Oregano: the happiness herb

A powerful antioxidant and treatment for lung disorders

Oregano is more than just favourite for Italian cooking. Oregano has some historically proven health and happiness benefits.

"The Greek name for this fragrant herb is oroganos, meaning oros (mountain) and ganos (joy), or ‘joy of the mountains’," says ANH's on-call natural living expert Janella Purcell.

"Ancient Greeks believed that oregano had the ability to purify the soul (catharsis). Newlyweds were crowned with garlands of oregano to wish them health and vitality and it was placed on tombs to bring the dead to peace. As a medicine, oregano is considered to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties."

"Oregano contains volatile oils that make it pungent, aromatic and warming. These volatile oils break up congestion and kill airway microbes, and these actions combine to make this herb a very useful treatment for lung disorders including cough, sinus congestion, hay fever, bronchitis, rhinitis, asthma attacks and pneumonia. Oregano has traditionally been used for the relief of cold and flu, to promote digestion and to improve skin," she says.  

"Add fresh oregano sprigs to hearty soups and stews or scatter it on roasting dishes. Oregano oil can also be used orally and topically for a variety of health-promoting benefits."

NEXT: try these Ancient Chinese beauty secrets or 4 mood-boosting herbal teas

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