverse health aides available. Unfortunately, however most of the oregano that consumers are familiar with contains only trace quantities of the actual species of that plant, or in some cases none at all.
Meanwhile, researchers have uncovered numerous benefits to using oregano and extracted oil of oregano. But buyer beware, these significant health benefits are unattainable if the oregano is not the true substance.
Nevertheless, true oil of oregano offers many exciting remedies to a variety of ailments. In Herbal Renaissance, Steven Foster credits oregano as having "been employed to treat indigestion, diarrhea, nervous tension, insect bites, toothache, earache rheumatism, and coughs due to whooping cough and bronchitis (primarily for it's antispasmodic effects)."
The ancient Greeks were among the first to take advantage of oregano's medicinal qualities. The Greeks termed the spice origanos, meaning "delight of the mountains."
Although there are a wide variety of plants that are confused with oregano-including marjoram, thyme and sage-true oregano grows wild in Mediterranean regions such as Greece. The wild oregano is the source of surprisingly potent oil of oregano.
In The Cure is in the Cupboard, Cass Ingram, D.O., has written a book that is dedicated to unveiling the health benefits of oregano and oil of oregano. He notes that "wild oregano is a veritable natural mineral treasure-house, containing a density of minerals that would rival virtually any food." The wild oregano is rich in a long list of minerals that includes calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, and manganese. Vitamins C and A (beta carotene) and niacin also are contained in oregano. Judging from its mineral content alone, it isn't hard to figure out why oregano is such a valuable commodity. Consider some of oregano's other useful purposes and it becomes even more obvious.
"Oregano is one of Nature's finest preservatives." states Ingram in another book, Supermarket Remedies. The author suggests that if oregano is used with foods such as meat, eggs, milk, or salad, you "will greatly halt the growth of microbes and, thus, reduce the risk for food poisoning."
The key element in oregano is the oil, which Foster points out "contains carvacrol and thymol as the primary components." Foster attributes the "fungicidal and worm-expellant properties" of oil of oregano to carvacrol and thymol. "These two phenols may constitute as much as 90% of (the oil)."
However, Ingram adds that these two phenols work "synergistically" and that is the reason "oil of oregano" packs a double punch in antiseptic powder and explains why it is infinitely more potent than commercial phenol in microbial killing power."
All of this helps make oregano oil a significant factor in treating internal and external fungi including athletes foot. Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can be improved with the treatment as well. Ingram explains the astonishing discovery that "oil of oregano outright destroys all variety of fungi and yeasts, regardless of where they reside."
In addition to fighting various fungi, oil of oregano is useful against bacteria and parasites. As Ingram asserts, "oil of oregano's antiseptic powers are immense...it inhibits the growth of the majority of bacteria, something that prescription antibiotics fail to accomplish." In the case of parasites, oil of oregano has had success neutralizing worms, amoeba and protozoans.
Additional uses for oregano and oil of oregano are multi-dimensional. They have been found helpful in combating diarrhea, intestinal gas, and digestive problems, as well as sore throat and breathing difficulties. Oil of oregano can be immediate help against bee stings and many venomous bites until medical attention can be reached. Oil of oregano has even been suggested as a treatment for dandruff, diaper rash, and other skin disorders.
The benefits of oregano have gone largely unnoticed and underpublicized for far too long. As Ingram notes, oregano is "one of the world's finest natural medicines, that is if it's true oregano." So while oregano may hold the answer for a number of your health questions, be sure that it is in fact the real thing. Remember, these remedies are only attributed to genuine oregano and oil of oregano. Nonetheless, their values are much too important to overlook. Oregano may just be the thing you are searching for, or maybe didn't realize was available.