What is oregano? We often associate it with pizza, but oregano’s benefits go far beyond topping cheese. Oregano is an herb that flourishes in warm-temperate climates like western Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. It has an aromatic, warm and sometimes bitter taste, and its flavors can vary in intensity based on the conditions in which its cultivated. Oregano is prominent in Italian-America cuisine (it’s often called the “pizza herb”), but is also found in Greek, Spanish and Latin American dishes.
Oregano oil is composed of two key components, carvacrol and thymol, which provide many health benefits. The oil is known to strengthen the immune system, improve respiratory functions and digestive functions, increase joint movement and treat skin infections. Oregano could naturally help eliminate allergies and sinus problems. A few drops of oregano oil mixed with juice is a natural remedy for sinus congestion. According to an article by Amr Edris published in Wiley InterScience, essential oils like oregano oil can help protect the body against carcinogenesis and even boost the immune system.
Oregano oil can be purchased at most health or nutrition stores. For the greatest benefit, look for oil that has a carvacrol concentration of at least 70%.
Favorite brand of therapeutic use of oregano (always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially if you’re taking prescribed medications): Gaia Herbs Oil of Oregano
Stella’s Greek Spice Rub
Stella Metsovas shares her favorite Greek spice recipe!
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Combine all dried herbs together and use as a spice rub. I also like using fresh herbs combined with dried herbs for impeccable flavoring!
Culinary tradition: Greek