Oregano, botanically known as Origanum Vulgano, is a flowering plant from the same family as mint. It’s often used as an herb to flavor food. The herb is as a culinary spice.
Oregano essential oil is made by air-drying the leaves and shoots of the plant. Once they’re dried, the oil is extracted and concentrated by steam distillation. Oregano contains compounds called phenols, terpenes, and terpenoids. They have powerful antioxidant properties and are responsible for its fragrance and proven health benefits:
- Carvacrol. The most abundant phenol in oregano, it has been shown to stop the growth of several different types of bacteria (3Trusted Source).
- Thymol. This natural antifungal can also support the immune system and protect against toxins (4Trusted Source).
- Rosmarinic acid. This powerful antioxidant helps protect against damage caused by free radicals (5Trusted Source).
- One particular study looked at whether oregano essential oil improved the survival of 14 mice infected with Staphylococcus aureus. The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is one of the most common causes of infection, resulting in ailments like food poisoning and skin infections.It found that 43% of the mice given oregano essential oil lived past 30 days, a survival rate nearly as high as the 50% survival rate for mice that received regular antibiotics (6Trusted Source).
- Oregano oil may aid weight loss.
- In one study, mice were fed either a normal diet, high fat diet, or high fat diet with carvacrol. Those given carvacrol alongside their high fat diet gained significantly less weight and body fat than those just given a high fat diet.Furthermore, carvacrol appeared to reverse the chain of events that can lead to the formation of fat cells (27Trusted Source). This could be of much benefit among people with obesity.
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