Oregano, a common ingredient in Italian and Mexican cuisine, comes from the leaves of an herb native to the Mediterranean (not to be confused with Mexican oregano, native to the Americas), is one of the most concentrated antioxidant sources ever studied. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, its antioxidant activity is between three and 20 times higher than that of any other herb. Even well-known antioxidant-containing fruits fail to measure up: Oregano has four times the antioxidant activity of blueberries, 12 times that of oranges and 42 times that of apples.
While you can get some of these benefits from just cooking regularly with oregano, a more concentrated form may sometimes be required. That’s why the essential oil of oregano is a common remedy for bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. It’s so effective — and tastes so good — that some restaurants actually sprinkle oregano oil over their salad bars to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for bacteria. And because of the high antioxidant content in the oil, it probably keeps the salad fresh for longer, too!
I have personally used oregano as emergency medicine to completely eliminate digestive distress after eating what I found out was contaminated food. In fact, oregano kills e.coli, salmonella and virtually all other food-borne pathogens.
Personally, I don’t travel without it.
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