How To use Oregano and how it is used, Everything you wanted to know explained
Close your eyes and think of what is oregano spice, we bet you can perceive its characteristic aroma and its almost sweet herbal taste.
Oregano is one of the most widely used herbs on earth, yet, it’s often misunderstood. Oregano is handy in the kitchen, but it’s also beneficial for your health.
Fresh, dried, and ground oregano leaves, oregano tea or essential oil; oregano is all around us, so here’s all you need to know about it — Oregano thoroughly explained.
What is Oregano?
Oregano is a perennial herb grown everywhere throughout Europe and Asia. Its name has Latin origins and might mean ‘bright mountain herb.’
Although related to another famous herb, marjoram, oregano is quite distinct. Being an ancient herb, it comes as no surprise that there are several unique cultivars, including the Greek and the Mexican varieties.
Oregano is not only tasty, it’s quite nutritious. Its intake is linked with several health benefits, mainly for the active compounds, thymol and carvacrol found in the leaves’ oil.
What is the use of oregano in kitchens around the world? and how about in the realm of medicine? The answers are undoubtedly interesting, so let’s take a peek into the uses of oregano.
Uses Of Fresh Oregano
Cooking with this spice depends on what country you are in and who you ask. Oregano is one of the few universal spices that has found a place from South American cuisines to Far-Eastern Asia. It has a dozen uses and plays a part in many food dishes from pozole to pizza.
Fresh oregano is more aromatic and can overpower for the inexperienced; it’s lesser common as well. Dried oregano leaves and ground oregano are far more common since they’re shelf-stable and easy to commercialize. The peppery and slightly pungent flavor in fresh oregano leaves is hard to miss. The good news is that, since the leaves are more tender than, say, rosemary, you can chew and digest them with ease. This means that they can flavor stews and broths, slow-cooked meat and soups, but can also play a part in salads.
Ground Oregano Vs Dried Oregano
Fresh oregano leaves are considered the highest quality since the aromatic oils are intact. Dried leaves are fragrant as well and can be subtler taste.
Ground, or powdered oregano, on the other hand, is the least advisable for several reasons. The finer you ground the leaves, the more exposure each particle has with oxygen, which changes the leaves’ composition, potentially losing the herb’s aromatic compounds.
Unless you ground the oregano yourself for immediate use to guarantee its freshness, you’re better off using whole-dried or fresh leaves.
Being such a multi-cultural herb, some cultures will, nevertheless, prefer one presentation of oregano over the others for no particular reason rather than tradition.
Nutritional Value Of Oregano
Oregano is a nutrient-rich herb. These are some of its most significant additions to your daily needed intake of vitamins and minerals based on 100 grams of dried oregano.
- Iron 204%
- Calcium 123%
- Potassium 27%
- Copper 70%
- Vitamin A 34%
- Riboflavin (V B12) 41%
- Vitamin B6% 80%
- Vitamin E 81%
- Vitamin K 518%
- Dietary Fiber 154%
Although the data is impressive, we consume far less than 100 grams of oregano a day. Still, adding the herb to your diet can complement your nutritional needs.
Nutritional Benefits Of Oregano
Oregano has noticeable amounts of antioxidants, particularly carvacrol and thymol, that can help you fight dangerous free radicals in your bloodstream.
Active compounds in oregano have proven to have anti-bacterial properties in test-tube studies, a trait shared with other aromatic herbs such as thyme and sage.
Carvacrol and thymol have shown to be effective against cancer cells, slowing their development, although promising, the results have tested positive only in test-tube trials.
Carvacrol has been tested against viral infections with success, too, including the viruses that cause digestive infections.
What’s The Benefit Of Oregano Oil & What Is Oregano Tea?
Oregano oil is extracted from oregano leaves by steam distillation. The oil can be ingested or applied topically and is a potent source that can amplify oregano’s health benefits detailed above.
Oregano tea is a much milder approach to make the most of the herb’s health benefits. People around the world use the herb to reduce throat inflammation and digestive discomforts.
Talk to your physician before consuming oregano oil or drinking oregano tea. But do cook with oregano leaves with confidence.
Find joy in Oregano
Oregano is one of the tastiest herbs on the planet, and a little goes a long way. From Mexican maize soup to pizza to vinaigrettes to grilled veggies, there are few better ways of adding layers of flavor to your meals. Check out the best type of oregano by flavour.
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