Oregano: Source of Antioxidant Protection

Herbs are good sources of antioxidants, but their potency can vary depending on species and growing conditions.

Three different types of oregano are highest in antioxidant activity.

  1. Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is used in traditional Mexican and Southwest recipes. Its flavor is a bit stronger than Italian oregano (Origanum x majoricum).
  2. Italian oregano, also known as hard, sweet marjoram, is a versatile herb used to season meats, egg dishes, soups, and vegetables.
  3. Greek mountain oregano (O. vulgare ssp. hirtum), provides the piquant flavor associated with Italian pizza and classic Greek cuisine.

Several other kitchen herbs, including rose geranium, sweet bay, dill, purple amaranth, and winter savory, also have strong antioxidant activity. However, these are only one-third to one-half as potent as the oregano types listed above. Medicinal herbs generally rank lower in antioxidant activity.

So, next time you want to spice something up and gain an antioxidant capacity at the same time, take a trip to your local market and purchase some oregano. Have a happy and healthy day.

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