MORINGO – ONE HERB FOR ALL DISEASES
Moringo is a word derived from the Tree of life i.e. Moringa olifera & Joy of mountain-Oregano vulgare has been used to formulate nutritional supplements to provide complete well being to mankind. Our products are specially designed, keeping in view the highest standards of quality in the nutraceutical industry, available at great value. The ingredients used in the manufacturing process guarantee purity, potency, safety, stability, solubility, bio availability and organic herbs.
Moringa oleifera, also known as clarifier tree, horseradish tree and drumstick tree, has been used for centuries by people living in asia and many parts of Africa. Many refer to this tree as “nutritional dynamite,” as it contains copious amounts of important nutrients like iron, calcium and Vitamin A. It also has hundreds of medicinal uses for both prevention and treatment. This may be due to its novel isothiocynate compounds , which is a class of phytochemicals.Reported Bioavailability of Whole Plant Minerals contained in Moringa leaves and pods .Moringa Oleifera, most nutrient rich plant discovered to date.It contains Vitamins, minerals, supreme anti-oxidants, essential amino acids, plus other amazing ingredients.
Nutritional powerhouse Moringa has gram for gram
- Calcium – Up to 8.79 times more bioavailable.
- Chromium – Up to 25 times more bioavailable.
- Copper – 1.85 time more retained in the liver.
- Iron – 1.77 times more absorbed into blood.
- Magnesium – Up to 2.20 times more bioavailable.
- Manganese – 1.63 times more retained in the liver.
- Molybdenum – 16.49 times more absorbed into blood.
- Selenium – Up to 17.60 times the antioxidant effect.
- Zinc – 6.46 times more absorbed into blood
There are over 46 antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds all naturally occurring in the Moringo plant. This is why many people prefer Moringa as the best natural source of anti-oxidants.
Moringa contains the following antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds or compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B (Choline), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6, Alanine, Alpha-Carotene, Arginine, Beta-Carotene, Beta-sitosterol, Caffeoylquinic Acid, Campesterol, Carotenoids, Chlorophyll, Chromium, Delta-5-Avenasterol, Delta-7-Avenasterol, Glutathione, Histidine, Indole Acetic Acid, Indoleacetonitrile, Kaempferal, Leucine, Lutein, Methionine, Myristic-Acid, Palmitic-Acid, Prolamine, Proline, Quercetin, Rutin, Selenium, Threonine, Tryptophan, Xanthins, Xanthophyll, Zeatin, Zeaxanthin, Zinc.
Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Arginine, Beta-sitosterol, Caffeoylquinic Acid, Calcium, Chlorophyll, Copper, Cystine, Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9, Fiber, Glutathione, Histidine, Indole Acetic Acid, Indoleacetonitrile, Isoleucine, Kaempferal, Leucine, Magnesium, Oleic-Acid, Phenylalanine, Potassium, Quercetin, Rutin, Selenium, Stigmasterol, Sulfur, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Zeatin, Zinc.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Just as different letters of the alphabet are used to form different words, so are different amino acids used to build different proteins.
The human body is capable of manufacturing only 12 of the 20 different amino acids needed to build proteins used to grow, repair, and maintain cells. The other eight are known as essential amino acids because since the body cannot manufacture them, they must come from a person’s diet, usually red meat or dairy products.
8 Essential Amino Acids
Here is a list of the complete range of naturally occurring amino acids found in Moringa and a brief explanation of why our bodies require them:
- ISOLEUCINE builds proteins and enzymes and it provides ingredients used to create other essential biochemical components in your body, some of which promote energy and stimulate the brain to keep you alert.
- LEUCINE works with isoleucine to build proteins and enzymes which enhance your body’s energy and alertness.
- LYSINE insures your body absorbs the right amount of calcium. It also helps form collagen used in your bone cartilage and connective tissues. And lysine aids in the production of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. Recent studies have shown lysine improves the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth.
- METHIONINE primarily supplies sulfur to your body. It is known to prevent hair, skin, and nail problems while lowering cholesterol levels as it increases your liver’s production of lecithin. Methionine reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys, which reduces bladder irritation.
- PHENYLALAINE produces the chemical needed to transmit signals between your nerve cells and your brain. It can help keep you alert, reduce your hunger pains, plus improve your memory and your mood.
- THREONINE is an important part of collagen, elastin, and enamel proteins. Not only does it assist metabolism, threonine helps prevent fat build-up in the liverwhile boosting your body’s digestive and intestinal tracts.
- TRYPTOHYAN supports your immune system, alleviates insomnia, reduces anxiety, depression, and the symptoms of migraine headaches. It also isbeneficial in decreasing the risk of artery and heart spasms as it works with lysine to reduce cholesterol levels.
- VALINE is important in promoting a sharp mind, coordinated muscles, and a calm mood.
10 Non-Essential Amino Acids
These non-essential amino acids, which can be manufactured by your body with the help of proper nutrition, are also found abundantly in Moringa:
- ALANINE is important when it comes to building energy in your muscle tissue, brain, and central nervous system. It strengthens your immune system by producing antibodies. Alanine also helps in the healthy metabolism of sugars and organic acids in your body.
- ARGININE has been shown in studies to cause the release of the growth hormones considered crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair. It also improves immune responses to bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells while promoting the healing of your body’s wounds.
- ASPARTIC ACID helps rid your body of ammonia created by cellular waste. When the ammonia enters your circulatory system it can act as a highly toxic substance which can damage your central nervous system. Recent studies have also shown that aspartic acid may decrease fatigue and increase endurance.
- CYSTINE functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution. It can help slow the aging process, deactivate free radicals, and neutralize toxins. It also aids in protein synthesis and presents cellular change. It is necessary for the formation of new skin cells, which aids in the recovery from burns and surgical operations.
- GLUTAMIC ACID is food for the brain. It improves mental capacities, helps speed the healing of ulcers, reduces fatigue, and curbs your sugar cravings.
- GLYCINE promotes the release of oxygen required in the cell-making process. It is also important in the manufacturing of hormones responsible for a strong immune system.
- HISTIDINE is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, ulcers, and anemia. A lack of histidine may lead to poor hearing.
- SERINE is important in storing glucose in the liver and muscles. Its antibodies help strengthen your body’s immune system. Plus, it synthesizes fatty acid sheaths around nerve fibers.
- PROLINE is extremely important for the proper function of your joints and tendons. It also helps maintain and strengthen heart muscles.
- TRYROSINE transmits nerve impulses to your brain. It helps overcome depression; improves memory; increases mental alertness; plus promotes the healthy functioning of the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands.
Chlorophyll, the green pigment of plants, is an alkalinizing compound found in plants that helps offset the acidifying effect of the typical high-fat, high-protein Western diet. Because chlorophyll is not known to be an essential nutrient, a “deficiency” does not exist. People who do not eat plenty of green foods lack chlorophyll in their diets.
Chlorophyll is involved in the most important chemical reaction on earth, photosynthesis. Our lives would not be possible without it. Chlorophyll is the master chemical at the base of all of our food supply and oxygen production.
Chlorophyll, often referred to as “the blood of plants”, is closely related to hemoglobin – the red pigment of red blood cells responsible for oxygen transport in many animals. The main difference between the two molecules is the metallic element in the center. In human blood hemoglobin consists of iron, while in chlorophyll, the metallic element is magnesium. Some people believe that this resemblance helps the chlorophyll to be better absorbed and used to “build up” blood and fight anemia. Some scientists and nutritionists do not believe it is absorbed internally (to reach the blood) but rather that it may act locally to support the health of the mouth, stomach and intestinal tract.
In either case, there is much evidence that chlorophyll could cure or ease acute infection of the respiratory tract and sinuses, chronic ulcers, and bad breath; it also accelerates wound healing and has been shown in animal studies to nullify the cancer-inducing effects of a variety of environmental (including food) toxins. Other studies have shown that chlorophyll supports liver function and detoxification of the body.
Benefits of Chlorophyll
- Natural healer
- Neutralizes toxins
- Flushes toxins from the body
- Purifies the liver
- Removes heavy metals pollutants
- Helps strengthen the immune system
- Assists in building red blood cells
- Rejuvenates at cellular level
- Reduces the ph level in the body
Moringa, is loaded with phytonutrients;The term “phyto” originated from a Greek word meaning plant. Phytonutrients are certain organic components of plants, and these components are thought to promote human health. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and teas are rich sources of phytonutrients. Unlike the traditional nutrients (protein, fat, vitamins, minerals), phytonutrients are not “essential” for life, so some people prefer the term “phytochemical”.
Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Food Science at Cornell University, has examined antioxidant activity in various fruits. Dr. Liu estimates there are probably thousands of phytonutrinets in plant foods, and that each one works with others to perform many protective functions. These include stimulating the immune system, warding off damage from free radicals and putting the brakes on cell growth.
Some of the common classes of phytonutrients include:
- Flavonoids (Polyphenols), including Isoflavones (Phytoestrogens)
- Inositol Phosphates (Phytates)
- Lignans (Phytoestrogens)
- Isothiocyanates and Indoles
- Phenols and Cyclic Compounds
- Sulfides and Thiols
Of all the phytonutrients, the most known about are carotenoids, the red, orange, and yellow pigments in fruits and vegetables. The carotenoids most commonly found in vegetables (and in plasma) are listed below along with common sources of these compounds. Fruits and vegetables that are high in carotenoids appear to protect humans against certain cancers, heart disease, and age-related macular degeneration.
- Carotenoid Common Food Source
- alpha-carotene carrots, moringa
- beta-carotene leafy green and yellow vegetables (eg. broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, moringa)
- beta-cryptoxanthin citrus, peaches, apricots
- lutein leafy greens such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, moringa
- lycopene tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava *
- zeaxanthin eggs, citrus, green vegetables, moringa
Polyphenolic compounds are natural components of a wide variety of plants; they are also known as secondary plant metabolites. Food sources rich in polyphenols include onion, apple, tea, red wine, red grapes, grape juice, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and certain nuts. The average polyphenol/ flavonoid intake in the U.S. has not been determined with precision, in large part, because there is presently no U.S. national food database for these compounds (USDA scientists and their colleagues are in the process of developing a database for foods rich in polyphenols). Scientists at the Food Composition Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center are currently developing new methodology for the accurate measurement of polyphenols in foods. Polyphenols can be classified as nonflavonoids and flavonoids. The flavonoids quercetin and catechins are the most extensively studied polyphenols relative to absorption and metabolism.
- Nonflavonoids Sources
- ellagic acid strawberries, blueberries, raspberries coumarins
- Flavonoids Sources
- anthocyanins Fruits
- catechins tea, wine
- flavanones citrus
- flavones Fruits and vegetables
- flavonols Fruits, vegetables, tea, wine
- isoflavones soybeans
The following are commonly proposed mechanisms by which phytonutrients may protect human health. More research is needed to firmly establish the mechanisms of action of the various phytochemicals. Phytonutrients may:
- Serve as antioxidants
- Enhance immune response
- Enhance cell-to-cell communication
- Alter estrogen metabolism
- Convert to vitamin A (beta-carotene is metabolized to vitamin A)
- Cause cancer cells to die (apoptosis)
- Repair DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures
- Detoxify carcinogens through the activation of the cytocrome P450 and phase II enzyme systems
Fats and oils in foods are made up of basic units called fatty acids. The oils and fats that people eat are nearly always mixtures of 3 types of fatty acids– monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated fats, with one type predominating. Two specific types of polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic (omega 6) and alpha-linolenic (omega 3), are called essential fatty acids (EFAs). They must be present in the diet in adequate amounts because they are literally essential to life and health. Seven critical functions of essential fats are:
- Developing and maintaining gray matter in the brain
- Achieving optimal growth
- Maintaining the integrity of cell membranes
- Keeping skin healthy
- Proper visual development
- Maintaining a healthy nervous system
- Regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting and the body’s inflammatory response
Omega-9, Oleic Acid is the One of the best types of fats is oleic acid (Omega-9). Omega 9, a monounsaturated oil (MUFA), is not an essential fatty acid as the body can synthesize it from other nutritional compounds that are consumed. It occurs naturally in greater quantities than any other fatty acid. Oleic acid is the main fat in olive oil. Olive oil is well known for it’s health benefits, with science clearly linking oleic acid to lower cardiovascular risk, lower blood levels of cholesterol and lower levels of blood glucose. Olive oil is about 75% oleic acid, Moringa Oliefera follows closely having about 73% oleic acid. (Oleifera is a Latin term meaning oil containing). Oleic acid comprises about 55% in Canola oil and about 20% in sunflower oil. Studies suggest that in countries with higher obesity prevalence, it is the shift from MUFA (such as olive oil) to PUFA (vegetable oils) that particularly appears to be associated with the risk of obesity.
Omega 6, Linoleic Acid
With respect to fatty acids – balance appears to be important. Human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) of approximately 1:1. Western diets are woefully deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids with the ratio being 15:1 – 17:1
In todays world, cereals – mainly wheat, corn and rice – predominate, leading to a relative deficiency of omega 3 fats compared with omega 6 fats.This imbalance is worsened by the consumption of meat from intensively reared animals fed grain relatively rich in omega 6 fats rather than wild plants with a high omega 3 fat content. Even farmed fish contain lower amounts of omega 3 than those living wild. The wide use of polyunsaturated oils (linoleic acid is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid in vegetable oils) also exaberates the ratio imbalance.
Research shows the proper ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is a key factor in preventing many of the modern chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, some cancers, macular denegeration, inflammatory and auto-immune disorders. Bringing the fats into proper proportion may actually relieve those conditions, as the right balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids enables the body to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, prevent irregular heart beats and promote healthy blood flow. For a healthy balance, it is recommended that the ratio be less than 5:1
Omega 3, Alpha-linolenic Acid
Over 2,000 scientific studies have demonstrated the wide range of problems associated with Omega-3 deficiencies. The American diet is almost devoid of Omega 3′s, as there are few sources of Omega 3 except for certain types of fish. In fact, researchers believe that about 60% of Americans are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids, and about20% have so little that test methods cannot even detect any in their blood.
Just as muscles are made of protein and bones are made of calcium, the human brain is more than 60% structural fat. But it’s not just any fat that our brains are made of. It has to be certain types of fats, and we no longer eat these types of fats like we used to. Instead, we eat man-made trans-fats and excessive amounts of saturated fats and vegetable oils, all of which interfere which our body’s attempt to utilize the small amount of Omega-3 fats that it gets.
A Purdue University study has showed that kids low in Omega-3 essential fatty acids are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and to display behavioral problems. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Omega-3 deficiencies have also been tied to many conditions, including the following: allergies, arthritis, cancer, eczmea, diabetes, depression, dyslexia, eczema, heart diseaes, inflammatory diseases, memory problems, and violence.
However, a recent British Medical Journal analysis of nearly 100 studies of omega-3 fatty acids found mixed benefits. In most people they were beneficial, but not so for everyone. For those with congestive heart failure, chronic recurrent angina or evidence that the heart is receiving insufficient blood flow, it may be prudent to avoid taking omega-3 fatty acids or eating foods that contain them, and they should talk to their doctor.
Most nutritious plant discovered to date.While no one food gives us all the nutrition we need, Moringa Oleifera, comes closer than anything else. Moringa, with its 90 plus nutritional compounds, is the most nutrient rich plant discovered to date.
MORINGA is the perfect balanced, natural combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid, and kaempferol, naturally found in Moringa Oleifera.
Cytokinin & Zeatin
Moringa contains a recently discovered cytokinin (plant hormones that induce cell division, growth, and delay aging of cells). A more natural way to support skin health by regenerating new skin cells without the dermabrasion and chemical peels of topical agents is with Cytokinins. Cytokinins are plant hormones that promote cellular growth and delay the aging process. Cytokinins stimulate cell division, delay the aging and destruction of tissues, protect against cell oxidation, and postpone cell death. Studies are now showing that the potent, protective, anti-aging effects of Cytokinins work the same way in human skin.
When the diet includes these plant nutrients, the body as a whole can fight aging, starting at the cellular level. The most potent Cytokinin is Zeatin
Zeatin, one of the compounds in Moringa, is a supreme anti-oxidant with powerful anti-aging properties. Zeatin slows the aging process by helping the body replace cells at a faster rate than they age, giving a more youthful appearance to the skin. A 2004 study by Seneteck PLC shows that Zeatin does not interfere with the genetic control of cellular lifespan, that it promotes maintenance of small cell size (key determinant of youthful skin), and prevents the accumulation of macromolecular damage in the cell. It was also found the Zeatin increases the activity of anti-oxidants to counter act the damage caused by free radicals during cell aging and protects healthy cells from the stress of daily life. Moringa has several thousand times more Zeatin than any other known plant.
In 2004, consumers spent $44.6 billion on anti-aging products and services, with that amount expected to nearly double by 2009. Skin care products dominate the anti-aging retail market, controlling 52% of retail sales. The force behind this anti-aging boom is the routine of applying and reapplying topical agents. However, these topical remedies for sagging skin are not permanent as the skin regenerates itself every 28 days, requiring continued use of topical agents to maintain their effectiveness.
The cellular turnover cycle that was 28 days in your youth expands to close to 35 days by your 40s. With new skin equaling younger-looking skin, the goal is to speed things up.
A study conducted the University of Aarhus, Denmark, in 2004 evaluated the effects of Zeatin on cultured human skin fibroblasts over their life span in lab culture. The results showed that not only does Zeatin not interfere to with the genetic control of cellular life span of a cell, but that it also helps promote small cell size, a key component to more youthful skin. Zeatin also helps with the structural and functional integrity of the cell, and prevents accumulation of macromolecular damage in the cell. The study also found that Zeatin increases the activity of some antioxidant enzymes counteracting the free radical-induced oxidative damage incurred during cell aging. By preventing damage, antioxidants allow your skin to focus on building new collagen and other tasks (such as getting rid of old skin cells) that keep it looking young.
Found in most plants, Zeatin is more abundant in one plant than any other, Moringa Oleifera. Moringa Oleifera not only contains thousands of times more Zeatin than any other known plant, it is also the most nutritious plant discovered to date with over 90 nutritional compounds, including 46 antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatories.
Dr. Lydia Marero, of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), also believes Moringa could be the new anti-aging alternative. Dr. Marero says, “Because of its high content of vitamins A, C, and E, which are very potent antioxidants, Moringa is a very good quencher of unstable free radicals that can react with the damage of molecules that cause aging”.
A supreme antioxidant with powerful anti-aging properties, zeatin is becoming more and more sought after. Zeatin defends cells against free radical damage and protects healthy cells during life’s stresses. The way it helps to slow the aging process is by helping the body replace dying cells more rapidly while fortifying living cells. It can also help promote normal brain and neuronal function and transmissions. So, it’s no surprise zeatin is being tested for it positive effect on various conditions. Nowhere can you find a greater abundance of zeatin than in the Moringa plant. In fact, Moringa has several thousand times more zeatin than any other known plant.
The quercetin in Moringa is a vital flavonoid with antioxidant properties. It is one of the best naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents available, and is currently being tested at the Mayo Clinic in the treatment of certain types of conditions. Quercetin can improve the function of the body’s capillaries and connective tissues, alleviating bruising while promoting healthy veins and arteries. In addition, quercetin improves the body’s absorption of vitamin C and has anti-viral properties that minimize the symptoms of respiratory and sinus problems. This potent flavonoid also helps to maintain your body’s collagen, which keeps skin firm and healthy.
We all know someone with a cholesterol problem. Beta-sitosterol is the component in Moringa that can help. Because it’s part of the sterol family, beta-sitosterol’s structure is similar enough to that of cholesterol that it can trick the body into blocking “bad” cholesterol absorption from food. Beta-sitosterol also normalizes blood sugar, enhances the immune system, and acts as a supreme anti-inflammatory agent.
Mother Nature also provided caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol to Moringa . Caffeoylquinic acid exhibits significant anti-inflammatory activity and kaempferol is proven to encourage health cell growth and function.
COX-2 is short for cyclooxygenase-2, one of the key enzymes that helps the body produce the inflammatory hormonelike compounds prostaglandins and cytokines. COX-2 is activated by injury and inflammation and is essential for fighting infections and healing injuries, but when the body produces too much, the result is chronic inflammation and pain.
Recent news of synthetic COX-2 inhibitors (ie Celebrex, Vioxx) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) has not been good news for consumers. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel concluded that some well-known COX-2 inhibitor drugs significantly raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. The FDA issued safety concerns and additionally noted that little is known about the long-term safety of many other synthetic drugs taken for arthritis, pain and inflammation.
There have also been new warnings about the short-term use of over-the-counter ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen pain and anti-inflammatory drugs, because users run a greater risk of gastro-intestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage and peptic ulcers. While synthetic COX-2 inhibitors and NSAIDS offer some relief, their benefits may be countered by dangerous side effects. “There are many problems that a simple pill can’t or won’t fix”, says Sara Walker, Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri. Synthetic medicines need to be handled with care, especially when considering whether the risks outweigh the pain relief they provide.
When properly nourished, the human body is able to counter many of the daily aches and pains that life, exercise and age routinely bring. The Moringa Oleifera plant contains tremendous phytonutrients that directly support the body’s efforts to inhibit and modulate enzymes that manifest joint pain and age or exercise induced aches and pains. The United States Department of Agriculture has studied and identified natural COX-2 inhibitors such as caffeoylquinic acid, kaempherol and quercetin, all abundantly, placed by Mother Nature, in the Moringa plant.
These natural compounds within the Moringa plant support a healthy, active lifestyle that enhance the body’s ability to relieve pain, inflammation and many other health concerns affecting the body’s various systems. Moringa’s natural COX-2 inhibitors assist the body to selectively block the COX-2 enzyme, impeding the production of the chemical messengers (prostaglandins) that cause pain and swelling.
Along with these natural COX-2 inhibitors and thanks to Mother Nature’s wisdom,Moringa also provides the body additional documented pain-relieving nutrientsthat include: arginine, beta-sitosterol, calcium, chlorophyll, copper, cystine, omega 3, omega 6, omega 9, fiber, glutathione, histidine, indole acetic acid, isoleucine, leucine, magnesium, oleic-acid, phenylalanine, potassium, rutin, selenium, stigmasterol, sulfur, thiamin, tryptophan, tyrosine, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol), zeatin, and zinc. In addition, Moringa’s abundantly bio-active compounds, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols have been researched regarding their ability to naturally reduce inflammation, promote joint and bone health and they have been found to be both effective and fast-acting.
Supporters of Moringa
A Review of the medical evidence for its nutritional, therapeutic and prophylactic properties of Moringa Oleifera
Oregano vulgare is a wonderful perennial culinary as well as medicinal herb. It has long been recognized as one of the “functional food” for its nutritional, anti-oxidants and disease preventing properties. The herb, whose name means “delight of the mountains” in Greek, is native to the Mediterranean region.
Botanically, the herb belongs to the mint (lamiaceae) family, of the genus; Origanum and is known scientifically as Origanum vulgare.
The plant is a small shrub, growing up to 75 cm in height with multi-branched stems covered with small grayish-green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers.
Oregano is a hardy, herbaceous perennial that is native to southern Europe and has been naturalized in North America, where it may be found in old fields and roadsides in well-drained-to-dry, slightly alkaline soil in full sun. The shrubby plant is pleasant and minty-smelling with a slight, thyme-like taste. Oregano is slightly sprawling with dark green leaves that may grow from six inches to three feet in height. The Greeks gave us the name Oregano, which is derived from oros and ganos, meaning “joy of the mountain,” and those traveling through Greece will find it covering the hillsides and scenting the summer air. The sweet, spicy scent was reputedly created by Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness, and both Greek and Roman bridal couples were crowned with garlands of Oregano (or wild marjoram, as it is sometimes called) to ensure happiness. Oregano plants were also placed in tombs to give peace to the departed spirits. The leaves have been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years, with Theophrastus (370-285 B.C.) recommending it to ease childbirth. Aristotle said it cured poisoning, and claimed that tortoises swallowing a snake would immediately eat Oregano as an antidote to prevent death. The Greeks used it in oils to massage into the skin to relieve pain, and the Egyptians used it to disinfect and heal wounds. Oregano was introduced into Europe in the Middle Ages to meet the demand for ladies’ nosegays and sweet bags, and for a curious use of preventing milk from curdling during thunderstorms. The pungently aromatic and warming herb was prescribed by sixteenth- and seventeenth-century herbalists for improved digestion, as a diuretic, and as an antidote for venomous bites. Oregano is well known in Italian and Greek cuisines and has been used in salads, soups, sauces, and seasonings for meats and fish. The leaves contain volatile oils (including carvacrol and the powerful antiseptic, thymol), flavonoids, gallic acid and tannin.
Oregano is particularly used widely in Greek and Italian cuisines. Its leaves have characteristic aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste. The intensity varies; however, good quality oregano is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue.
There are many varieties of oregano cultivated across Europe but the influence of climate, season, and soil on the composition of the essential oils is greater than the difference between various species. Origanum heracleoticum is another Greek variety that is having characteristic sharp scent and flavor. Sweet marjoram(Origanum majorana) is one of close related species of oregano.
Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) is a different from origanum species but related to the verbena family of herbs. It is used in place of oregano in many Central American regions.
Health benefits of Oregano
- Oregano contains impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
- Oregano contains many health benefiting essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. The leaves and flowering stems of the plant are strongly anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, cholagogue (help gall bladder secretion), diaphoretic (sweat production), expectorant, stimulant, and mildly tonic properties. Its decoction is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation.
- Thymol is also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activities.
- The herb is rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants (vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin) and has been rated as one of the plant source with highest anti-oxidant activities. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.
- The active principles in the herb may increase the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract as well as increase the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal secretions.
- This exotic herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by high sodium. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent anemia. Magnesium, and calcium are important minerals for bone metabolism.