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Health benefits of Oregano

Oregano contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.The herb parts contain no cholesterol; however, are rich source of dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol levels.

Oregano contains health benefiting essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. The leaves and flowering stem of the plant are strongly anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, cholagogue (help gall bladder secretion), diaphoretic (sweat production), expectorant, stimulant, and mildly tonic properties. Its decoction is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets, and painful menstruation conditions.

Thymol is also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activities.The herb is rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants (vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin) and has been rated as one of the plant sources with highest anti-oxidant activities. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

The active principles in the herb may improve the gut motility in addition to increase the digestion power by facilitating copious gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.

This marvelous herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by high sodium. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent anemia. Magnesium and calcium are important minerals for bone metabolism.

In addition, fresh herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin-C. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

Oregano is a proven super “functional food.” This herb is one of the foundation bases of healthy Mediterranean diet in addition to olive oil, fish and lots of greens, herbs and vegetables.

It has an excellent nutritional profile; just 100 g of oregano herb provides:

Dietary fiber- 107% (Percent of RDA) (RDA- Recommended daily allowance).
Folates- 69%
Pyridoxine- 93%
Vitamin-C- 83%
Vitamin-A-230%
Vitamin-K- 518%
Iron- 550%
Manganese-203%
Carotene-ß- 4112 µg

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