The oregano herb has been a practical herbal remedy for thousands of years, with several potential benefits for our health.
The ancient Greeks used the oregano leaf to treat painful muscles, sores, itchy skin, and even seasickness.
While in traditional Chinese medicine, oregano was meant to ease jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.
But, what about prostate health? Is there something oregano can bring to the table?
We decided to dig a little deeper and see what the studies have to say. Here is a detailed look at this widely cultivated herb and the potential oregano benefits for prostate cancer cells.
Based on contemporary research, the oregano herb is packed with two key components, carvacrol and thymol, which are also present in a different yet potent herb – thyme. Although this culinary herb can be very beneficial for overall health, oregano has a better concentration and therapeutic potential.
The key to the oregano benefits and medicinal properties is in the phytochemical content. Phytochemicals are known to aid with immune system function. They can also shield the cells from DNA damage, which could lead to cancer. The body needs phytochemicals to ease the inflammation and keep the hormone levels in check.
All of its pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and natural antibiotic properties make it a versatile product. Take the diluted oregano oil, for example. When you apply it to the skin, it could protect scrapes and small cuts as they rejuvenate. Plus, the carvacrol and thymol in the oregano oil can shield the wound from a bacterial infection.
Experts believe that this essential oil could efficiently deal with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as it showed in a 2012 test-tube study. Although more research is necessary to evaluate the oregano essential oil, these studies can provide valuable insight.
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How can oregano help prostate health?
Researchers from Long Island University in New York found that an ingredient in the oregano plant could be used as a viable option for managing prostate cancer, alongside its anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial compounds. This ingredient is carvacrol.
Carvacrol triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) in some types of prostate cancer cells. This is what we call “cell suicide.” Despite the limited research, it seems that fresh oregano, dried oregano, and the oregano essential oil might have some uses for cancer treatment.
Different oregano species have their own potency. Among the most prevalent phenolic acids in oregano are hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives and hydroxycinnamic acid. The major flavonoids and phenolic acids in oregano species are rosmarinic acid, scutellarein, quercetin, luteolin, apigenin, and their derivatives.
What Do Studies Say?
Based on reports from Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, carvacrol could offer therapeutic potential for prostate cancer treatment. This ingredient is found in oregano extract and fresh oregano leaves. Carvacrol inhibits the TRPM7 channels.
It also suppresses PI3K/Akt (the intercellular signaling pathway for regulating the cell cycle) and MAPK signaling pathways. The MAPK pathway plays a key role in regulating cell growth, survival, and gene expression. As a result, carvacrol can alleviate prostate cancer cell migration, proliferation, and invasion.
Another study also showed similar results. Carvacrol indicated potent antiproliferative effects on many human cancer cell lines. That includes breast cancer, cell lung cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, and more. But, its effects on prostate carcinoma have yet to be determined.
From the current analysis, it seems that carvacrol causes apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Carvacrol provides protective effects against oxidative stress. That means it could be a useful therapeutic agent for people struggling with prostate carcinoma.
Other Health Benefits of Oregano
Oregano tea is incredibly famous. When you need a good health boost, then it makes sense to sip a cup of freshly brewed herbal tea. That’s because people have been using it for a range of health problems. Such as:
- Sore throat
- Repelling insects
1) Bloating and inflammation
Oregano sprigs are powerful diuretics. This means they could make a valuable addition to your diet, especially if you have bloating or inflammation. The active ingredient in oregano, carvacrol, can help with intestinal parasites.
Experts explain that taking 200 mg of oregano oil three times a day for six weeks eliminated such parasites. The reports are still inconclusive. But could aid those who have constipation, cramping, and diarrhea.
2) Upset stomach
Tea from the dried herb is also good for menstrual cramps and an upset stomach. Thymol and carvacrol have antispasmodic effects, which may help with gastrointestinal issues. Oregano has antimicrobial activity. It can decrease inflammation and neutralize free radicals.
3) Insect repellent
Lastly, you can use oregano oil as an insect-repellant. Thymol and carvacrol can repel some mosquitos and ticks. This natural option could be easier on the skin, especially for those who find its relieving properties to be soothing. Then, again, it is difficult to conclude its full impact. With more research, we could know for sure what uses it could offer.
Oregano is, without a doubt, a powerful tool. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants, antibacterial, and antiviral compounds.
People use it for a range of health issues, from skin problems to bloating and infections. Some reports show that carvacrol in oregano may have the potential to cause apoptosis, which means that it could prove useful for managing prostate cancer. A couple of studies report its potential therapeutic uses for carcinoma.
But, we need further research to know its efficacy, safety, and long-term results. Most of the data published are based on animal studies. Large-scale human reports are necessary to evaluate its full impact.
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