Oregano, locally known as ajwain, is a spice that’s often found in our homes. Somewhere in the spice cabinet, it lies in the corner reserved for special dishes like achar gosht, hyderabadi baingan and the likes. However, there are many other uses of this herb that we at times tend to forget.
Belonging to the mint family, not only does oregano provide taste to the curries, it is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-bacterial properties.
Oregano is a major source of Vitamin K, which is an essential vitamin for bone growth and blood clotting.
Oregano prevents skin infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Oregano also lowers the duration of flu and decreases cough, headache, sore throat, etc. For flu treatment, mix two drops of oregano oil in warm water and drink it once a day for four to five days. A team of British and Indian researchers reported that oregano essential oil can even kill MRSA, which is a fatal hospital bacteria type.
Professor Vyv Salisbury, who was part of the research, said
“We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”
Oregano is used for treating internal and external fungal diseases. There is a fungal disease called ‘candida’ which is very common and resistant to a lot of drugs. However, oregano is a natural killer of this fungus. Oregano oil can be applied on nail and skin, mixed with coconut oil for fungus infections.
Oregano can surpass drugs in being an anti-inflammatory agent and a pain killer. Oregano oil can penetrate the skin and can reach the joints of our bones. Sore muscles, sports injury, arthritis, all these problems can be dealt with by topically applying and rubbing oregano oil.
Heart burning is common symptom of GI disorders. Oregano can provide a quick relief for this. Take half teaspoon of oregano and add it to one tablespoon of green-tea leaves and boil the water. Drink it two times a day to cure heart burn or bloating. Oregano tea can also be taken alone or with fennel seeds to make your own after dinner tea.
Essential oregano oil is helpful in treating insect bites. It comes in handy if you go outdoors for a picnic in tropical areas. Massage it all over skin to avoid insect bites. And even if one does get an insect bite, the oil neutralizes the venom from the insect.