The use of oregano, which has benefits similar to peppermint
, is documented by the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks used it for convulsions and muscle cramps, and the herb is mentioned by Aristotle as an antidote to poisoning. Traditional Chinese medicine has used oregano for centuries to relieve vomiting and diarrhea. Early American colonists brewed the leaves for muscles cramps and stomach troubles.
Oregano contains two volatile oils, thymol and carvacol, that act as anti-spasmodics, increase the production of gastric juices, ease bloating and gas, and relieve menstrual cramps.
Oregano also aids nausea and morning sickness, and has a calming effect as a muscle relaxant.
The dried or fresh leaves of the herb make a warm, spicy tea that will probably remind you of pizza.
Oregano oil has anti-spasmodic, anti-convulsant, pain-killing, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. Pure oregano oil can be found at health food stores and is typically taken by adding 2-4 drops to a cup of hot water or herbal tea (the pure oil should never be used undiluted.). Enteric coated oregano oil capsules are also available - the enteric coating ensures that the capsules dissolve in the intestines instead of the stomach, which could cause heartburn.
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