The herb known as oregano is native to northern Europe, but it grows throughout many regions of the world. Oregano has long been prized for its aroma and its strong taste, and the ancient Greeks and Romans used the herb as a symbol of happiness and joy. Oregano was held in such high esteem that brides in Greek and Roman society were often crowned with laurels of oregano.
Oregano has been cultivated in France ever since the Middle Ages, and it has been an important part of Mediterranean cooking for nearly as long. Oregano was almost unknown in the United States until early in the 20th century, when soldiers returning from Italy brought this fragrant herb back with them to the U.S.
Major benefits of oregano
Oregano is an herb known to have many important benefits, but one of the most significant of these health benefits may lie in the antibacterial properties of the herb. The volatile oils contained in oregano include thymol and carvacrol. Both of these volatile oils have been shown to help reduce the growth of bacteria, including such common bacteria as pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococcus aureus.
In Mexico, researchers have found the effects of oregano to be comparable to those of tinidazol, a prescription drug commonly used to treat infections from the amoeba known as giardia lamblia. This research actually found oregano to be superior to tinidazol in fighting this common infection.
In addition to its power as an antimicrobial agent, oregano is a potent source of antioxidant vitamins. The antioxidant vitamins contained in oregano are thought to play an important role in fighting cancer, heart disease and other common ailments. There is a great deal of study underway into the anticancer potential of oregano, and this ability to fight cancer may prove to be one of the most valuable benefits of this popular herb.
Oregano is one of the most antioxidant dense foods available, and this superfood has been shown to have more 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more antioxidants than potatoes and 12 times greater antioxidant value than oranges.
It is generally better to choose fresh oregano instead of the dried varieties, since fresh oregano provides a more robust flavor. Leaves of fresh oregano should be a bright green color, and the stems of the plant should be firm to the touch. It is also important that the plant not contain any yellow or dark spots.
Fresh oregano is available in many supermarkets, but the freshest and most fragrant fresh oregano is often found at spice stores and natural grocers. For an even fresher source of oregano, why not grow it as part of an herb garden? Oregano is quite easy to grow indoors, and an herb garden can provide a ready source of fresh herbs at very low prices.
Fresh oregano is best kept refrigerated, and it is often helpful to wrap the fresh herb in a slightly damp paper towel. In addition, this fresh oregano can be frozen in airtight freezer containers. Fresh oregano can also be frozen using icecube trays. These icecube trays can be covered either with plain water or with fresh stock. These frozen oregano cubes can then be used to prepare soups and stews. Once dried, oregano can be kept in a tightly sealed container and stored in a dry, dark and cool location. Kept this way, dried oregano will last for up to six months.
Originally posted 2019-10-13 12:10:15.