The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Oregano

Scientific Names

Oregano

  • Origanum vulgare
  • Lamiaceae family

Common Names

  • Carvacrol
  • Dostenkraut
  • European Oregano
  • Huile d’Origan
  • Marjolaine Bâtarde
  • Marjolaine Sauvage
  • Marjolaine Vivace
  • Mediterranean Oregano
  • Mountain Mint
  • Oregano
  • Organy
  • Origan
  • Origan Européen
  • Origani Vulgaris Herba
  • Origano
  • Origanum
  • Phytoprogestin
  • Thé Sauvage
  • Thym des Bergers
  • Wild Marjoram
  • Winter Marjoram
  • Wintersweet

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Parts Usually Used

The leaves
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Oregano is an herb with purple flowers 3-4 mm in size. It’s a perennial plant that grows to about 20-80 cm in hight.

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Where Found

Oregano is originally from Western and Southwestern Eurasia as well as the Mediterranean. However, it grown worldwide as a culinary herb and is easily grown indoors, with adequate light.

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Medicinal Properties

Oregano contains carvacrol which has been the subject of various research studies into its antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial anti-cancer and antiviral properties.

According to HeartMD Institute: Research has shown that carvacrol really does have the ability to kill certain harmful bacteria. In one trial, oregano oil inhibited the growth of the Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains of pathogenic bacteria. The researchers said they looked forward to further testing of oregano essential oils “as alternative antibacterial remedies enhancing healing process in bacterial infections and as an effective means for the prevention of antibiotic-resistant strain development.”

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Biochemical Information

Oregano leaves contain antioxidant, protective compounds including triterpenes, phenols, oleanolic acid and rosmarinic acid. However, the most potent components of oregano oil are thymol and carvacrol.

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Legends, Myths and Stories

The word oregano is derived from Classical Greek ὀρίγανον (orī́ganon), from which the Spanish orégano, and Latin orīganum are derived. This is a compound Greek term that consists of ὄρος (óros) meaning “mountain”, and γάνος (gános) meaning “brightness”, thus, “brightness of the mountain”.

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Uses

Traditionally, oregano has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, asthma, croup, respiratory tract disorders, coughs, bronchitis, bloating, heartburn, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, heart conditions, headaches, respiratory tract disorders and urinary tract disorders. It is also used externally to treat acne, herpes simplex type 1 virus, athlete’s foot, oily skin, dandruff, warts, inflammatory bowel disease, ringworm, canker sores, rosacea, insect and spider bites, gum disease, psoriasis, toothaches, muscle pain, and varicose veins.

Oregano oil is ingested to treat allergies, intestinal parasites, arthritis, sinus pain, cold and flu, earaches, swine flu and fatigue.

Oregano oil is also used topically as an insect repellent.

Oregano is also very commonly used as a culinary spice in many different cuisines.

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Formulas or Dosages

As a treatment for nasal congestion or cold or cough, boil water and add the leaves of fresh oregano. Add other aromatic herbs, if desired, then drape a towel over the head to help hold the steam in, and breathe deeply for several minutes.

For sore muscles, headache or pain, combine oregano essential oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil, then apply to painful area or to temples or neck.

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How Sold

Fresh herb, dried herb, capsule, tea, essential oil.

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Nutrient Content

Oregano is rich in Vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

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Resource Links

Herbs That are More Effective in Treating Lyme Than Antibiotics

WedMD: Why Is Oregano Good for Me?

Wikipedia: Oregano

HeartMD Institute: Outstanding Oregano: Benefits and Uses

Antioxidant capacity variation in the oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) collection of the German National Genebank

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: [The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum L.) against clinical strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa].

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Inhibition of herpes simplex virus type 1 by thymol-related monoterpenoids.

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: The effect of carvacrol on enteric viruses.

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of a Combination of Thyme and Oregano Essential Oils on TNBS-Induced Colitis in Mice

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Carvacrol inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in human colon cancer cells.

ScienceDirect: Anti-proliferative effects of carvacrol on a human metastatic breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB 231

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