Many think of oregano as the most well-known Italian spice but it is so much more than that.
Even if you are not Italian, you can use oregano and gain the benefit of its flavor and its health benefits.
Oregano is an easy herb to grow in your garden but even if you do not grow it you can find it – both fresh and dried – in most grocery stores.
Oregano is a wonderful spice to add to pizza, tomato sauces, and even meat.
Facts about Oregano
Oregano is one of the most popular spices in the world. It is a Mediterranean herb that comes from the mint family.
Best of all, you can grow it yourself in a small pot on your kitchen windowsill but be aware it is a fast-growing herb that will quickly take over a small pot if it is not kept trimmed.
Oregano is a flowering herb, with small white or pink flowers on it that also easily grows in the garden.
I have a huge patch here in my United States Hardiness Zone 5 Indiana garden.
What you want to eat is the leaves, which are small and oval shaped.
Oregano leaves are mainly used in cooking in Mediterranean countries.
As with all herbs, fresh is better. Only nip off the leaves that you need for your recipes or medicinal purposes.
The taste is slightly bitter but tastes great especially when it is combined with other Mediterranean spices or tomato-based sauces in your recipes.
Health Benefits of Oregano
As you grow oregano in your herb garden or stir it in your spaghetti sauce, think about the health benefits that you are also gaining beyond the great flavor in your food.
Oregano is a very functional spice that can be used in a lot of ways to flavor all types of food groups.
Oregano does not contain cholesterol and it is a source of fiber.
Most people have problems getting the recommended daily dose of fiber anyway, so a little oregano can go a long way.
The digestive tract also benefits from eating oregano.
This herb gets things moving in your intestines and also increases secretions that break down foods and move them along towards elimination or absorption.
If you need more vitamins then eat oregano.
It contains antioxidants which the body needs to fight off the harmful effects of free radicals, the by-products of cellular metabolism.
Vitamin C is also found in this herb which helps to boost the immune system and fight inflammation.
Besides vitamin C, oregano also contains vitamin A, manganese, calcium, potassium, lutein, carotene, iron and magnesium.
These vitamins and minerals help regulate blood pressure, heart rate, cell function, enzyme activity and proper bone growth.
If you have any physical problems, oregano leaves can be used for that as well.
Have you ever heard of oils like limonene or thymol?
These and others are found in the leaves and flower stems of oregano plants.
They have antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Concentrated oregano essential oils are used to help relieve menstrual cramps, stomach pains, and fevers.
Buy an oregano plant today and bring health into your home.