Buy dried yellowroot and other wild herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.
Oregano is a familiar herb that is used in spaghetti and pizza sauce. Not only is oregano a tasty addition to Italian recipes, it is also a powerful disease fighter. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that fresh oregano has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables with 42 times more antioxidant power than apples.
What exactly is an antioxidant? Antioxidants are chemical substances that help protect the body against cell damage from “free radicals”. Well known antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
What are “free radicals”? Any molecule that contains an unpaired electron is a free radical. Free radicals are unstable and will extract electrons from other biological molecules, which generates more free radicals. Free radicals are produced in many different ways including normal metabolic processes, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, nuclear radiation, air pollution, and from the breakdown in the body of rancid (spoiled) fats. Free radicals have been implicated in aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other kinds of damage to the body.
The whole process may be compared to a rusty old car. When oxygen and moisture work together to attack metal, rust is an obvious result. Once it starts, a little rust leads to more rust. It takes a lot of manpower with a steel brush to remove it. Free radicals are like rust – they are destroyers. Antioxidants are like little brushes working around the clock to gather up and remove harmful free radicals from the body.
Oregano not only works to destroy free radicals, it also helps fight bronchitis and other lung infections. For best results, brew tea from fresh oregano and breathe the steam deep into your lungs as you sip. Oregano is also good for treating infected sores, colds, flu, sore throat, indigestion, and stomach cramps.
Oregano essential oil is an effective antibacterial agent that can even kill resistant staphylococcus bacteria. Oregano essential oil is very effective when used in aromatherapy to calm the nerves and reduce stress. Use the oil with extreme care, always diluting with carrier oil before applying to the body.
Oregano likes full sun and well drained soil. Plants are easily started from seed, stem cuttings, or root division and grow from eight to twenty-four inches tall. Oregano can also be grown in pots. Harvest leaves when flowers begin to bloom. Prune established plants early in the growing season for lush, bushy growth. Use trimmings in tea or a favorite marinara sauce.
* Oregano should not be taken in large doses for an extended period of time. To decrease free radical production, never consume any off smelling cooking oil or rancid nuts. Fats go bad when exposed to air, heat and light so keep all cooking, bath, body, and massage oils tightly covered, in a dark, cool place. Once opened, use quickly (consider buying smaller sizes). Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.