Oregano is one of the most used spices in gastronomy throughout the planet. Now, did you know that it is also possible to consume it as an infusion and thus benefit from its health properties?
Properties and benefits of oregano infusion
According to data, oregano contains vitamins and minerals although, due to its regular intake as a condiment, its contribution to the diet would be minimal. However, the presence of thymol and carvacrol deserves a special mention due to its famous antimicrobial effect.
The infusion of oregano can be an excellent way to maximize the contributions of the plant and take advantage of its properties. Let’s see them.
Relieves symptoms of sore throat
This spice has been used for many years to treat all kinds of respiratory conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects. Although there are no specific studies on the intake of oregano, the application of its essential oil helps to improve congestion, cough and asthma.
In fact, due to its antimicrobial properties, drinking an infusion of oregano can help you fight sore throats and colds. So now you know, always have oregano on hand in your pantry!
Among its compounds, oregano has flavonoids and phenolic acids, two substances that have exhibited antioxidant action in different investigations. Remember that antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals, protecting the body from different degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disorders and even cancer.
Promotes good digestion
Another of its historical uses is as a tonic to improve digestion, especially in case of binge eating. In addition, oregano infusion would combat various gastrointestinal disorders, such as stomach pains and spasms, or diarrhea thanks to its thymol content.
Various studies have indicated that the beta-caryophyllin compound in oregano has an anti-inflammatory effect that would relieve the bothersome symptoms of osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.
On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory action of carvacrol would make oregano infusion an excellent idea for relieving symptoms of menstrual and muscle pain, earaches, toothaches, and headaches.
We have already mentioned it in a previous point: oregano has antimicrobial activity thanks to its carvacrol content, thus being a good ally to treat different infections caused by microbes, such as those caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Research noted that oregano tea could fight up to 23 different kinds of bacteria.
Some experts have suggested that the intake of oregano infusion could be interesting to relieve various disorders of the urinary tract, such as infections, since it would help eliminate the cause of them.
It would fight cancer
Although the data is not conclusive, some studies have suggested that oregano extract may help prevent the growth and reproduction of cancer cells, such as colon cancer. More research on this would be necessary.
An article concluded that both the thymol and carvacrol present in oregano tea act against the herpes virus.
The oregano plant
Origanum vulgare, more popularly known as oregano, belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is a plant from the Mediterranean region, although it can be found throughout Europe and Asia.
This perennial herbaceous plant is bushy in shape and requires plenty of sun to grow. Usually its size is around 40-45 cm in height, although it can reach 80cm.
A curiosity? Unlike most plants, its stem is square instead of round and is covered in white fuzz. From each node are born oval-shaped leaves that end in a point and are grouped two by two. It will be these fresh and dried leaves that are used in pizzas, sauces, salads and all kinds of dishes. On the other hand, the flowers appear in summer. They are very small and pinkish violet in color and give rise to a tetraquenium fruit.
It is interesting to note that, like the tea plant Camellia sinensis, soil and weather conditions vary the composition and flavor of oregano.
How to prepare oregano infusion
If you want to prepare oregano infusion, we recommend you go to your trusted herbalist to buy oregano in bulk of the best possible quality. Of course, you can also find this spice in any supermarket.
Preparing this infusion has no major secrets. You just have to boil water and infuse 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried oregano for every pint. Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes before straining and serving.
Take advantage of this classic spice for much more than flavoring your meals. Benefit from its health properties with an infusion of herbal flavor that you can combine with honey, lemon or flowers.