12 of The Best Ways to Use Oregano
Oregano is a wonderful, aromatic herb that is native to the Mediterranean. It is thought to have originated in the mountainous regions of Greece, Turkey and Italy. It was named by the Ancient Greeks “Mountain Joy.” Oregano is one of the most powerful healing herbs and natural anti-biotics ever studied. Discover 12 ways to use oregano to improve your health in this article.
Oregano has a warming and aromatic flavor to it. It can be very hot and bitter at times when it is picked fresh. The bite usually wanes as it is dried. Oregano became a staple of Italian-American foods. American soldiers who were stationed in Europe during World War II brought oregano back as the “pizza herb.” It was soon used in more popularity in pastas, grilled/roasted veggies, meat & fish. It is also popularly used in meat marinates and salad dressings.
Powerful Anti-Biotic Properties
Oregano Oil is an extraordinarily powerful natural anti-biotic. Oregano has been found in studies to be significantly better than all of the 18 currently used anti-biotics in the treatment of MRSA staph infections and challenging microbial biofilms(1). The strong phenol anti-oxidants destroy pathogenic bacteria, viruses and yeasts (2, 3, 4).
Many people will use fresh and dried oregano as well as oregano essential oil to overcome conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and Candida. I personally grow oregano and eat fresh oregano almost everyday and also use oregano (dried) on my foods.
Incredible Anti-Oxidant Capacity
This super herb is very rich in anti-oxidant phytochemical flavonoids and phenolic acids. It is the third highest herb in oxygen radical absorbancy capacity (ORAC) with an impressive score of 175,295 (5). Oregano is one of the world’s greatest sources of the powerful phenol component thymol. Thymol is great for improving digestive function as well as destroying harmful microbes.
The USDA ranks oregano’s antioxidant capacity anywhere from 3 to 20 times higher than any other herb. Oregano has four times the antioxidant power of blueberries, 12 times that of oranges and 42 times greater than apples (6). That is another great reason to use oregano daily!
Oregano is an Anti-Microbial:
Oregano oil has been classically used as a disinfectant, an aid for ear, nose, & throat/respiratory infections, candida, and any sort of bacterial or viral conditions. Additionally, it works to suppress inflammatory mediators and cancer cell production (7, 8). Oregano oil is more potent than the dried herb; however, the dried version still contains many powerful health benefits.
Studies have shown that carvacrol, a phenol anti-oxidant within oregano has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity when applied to food or taken in supplement form (9). Oregano also contains rosmarinic acid which has very strong cancer fighting properties (10). I recommend my clients with dysbiosis or chronic disease use oregano on a daily basis.
Fermented Forms of Oregano
Fermentation is an ancient process used to break down food into more absorbable components.
Here Are Some Key Benefits of Fermentation:
- Fermentation pre-digests nutrients and beneficial compounds into more accessible and bioavailable forms.
- In some instances, fermentation can actually make certain foods more edible and more digestible, such as roots, leaves, nuts, tubers, seeds and grains.
- Fermentation can increase the presence of probiotics in the food.
- Fermented oregano is more powerful than dried or fresh forms of this herb.
Oregano Essential Oil
Essential oils are often referred to as the “life blood” of plants and trees. They are the concentrated oils of herbs, plants and trees.
For example, it takes approximately 3,000 lemons to make one kilo of lemon essential oil, while one 15mL bottom of lemon essential oil takes about 75 lemons! To go deeper, there are nearly 300 drops in a 15mL bottle, so 1 drop of lemon essential oil is made by using ¼ of a whole lemon!
Likewise, 150 pounds of lavender is necessary for just one pound of pure lavender essential oil, while one 15mL bottle of lavender oil requires 27 square feet of lavender plants. With approximately 300 drops of lavender oil in a 15mL bottle, one drop equals nearly .09 square feet of lavender plants.
The Bottom Line: There’s a whole lot of beneficial plant life in essential oils. Oregano essential oil is the most powerful form of the oregano plant!
Organic Forms of Oregano are Best
It’s no secret that in conventionally grown foods and herbs, farmers often use a variety of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides synthetic fertilizers and many other “processing agents” which often remain in and on the food or herbs. Even washing these foods or herbs can’t get many of these off the produce.
Why? Because nearly 20 percent of the 17,000 (or more) pesticides in use today are known as systemic pesticides—those which reside inside the plant via its root system and have permeated the plant. That’s means they’re everywhere within the plants themselves and can’t be washed off.
To try to avoid these chemicals in and on our food, many people choose to go organic. That reason alone is enough to make going organic is all the rage these days.
But another important benefit of organic food and herbs is that, because they’re grown organically, these plants are often able to produce their own natural defenses against pests.
As a result, these plants can have some of the very compounds and natural defenses that we can and often should include in our diet.
Best Ways to Use Oregano and Oregano Oil:
I am a HUGE FAN of oregano and use it all the time. I personally love the smell of the fresh or dried herb and use it very generously in the following ways.
1) Put 1-3 small drops of oregano essential oil in water – this will help prevent or be a great therapy for sore throats and respiratory infections
2) For Ear Infections, place 1-3 small drops oregano essential oil in hand or cloth and rub around the outer region of a children’s ear.
3) Use oregano on salads, steamed or sauteed vegetables and meat dishes.
4) Use 1/4 cup of fresh oregano leaves in a vegetable juice
5) Put dried or fresh oregano in soups, stews and bone broths
6) Put fresh or dried oregano on grilled or BBQ meat. When animal protein is cooked at high temperatures it creates highly reactive free radicals. The oregano will help to buffer the effects of these free radicals and improve the flavor of the meat.
7) Oil pull with 1-2 drops of oregano essential oil and a half teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish for 10-15 minutes and then spit in trash can. This reduces microbial load in your oral cavity and improves immune health. For more on the benefits of oil pulling read this article.
8) Make household cleaning agents using a few drops of oregano essential oil with water, white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide
9) Put a drop of oregano oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and place on cuts, burns and wounds (it will burn) to disinfect the area
10) To eliminate acne and warts – Dip a Q-tip in oregano oil and put on acne or warts – 2-4x daily. This will kill off bacteria and reduce inflammation in the infected area and allow it heal more effectively.
11) Take 10 drops of oregano oil and combine with 2 tbsps of coconut oil and rub it into your hands as a natural hand sanitizer
12) Add a few drops to your laundry wash to sanitize your clothing naturally and to provide a nice fragrance for your clothes.
Remember that oregano essential oil is particularly strong so use it at the tolerance level you can comfortably enjoy!