Oregano (oregano) from ancient times and in the Middle Ages enjoyed well-deserved respect as a plant with great healing power. In ancient herbal books, it was recommended for both indoor and outdoor use. In folk medicine from Australia to Egypt, oregano has gained popularity as an effective cure for many health problems, but deep scientific research to support all of these views is still waiting in the wings.
The composition of oregano contains: essential oils, tannins, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolic acids, as well as vitamins A, K, E, C and group B. Thymol contained in essential oils has analgesic and antiseptic properties, carvacrol - anti-inflammatory and antioxidant , sesquiterpenes - antihelminthic. This plant has a tonic, stimulating, diuretic, expectorant, bactericidal, diaphoretic, sedative, disinfectant and immunomodulatory effect.
Collecting raw oregano
The collection of raw materials is carried out from the second year of life at the peak of flowering and full disclosure of flower buds (June-August). If harvested later, the content of the essential oil will be less, which means that the quality of the herb will be worse.
When collecting, the tops of the shoots are cut off at a height of 15-30 cm from the ground, depending on the growth of the variety. Leaves and inflorescences are most prized, but not stems. First, the branches are tied in small bunches. They are hung or laid out under a canopy and dried. When drying, the air temperature should not be higher than + 40 ° C, so that essential oils do not evaporate from the plant and its benefits are preserved. After drying, the leaves and flowers are cut off, and the stems are removed. Drying is considered complete if the stems break when bent. The smell of dry oregano is aromatic, the taste is bitter-spicy, slightly astringent, tart.
Summer pruning is not carried out for harvesting seeds. In September, the boxes are cut and dried. Then they are rubbed through a sieve.
Medicinal properties of oregano
For centuries, herbalists have used oregano to preserve women's health, as this herb has a powerful stimulating and tonic effect on the smooth muscles of the uterus. An infusion or regular tea made from oregano perfectly restores the menstrual cycle and helps to reduce menstrual pain. (ATTENTION! Oregano is strictly contraindicated in pregnant women.) And in lactating women, it increases lactation. Oregano is also indicated during menopause, as it has a calming effect during hot flashes and depressed mental states. Taking oregano for medicinal purposes helps to slow down the early menopause and prolong the active work of the ovaries.
In folk medicine, a decoction of the herb oregano removed the hangover syndrome and treated alcoholism.
The plant has a calming and mild hypnotic effect on children.
Oregano also has a very positive effect on the digestive system: it increases tone, enhances peristalsis and intestinal secretory function, increases appetite, and improves digestion.
Oregano essential oil promotes liver cell regeneration.
Oregano is also used externally in the form of compresses, and is also included in the composition of alcoholic tinctures and cosmetic oils, which are used for seborrheic eczema, dermatitis, herpes, various itching and mild burns.
It has been proven by scientific research that oregano oil can destroy almost all fungal and yeast infections known to medicine, as well as successfully fight viruses, parasites and bacteria.
Modern medicine and dietetics highly recommend adding this spice to food. Oregano can substitute for unhealthy sauces, add flavor, and help reduce the amount of salt you need to add to your food.In addition, oregano speeds up the process of food digestion and absorption, and also prevents the deposition of fat.
Oregano in cosmetology
In modern cosmetology, the ability of oregano to enhance lipolysis in fat cells is used, as a result of which fat is broken down and cellulite is eliminated. Using a mixture of vegetable and essential oils of oregano, massage the problem areas. In the cosmetics industry, oregano is added to soaps, creams, masks and scrubs. Oregano is also included in perfume compositions.
Cosmetics made from oregano can be easily prepared on your own at home. Oregano decoction, mixed with egg white, applied to the skin for 30 minutes, perfectly tightens pores, removes oily shine and gives the skin a fresh look. Alcohol tincture of oregano perfectly disinfects and soothes irritated skin. But rinsing your hair with a decoction of oregano will make them stronger, relieve dandruff and add silkiness. The essential oil of oregano added to hair conditioner will give your hair a healthy shine and delicate scent. Put a few drops of the same oil in your shower gel, and you will clear the skin of acne, irritation and enlarged pores, and, in addition, you will become noticeably less sweating.
In the dyeing business, oregano is used to dye natural wool in different colors, depending on the mordant, it is dyed orange with flowers.
The plant is readily eaten by goats, and in the wild by roe deer and their young.
There is one more very useful property of oregano - its twigs perfectly scare away moths.
Read also articles:
- Growing oregano
- Propagation of oregano
- Popular varieties of oregano
- Cooking uses of oregano