Oregano oil is a product made from the oregano plant, also known as wild marjoram. Oregano oil is known to have various health-promoting properties. Scientific research has shown that oregano has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes oregano oil an effective health-supporting supplement. There are also indications that the oil – which is available in the form of capsules and soft gels – helps against complaints such as muscle pain, sore throat, headache, heart weakness and fatigue.
Oregano is a well-known kitchen herb. Many people know this plant from the lip-flowers family especially as a seasoning for Italian dishes such as pastas, pizzas and salads, but also in, for example, Spanish and Mexican cuisine is used. In most cases, it is then used in dried form. Other names for the plant are wild marjoram and eelweed. The herb is quite fragrant and the taste can be described as a mix of spicy and slightly sweet. The longer you heat the oregano in a dish, the more flavorful it becomes. Oregano is therefore often added to the preparation process early on. Often it is combined with, among other things, thyme, rosemary and sage. The leaves can also be added to a dish raw.
What is oregano oil used for?
Where many people know the herb oregano or wild marjoram as a tasty ingredient for various dishes, there is also another reason for the popularity of the plant. Oregano is very healthy and a supplement based on oregano can be used on a daily basis to promote health.
There are indications that the ancient Greeks used oregano as a medicinal plant. It is not for nothing that the name oregano comes from the Greek words oros and ganos, which mean as much as ‘mountain’ and ‘joy’. Hippocrates described the plant as an anti-septic agent in one of his works. Meanwhile, much scientific research has been done into the health-promoting properties of the herb.
Scientists from the Swiss Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences experienced a breakthrough in research into the health-promoting effects of oregano in 2008 when they investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of different plants. They discovered that especially the substance beta-caryophyllene has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-caryophyllene is highly present in oregano (Gertsch, J. et al, 2008).
Oregano also contains an organic compound called carvacrol; a derivative of phenol and p-cymene. The substance – which is also used in fragrances and flavors – has a strong effect against micro-organisms. It is therefore also used as an anti-septic agent. Research at Utrecht University has shown that carvacrol can protect against E. coli and Salmonella bacteria (Burt, SA et al, 2003).
How do you use oregano oil?
Oregano oil is sold as a supplement in 2018. It is a product that can be taken safely and that is known to support health, including in the fight against harmful bacteria and substances that can cause inflammation and to which we are exposed on a daily basis. Oregano oil is seen as very safe, although there are people who can get stomach pains. Oregano oil is widely sold in capsule form, where a large amount of dried oregano is compressed in one capsule or softgel. The intake of such a supplement is much more effective than the regular addition of oregano to dishes because it allows you to take a large dose in one go.