A new report out of the University of Arizona (UofA) says that oil of oregano is a powerful nutrient for fighting harmful bacteria and preventing cancer. Sadhana Ravishankar, a food microbiologist at UofA, discovered that carvacrol, a phenol of oregano oil, exhibits powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, not only when consumed but also when applied to foods.
Ravishankar’s lab at UofA had previously identified oregano oil as a powerful antibacterial in lab testing, but she and her team decided to test the oil on food to see how it fared. They discovered that when applied ground beef, oregano oil actually prevented the formation of up to 78 percent of the cancer-causing molecules that normally come about when meat is cooked at high temperatures. “The idea that something in a plant can inactivate all this bacteria is very fascinating to me,” Ravishankar told reporters from The Arizona Daily Star. Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the findings have immense implications for food safety, as oregano oil could be applied to various food preparations to ward off the formation of dangerous microbes and other contaminants that threaten human health.
Rather than resort to irradiation, chemicals or other unnatural interventions, oregano oil just might be a viable, natural alternative. The team says that further testing is required to identify exactly how oregano oil performs its powerful work. But there is no questioning the fact that it does, and researchers hope that the breakthrough discovery will eventually result in improved food safety. Oil of oregano is a powerful weapon against intestinal parasites and yeast overgrowth as well. One study found that 77 percent of enteric parasite patients who took oregano oil for six weeks ended up parasite-free. And oil of oregano also helps stave off Candida albicans, a yeast overgrowth that can severely debilitate quality of life.