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Whilst widely known as one of the most common aromatic herbs for cooking, oregano (Origanum vulgare) offers much more. Popular since ancient times for its medicinal properties and intense aroma, oregano has been used for centuries in an area that goes from the Mediterranean to China as a real, natural medicine, which people relied upon to stay healthy and keep diseases away. The most important element that determines antibiotic quality pressure is a phenol, i.e. “carvacrol”, a powerful natural antibiotic particularly suitable to protect the respiratory tract. But oregano presents other recognised health benefits, as it features powerful antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (it is the most powerful natural antiseptic known to date extracted from plants) and antispasmodic properties.
Its effects, however, do not arise exclusively from traditional medicine, but boast a very interesting scientific literature. According to a recent study by Georgetown University researchers, for example, the oil extracted from its leaves has an antibacterial value akin to that of synthetic antibiotics; moreover, it also possesses antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a “complete” remedy with enormous and growing potential in the nutraceutical world. It is an excellent antibacterial with a broad natural spectrum, and its potency has been scientifically demonstrated in scientific literature, being capable of eliminating drug-resistant bacteria. It proves extremely effective against parasites and viruses, where it has been found to affect over 30 microorganisms responsible for the flu, colds, urinary infections, digestive problems, respiratory infections, inflammation and skin sores. It delivers a strong decongestant and expectorant action when dealing with colds, where it becomes an effective cough suppressant and thinner for phlegm. Thanks to its antimicrobial and antifungal compounds, this natural product is an effective solution against fungal infections in feet, nails and private parts. The oregano oil promotes digestion, stimulating salivary secretions and gastric juices, and can be used as an aperitif. It stimulates the flow of bile, improving the digestion of fats and, consequently, preventing constipation. For this reason, it is thought to have a mild laxative effect that helps remove waste from the colon without affecting the activity of his healthy bacteria, plus eliminates abdominal swelling in the event of bloating.