What is Oregano?
Oregano is an easy-to-grow herb with many health-promoting properties. It is an aromatic herb, belonging to the mint family. It prefers a warm, dry climate with plenty of sunlight.
It is a perennial herb that does well in containers- you can even grow it in a small pot on a kitchen windowsill! If kept in the garden, one plant will quickly spread and provide more than enough for one family. If you purchase fresh oregano- keep it wrapped in wet paper towels in the refrigerator or cover it in water and freeze it in ice cube trays.
Oregano is more than just a culinary herb- it is a powerful medicinal plant! Below are the many uses and benefits of oregano. Some of them might surprise you!
Culinary Benefits of Oregano
Aromatic oregano is most often used as a flavor enhancer for soups, stews or other dishes, but this herb has many other lesser knows qualities that make it a powerful source of nutrition and healing qualities.
Did you know?
Oregano is a rich source of vitamin K, which is an important player in cardiovascular and bone health as well being needed for proper blood clotting.
Oregano is full of minerals such as iron and manganese.
Oregano is full of fiber– just one tablespoon gives you over 10% of the daily value- and you know how important fiber is!
Oregano is full of antioxidants such as thymol and rosmarinic acid. In fact some studies have shown that it contains even more antioxidants than other antioxidant rich foods- as much as 4 times more than the amount in blueberries!
Medicinal Uses for Oregano
Many of the benefits gained by eating and using oregano in your daily meals will benefit your health as well. A healthy diet full of nutrient rich foods is one of the best medicines you can give yourself.
But in addition to those I have already listed, oregano also has purely medicinal uses, such as being an antibacterial, a natural anti-inflammatory and an anti-fungal.
While the fresh, or dried, herb can be used to gather some of these benefits, oil of oregano is one of the best ways to get concentrated amounts of the health-promoting properties of oregano.
Oregano is easy to grow from seed and easy to dry, so you can use it all year round.
If you don’t grow your own oregano you can buy it in bulk through the Bulk Herb Store.
How to Use Oregano:
Combine oregano with other beneficial herbs such as sage, thyme and lavender in a pot of boiling water and use as a facial steam to loosen congestion and calm a cough. Oregano is easy to grow and dried oregano is great to keep on hand for just this purpose.
Take a few drops of oil of oregano– diluted in juice or water- internally to combat intestinal disturbances such as giardia or food-borne diseases such as e. coli or salmonella.
Take internally to help reduce the length and intensity of the common cold or flu.
Rub oregano oil mixed with olive oil (or other carrier oil) on sore muscles and joints for pain relief and to aid in reducing inflammation.
Place drops of diluted oregano oil on your neck, temples and forehead to help reduce the pain of headaches and migraines. Smelling full strength oil of oregano is also helpful in easing head pain.
Diluted oregano oil can be effective in removing warts
More Oregano Oil Uses:
Oregano is thought to have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties- to name a few.
In addition o the oregano oil uses I have already mentioned, oregano oil can also be used for:
For ear aches- rub diluted oregano oil on the outside of the ear
Inhale or diffuse oregano oil for help with seasonal allergies
Dab oregano oil diluted with water on pimple or acne prone areas
Helping with yeast and candida
Getting rid of athlete’s foot
Inhale or diffuse oregano oil to boost immunity during cold and flu season
- You can make oregano infused oil by steeping oregano leaves in oil such as olive or coconut. This is not the same thing as an essential oil. If you would like to make your own infused oil you can find directions at Homegrown and Healthy.
- If you purchase concentrated oil of oregano be sure to dilute it before placing it on your skin or ingesting it. The oil is too potent to be used as is.
- Oregano can cause adverse reactions in some people. Test a small patch of skin before using the oil topically. Fresh eating can cause stomach discomfort in some people.
- If you are pregnant or nursing talk to your caregiver before taking oregano in medicinal amounts.
- If you are taking other medications, talk to you doctor before taking oregano medicinally. This is especially true if you are taking a blood thinner (oregano has naturally occurring blood thinning properties) or medications such as Lithium.
- I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.
Oregano grows very well here in Canada too, it even survives our cold winters and comes back year after year. I like to dry some for winter use. It is my first herbal tee by any symptoms of cold or sore throat. So good and therapeutic.
Thank you. I will share this with people I know who have migraines.
Thank you :) I’m glad to know more about oregano. I just started growing my own this year.
I not only grow this but I do use the oil as well! It works like a shot of Morphine on body pain! AWESOME POST!
Thanks! We’ve been using it for help with the cold that is running through our house.
WOW! Lots of great info! I believe I could grow this…
I know you could! Very easy!
I grew basil and parsley this year, maybe I’ll do oregano next year. I love it but I had no idea there were so many benefits!
Fascinating! I have oregano growing in my herb garden. I love to use fresh herbs to cook with, but they have so many other uses too. thanks for sharing this. I’m Pinning this to my Pinterest Board! :)
Life With Lorelai
I love using oregano. Sometimes I don’t use the other “green” herbs just to smell more of it in my dishes. I didn’t know it had so many medicinal uses. I have a recycled salad container, I’m willing to try growing this inside since its getting cooler.
Dropped by from the “From the Farm” blog hop.
Very informative. I never thought about using it for colds!
Thanks – super informative and well organized article! Our family all started taking oil of oregano last night, as we have our first cold in the house… looking forward to trying some of your ideas as well…
Visiting from Nourishing Joy’s Thank Goodness It’s Monday link up….
I love Oregano and have two large bushes in my garden. I have always used it in cooking but never realized the other uses! Thank you so much for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop, look forward to seeing what you share this week! Nancy
I did not know the medicinal qualities of Oregano, but I knew it made a tasty marinara sauce! ;) Thanks for the great info!!
Thank you for your excellent article. If I may, I’d like to have your clarification on ingesting oregano oil. I tried adding 1-2 drops of UNdiluted (w/ another oil) oregano oil in almond milk (didn’t have juice and never thought of using “just” water), and it burned like crazy! (This was before I read your post.) So, you’re saying to dilute the oregano oil in another oil before ingesting, right? Ever since I tried drinking it full-strength, I’ve wondered if those who recommend doing this are talking about drinking the diluted version. Otherwise, how in the world…?!!!!
Oregano oil is very potent. Dilute it in at least 8 oz of water or juice, though something with fat like oil or milk is recommended to. No more than 1 drop of the essential oil- because yes it can burn. Also make sure the essential oil you have is for ingesting. It’s also best to start small to see your reaction. Ingesting it this way can also cause digestive issues in some. If you are sensitive to it you can try to take it as an infused oil or tea from fresh or dried herbs. If you are trying to combat something like e. coli you can alternately try something like grape fruit seed extract which isn’t quite as potent.
Good heavens, thank you very much for posting this! It is going to aid me when I research Oregano online! Very Crazy!
I had a babysitter that gave my son oregano tea in his bottle when he was a very small toddler. I never figured out the science, but it seemed to work… Antiimflammatory properties?
is it safe to take oil of oregano while taking prednisone and itraconazole tablets for lungs disorder…
That is a question you should probably bring up with you doctor!
What’s the health benefits of smoking the drie leaves I heard it helps degenerated bulging disk!