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I love to cook Italian food, so I usually have a pot or two of oregano growing in my garden this time of year and in my kitchen year-round. Also known as wild marjoram, the word “oregano” means “mountain joy” in Greek. A member of the mint family, oregano thrives year-round as a perennial in the Mediterranean region, but is an annual in harsher climates.
Mediterranean oregano plants are small shrubs with tiny leaves that have a distinctive, strong aroma. The plant bears pretty pink or purple flowers, which are also edible. Mexican oregano has a more pungent aroma and is a frequent addition to Mexican cuisine. Oregano can be used in cooking in either its fresh or dry form, and its unique flavor goes particularly well with tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, pasta dishes, eggs, fish and meat.
Oregano contains the following chemicals: thymol, ocimene, limonene, carvacrol and pinene, which combine to give it both flavor and health benefits. In fact, people have used the herb for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In addition to flavoring your food, here are some of the uses and benefits of oregano:
Oregano is rich in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and for bone health, and Vitamin A, which is key to a healthy immune system.
Oregano is an important source of iron, potassium and manganese.
Antibacterial properties. Oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, which help fight bacteria. A research study recently found that oregano is a better treatment for giardia – a parasite that can cause intestinal infections — than the drug commonly prescribed to treat the problem.....More Here