What is Oregano Leaves:
Oregano is a aromatic perennial herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to the hills of the Mediterranean countries and western Asia. The herb has naturalized in parts of Mexico and the United States. Oregano has long been an essential ingredient of Mediterranean cooking, and it's widely used to season many foods. Culinary varieties, such as Greek or Italian oregano, have a strong aroma and warm pungent taste. Ornamental cultivars are typically more bland in flavour and not suitable for cooking.

Oregano is usually grown as a small evergreen subshrub in mild climates. Its compact oval leaves are arranged oppositely and are covered with glandular trichomes (plant hairs). The young stems are typically square and hairy and become woody with age. The flowers are small and borne in clusters; they range in colour from white to pink or pale purple.

Oregano is rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help fight damage from harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells and DNA, and they're thought to play a role in chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Several test-tube studies have found that oregano and oregano oil are high in antioxidants . To see how well it works in a human study, researchers gave people oregano essential oil along with other antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. They found that this supplement helped reduce oxidative stress (damage caused by free radicals) and improve antioxidant status—as well as reduce inflammation markers.

Oregano essential oil is especially high in carvacrol and thymol, two antioxidants that can help prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals. In combination with other high-antioxidant foods like fruits and vegetables, oregano could provide a hearty dose of antioxidants that may help improve your health.


  • Oregano is a herb with a long history in cooking, but it's also got some pretty exciting health benefits.
  • Oregano is high in antioxidants. These compounds can not only neutralize free radical damage, but they may also aid in cancer prevention. Some test-tube studies have shown that oregano and its components may help kill cancer cells.
  • One test-tube study treated human colon cancer cells with oregano extract and found that it stopped the growth of cancer cells and helped kill them off . Another test-tube study showed that carvacrol, one of the components in oregano, also helped suppress the growth and spread of colon cancer cells. However, keep in mind that these were test-tube studies using high amounts of the herb and its compounds. Human studies using typical doses are needed to determine its effects.
    • In addition to fighting off bacteria, some test-tube studies have found that oregano and its components may also protect against some viruses.