Oregano belongs to the lamiaceae family along with many other popular plants such as mint, marjoram, lavender, sage, and catnip for our purring friends. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) and Oregano (Origanum vulgare) have similar botanical names but are quite different oils so it is always worth double checking the botanical name on the label.
Oregano has a long history of promoting health and making food taste delicious. Today, Oregano essential oil represents the pharmacological and therapeutic potential of plants. Researchers are interested in many medical plants due to the increase of:
- treatment resistant bugs,
- unhealthy farming practises and
- changing needs in food preservation.
Oregano essential oil has been extensively studied and may be used in these industries as an alternative to antibiotics and other antimicrobials. The powerful benefits are due to the chemical composition of the essential oil. The prized compounds are thymol and cavacrol. Thyme essential oil is also rich in thymol and cavacrol. Research suggests that thymol has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cavacrol is a type of phenol that shows high levels of antimicrobial and antioxidant actions. There is also promising research into these compounds and their contribution to cancer treatments.