As it happens, Oregano, the traditional herb in pizza sauce and widely used in Mediterranean cooking, is a healing powerhouse! It’s been used for centuries for stimulating the immune system and documented for its powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties (likely responsible for its anti-aging properties)!
Now if you know me at all, you know I consider anti-inflammatory to be synonymous with anti-cancer and anti-diabetes. Just sayin’…
Oregano has also been shown to be effective against arthritis and rheumatism (inflammation), respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis and digestive issues. Furthermore, the fragrance is known to create a feeling of security. Wow again!
Considering the quantity of Oregano prevalent in the Mediterranean Diet, in combination with the lycopene in cooked Tomatoes and health benefits of Olive Oil, it’s no wonder the Mediterranean Diet receives such attention!!
Oregano, on its own, can be used to activate your defenses with the first symptoms of cold, flu or upper respiratory infections. Continue throughout the infection and 4-5 days beyond, to avoid reoccurrence.
Because of its anti-bacterial properties, Oregano can also be useful in fighting other infections, such as those in the urinary tract. Drink as a tea or take 1-3 drops of therapeutic grade essential oil (diluted with olive oil) in a veg. capsule.
Consuming Oregano as a warm tea, right after a meal can help to relieve gas, regulate digestion and “keep things moving smoothly”.
“The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods” lists all of these conditions in the index under Oregano: Bad breath, bursitis [inflammation], cold sores [virus], depression, hives, nausea, osteoarthritis [inflammation again], pneumonia, sinusitis and toothaches!
Sheesh! I can’t personally speak to all those, but thought the list was sufficient to illustrate just how much respect Oregano deserves as a healing food!
So, Zach my friend, you can feel good about pizza! Just go light on the cheese, see if you can get some whole grains into the crust and load up on the Oregano!! And if you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a super easy (non-pizza) recipe from the Silver Palate that uses a plentiful amount of Oregano, qualifies as “holistic” and is lip-smacking delicious!!
REMEMBER: When cooking with herbs, add dried herbs early on, so their flavor and properties have time to become released. When cooking with fresh herbs, add just at the end of cooking, so their flavor and properties are maintained! And if you need to substitute one for the other in a recipe, remember that dried is 3x more concentrated than fresh, so adjust accordingly (i.e. a Tbl. of fresh is equivalent to a tsp. of dried.)