Oregano: Who’s this?
Surely you’ll say that you know him already — Oregano needs no introduction, since this Phyto Superhero’s identity isn’t new at all. But while crying out for his help, don’t confuse him with his twin brother, who owns minor powers. When you walk through a supermarket’s aisle and you find him, be careful to distinguish one from the other. By the same botanical name of Oregano you could meet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) instead of the Oregano par excellence (Origanum vulgare), who is richer in carvacrol and therefore has a more effective power, and whose essential oil is found in our pet foods.
Oregano is the champion of the intestine: he has antiseptic and anti-fermentative activity, and also has antiparasitic properties against endoparasites. The core of his strength is carvacrol, an active substance with an antibiotic action. The MIC index (Minimal Inhibitory Concentration) – that you could consider in this case as the least superpowers required to drive the enemy away – showed that he has a very high antibiotic effect, even higher than powerful classes of drugs such as quinolones or colistin.
Oregano runs to your aid in cases of profuse diarrhea and neonatal diarrhea, by reducing the pathogenic bacterial flora that develops within the intestine due to intestinal dysbiosis, which can also be a consequence of a wrong diet.
It acts as an antispasmodic in cases of vomiting and has a digestive function, that has always characterized the preparation of the Mediterranean diet, together with another aromatic herb, garlic.
Now, when you look into your vegetable soup, you will recognize him as the hero he is.
Oregano’s feats are surrounded by an air of legend and are almost mythical. As a matter of fact, Saint Hildegard warned that a person who ate – or even touched – Oregano would contract leprosy.
This reasoning is based on the homeopathic concept that similia similibus curantur: if a substance that causes a symptom is properly diluted, it can cure that same symptom.
According to Aristotle, every time a turtle, due to great hunger, ate a snake, it had to eat Oregano immediately afterward, in order not to die. In the past Oregano was used to treat depression, so his popular name has become “Herb of good mood”.