About the author
Sources
Sources

[1] Lu M, Dai T, Murray CK, Wu MX. Bactericidal property of oregano oil against multidrug-resistant clinical isolates. Frontiers in microbiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6182053/. Published October 5, 2018. [Source]

[2] Rúa J;Fernández-Álvarez L;de Castro C;Del Valle P;de Arriaga D;García-Armesto MR; J. Antibacterial activity against Foodborne Staphylococcus aureus and antioxidant capacity of various pure phenolic compounds. Foodborne pathogens and disease. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21034269/. Published 2011. [Source]

[3] Veenstra JP, Johnson JJ. Oregano (origanum vulgare) extract for food preservation and improvement in gastrointestinal health. International journal of nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6508890/. Published 2019. [Source]

[4] Han F, Ma G-Q, Yang M, et al. Chemical composition and antioxidant activities of essential oils from different parts of the oregano. Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5260481/. Published 2017. [Source]

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What Does Oregano Do for the Body?

Oregano is a prominent member of the mint family, and a staple herb in dishes worldwide. However, oregano may be much more than a flavoursome addition to your favourite recipes, thanks to a wealth of wellness potential. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about the herb's impact on well-being.

What is oregano?

Many of us know oregano as a simple yet pleasant-tasting herb found in kitchen cupboards worldwide. However, the herb is much more than a common garnish in Spanish, Italian, and French cuisine. It could, in fact, support various wellness needs thanks to its diverse selection of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and terpenes.

However, before we dive into the potential health benefits of oregano, let's cover some of the plant's formal details, including what it looks like, where it grows, and the different cultivars available.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a perennial plant from the mint family that grows natively across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Once prepared, it may look like nothing more than olive-green flakes, but in the wild, it produces vibrant purple flowers. Moreover, some oregano species are grown solely to bring colour and vibrancy to outdoor gardens.

The plant even has a deep-rooted history in Greek and Roman culture, with both associating oregano with joy and happiness. And once we uncover some of the proposed wellness benefits, you may think the same.

Where does oregano come from?

We mentioned that oregano grows natively throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but this wasn't always the case. The plant originated in the Mediterranean, favouring ample sunshine and warmer temperatures. That's not to say it can't thrive in colder climates, but you'll want to harvest plants before winter arrives.

Oregano also goes by another name—wild or sweet marjoram. However, this is a frequent source of confusion, as marjoram is the name of separate herb species. Marjoram is much sweeter than oregano and doesn't contain the same blend of terpenes. So while it shares links to the mint family, they are, in fact, different plants. Just remember, if you're buying oregano in stores, look for either the formal name (oregano) or sweet marjoram.

What are the benefits of oregano?

Oregano owes its proposed impact on human health to the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and terpenes that make up its chemical structure. Below is a highlight of the scientific literature to support its broad influence.

Antibacterial

First up, we have some promising antibacterial action courtesy of two studies. A 2018 paper examined the bactericidal properties of oregano oil against several wound-associated infections.[1] After three consecutive days of application, the researchers noted a link between oregano oil and reduced bacterial load.

This evidence appears to go hand in hand with a similar study published several years earlier in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.[2] Two of the main components found in oregano (carvacrol and thymol) showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, a particularly nasty bacteria.

Anti-inflammatory

Oregano features a sophisticated blend of natural compounds that interact with various biological functions inside the human body. A 2019 review noted that these elements might help suppress inflammation inside the GI tract of mice, thanks to the results of a controlled study using 0.2% thyme oil and 0.1% oregano oil.[3]

Antioxidant

A collaborative study by researchers in China sought to characterise the antioxidant impact of the various essential oils inside oregano.[4] Their evidence points toward a promising link between the consumption of O. vulgare L. and reduced free radical damage in the body. They noted carvacrol and thymol, in particular, to be the most influential.

Oregano side effects

Using oregano to influence well-being typically occurs via two methods: oral consumption and topical application. Encouragingly, the former appears to lack any notable side effects as you typically consume oregano alongside other foods, keeping doses low.

However, we should point out that evidence to support oregano's safety profile is ongoing. As such, you should exercise sound judgement, and if you do experience any adverse side effects (stomach ache, nausea, fatigue), then cease use immediately.

As for topical application, again, the evidence to support oregano's low toxicity is ongoing. It's recommended to apply a small amount of essential oil to a non-sensitive area of skin first. Provided there are no adverse reactions, you can start using the product as instructed.

Key takeaways

It appears that oregano could have far-reaching implications for overall well-being, proving itself as more than a mere garnish. From its possible influence on bacterial activity to its sophisticated blend of phytochemicals, there's much more than first meets the eye with this perennial herb.

As always, the key with oregano, or any beneficial plant or food, is a balanced approach. You don't need to worry about seasoning every dish, but if there are a few that could benefit from its pleasant, musty flavour, then it's a welcome addition.

There's no doubt that its abundance of vitamin K and other key minerals and terpenes can enhance your goal to lead a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. And if you aren't a fan of the flavour, the good news is you'll find the main components from oregano infused in popular supplements, such as our very own CBD Immune Booster formula.

To experience the vast influence of natural substances, browse the Cibdol store for a complete range of high-quality supplements. Or, to learn more about essential oils and phytochemicals, visit our comprehensive CBD Encyclopedia.

Author
Luke Sholl

Title/author.

Luke Sholl
With over a decade of experience writing about CBD and cannabinoids, Luke is an established journalist working as the lead writer for Cibdol and other cannabinoid publications. Committed to presenting factual, evidence-based content, his fascination with CBD also extends to fitness, nutrition, and disease prevention.
Luke Sholl

Title/author.

Luke Sholl
With over a decade of experience writing about CBD and cannabinoids, Luke is an established journalist working as the lead writer for Cibdol and other cannabinoid publications. Committed to presenting factual, evidence-based content, his fascination with CBD also extends to fitness, nutrition, and disease prevention.
Sources

[1] Lu M, Dai T, Murray CK, Wu MX. Bactericidal property of oregano oil against multidrug-resistant clinical isolates. Frontiers in microbiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6182053/. Published October 5, 2018. [Source]

[2] Rúa J;Fernández-Álvarez L;de Castro C;Del Valle P;de Arriaga D;García-Armesto MR; J. Antibacterial activity against Foodborne Staphylococcus aureus and antioxidant capacity of various pure phenolic compounds. Foodborne pathogens and disease. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21034269/. Published 2011. [Source]

[3] Veenstra JP, Johnson JJ. Oregano (origanum vulgare) extract for food preservation and improvement in gastrointestinal health. International journal of nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6508890/. Published 2019. [Source]

[4] Han F, Ma G-Q, Yang M, et al. Chemical composition and antioxidant activities of essential oils from different parts of the oregano. Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5260481/. Published 2017. [Source]

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