In the summer of 2014 I went on a trip with my mom and brother to El Salvador to visit family there. While we were there we walked a lot and consequently my mom’s feet got swollen and ached for some reason. So then some locals told my mom to boil oregano and wash her feet with the warm oregano. After washing her feet, it immediately had an effect and the swelling decreased. I thought this was fascinating how this herb can be used for other purposes other than cooking.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is also a medicinal herb that has antioxidants and antibacterial properties. It is a rich source of fiber, iron, manganese, calcium, and vitamin K. Vitamin K promotes bone growth, maintenance of bone density, and the production of blood clotting proteins. The herb can be used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorder, menstrual cramps, urinary tract disorders, colds and headaches. Oregano can also be applied topically to help treat different types of skin conditions like acne, dandruff, or muscle pain. A study led by scientists at Bonn University in Germany and the ETH Zurich in Switzerland identified an active ingredient in oregano called beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) that can possibly be used against disorders like osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. There have also been lab tests on oregano and rosemary showing that they could work to decreases diabetes. In a study published in ACS’ Journalof Agricultural and Food Chemistry, tested four different herbs, either greenhouse grown or dried commercial versions. They tested their ability to interfere with a diabetes-related enzyme like the prescription drug used to treat diabetes. The results showed that the commercial versions of Greek oregano, Mexican oregano and rosemary were better inhibitors of the enzyme than the green house grown herbs. The enzymes they inhibit are required to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Some side effects of eating oregano are that in some people it can cause an upset stomach. There is still further research necessary to confirm the effects oregano has and the role some of its components play. What do you think, should there be more studies on natural medicine or remedies like how oregano is used?
-Posted by Jazmin Granadeno (Group B)