Widely used to season various dishes, especially in Italian cuisine, oregano can also be used to prepare tea full of health benefits. The Mediterranean herb, however, also has side effects and harmful effects.

Benefits and properties

Although there is no evidence through scientific studies, oregano has been used as a natural medicine, being even classified by the US Department of Health, and other international organizations, as a safe substance with no health risks.

It can be used to treat cough, indigestion, nausea, intestinal, kidney or menstrual cramps, arthritis, stomach and headaches. In addition, it is rich in vitamins A, C and K, antioxidants, iron, calcium, fiber, omega 3, fatty acids and magnesium, also carrying fungicidal properties, being excellent for the treatment of diseases related to fungi. It can help clear a congested lung, improve the immune system, and help relieve cold and flu symptoms.

Adverse effects

The plant should not be consumed by pregnant women as it causes menstruation and, according to herbal expert F. Binker, who published research on MotherNature.com, when consumed in excess, oregano can cause miscarriages in pregnant women.

According to the Pregnancy and Children website, the herb can be used for flavoring only, as it is abortifacient, causing uterine contractions when in large quantities. Industrialized oregano teas have higher concentrations of the herb and are absolutely prohibited for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant.

Oregano tea can, in some patients, cause skin rashes and severe allergic reactions, but cases are rare. There are few reports of adverse effects of oregano consumption: a study was carried out with 55 patients with contact dermatitis to test allergy to oregano, and of these, only 4 patients tested positive for this herb. The consumption of oregano can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron.

Heads up

Before consuming the plant, as well as any other natural or industrialized medicine, seek medical advice. It is possible that the plants have drug interactions with other medications you are taking, or that it may harm your clinical condition. Never consume natural medicines without a diagnosis of your disease being made.