Marjoram or Oregano is known to be originated from Mediterranean region and Asia Minor while it’s been used by Greek women as an aromatic plant in their homes. The word “Oregano” is derived from a Greek word meaning “joy and brightness of mountains”.
1. Calming Anxiety and Stress
In a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, Carvacryl acetate in Oregano is concluded to have the potential effect of anxiolytic on laboratory mice (in 3 experimental models). Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition has shown that Carvacrol and Thymoquinone in Oregano have positive effect on mood and anxiety. In this study, 20 healthy individuals (between 18 to 45 years old) were given Oregano extract capsules twice a day for 5 days. The results have shown that Oregano extract increases specific brain waves including alpha 1 and beta 1. Alpha 1 elevates relaxation, improves memory and concentration and reduces anxiety, while beta 1 boosts alertness and cognition.
2. Regulating Blood Glucose Levels
According to a study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, polyphenols in Oregano lowers blood sugar. Therefore, this plant can be regarded as a medicine for treating diabetes. Oregano extract treats Dyslipidemia through regulating the glucose genes and lipid metabolism, being an appropriate medicine for type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it enhances insulin resistance, lipid gene expression and carbohydrate metabolism, resulting in blood sugar regulation.
3. Regulating Blood Pressure
According to the researches, α-terpinene and carvacrol found in certain Origanum species like Origanum majorana impede accumulation of blood platelets. The research was carried out on mice with high blood pressure, showing that carvacrol lowers systolic and diastolic pressure.
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research in 2015 has shown that Oregano plant reduces aldosterone synthesis and delays renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, lowering blood pressure.
4. Regulating Blood Cholesterol Levels
A study conducted in Egypt Mansoura University has shown that mice treated with Oregano extract have shown significant decrease in cholesterol serum, triglyceride and LDL and increase in HDL compared to the controlled group. Isoflavones of Oregano act as an anti-cholesterol agent, inhibiting cholesterol absorption in intestine.
According to the researches, β-caryophyllene compound (E-BCP) in Oregano eliminates inflammation in mice. Researchers have believed that this compound may be used in treatment of osteoporosis. β-caryophyllene compound binds to specific cell membrane receptors which are called Cannabinoid receptors, helping inflammation disappear.
The prominent biological property of Origanum genus is their anti-microbial activity so that it’s often reported to be listed amongst the strongest anti-microbial plants. Many human pathogenic bacterial agents like S. typhi, S. aureus, E. coli and P. aeruginosa react to this plant essence or extract. H. pylori, peptic ulcer disease agent, is one of the bacteria which has been studied many times. According to the studies, Oregano is one of the strongest anti-bacterial plants which fights against the said bacteria. Other studies have also shown that this plant acts against bacteria responsible for food spoilage. Oregano is also a strong antifungal and anti-yeast plant. According to the studies, most of pathogenic funguses are sensitive to this plant. It damages microorganism mitochondrial DNA and cell wall, resulting in microorganism death. Carvacryl and Thymol in this plant are both anti-microbial.
According to a study published in Journal of Medicinal Plants in 2008, Oregano protects DNA against oxidative stress. This plant helps a DNA protective enzyme be expressed in cell culture medium. Its essence is also a strong anti-lung cancer. The results have further shown that Oregano has the potential effects on cancer prevention and treatment.
Carbohydrates, Anthraquinones, Coumarins, Tannins, Flavonoids, Flavanonols and Anthocyanins.
Oregano has a hot and dry nature and is traditionally known to be helpful in treatment of irritation, inflammation, angina pectoris, tenesmus and heart pain. It increases urine and treats depression, anxiety, headache, nausea and muscles and joints pain. Greek people have used this plant as a medicinal plant, believing that it helps to treat convulsion and inflammation and detoxify body.