Oregano Benefits and Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/02/23 •  10 min read

What are oregano benefits and side effects? Is oregano vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are oregano pros and cons: all the info on oregano that every ethical consumer wants to know…

oregano benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on oregano benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about oregano benefits and side effects. This will include oregano benefits for your health and potential risks, oregano water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if oregano is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if oregano is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about oregano benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Oregano Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Oregano benefits for health may include:

Additionally, oregano is…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, when fresh | high when dry, it takes 7,048 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of dried spices / 845 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of dried spices

Carbon footprint: low, 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of spices, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers

Destruction: low, oregano production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Oregano is…

Animals

Kills: none, oregano production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, oregano production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from oregano production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Oregano is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Oregano…

Where does most oregano come from?

Much of the world’s oregano is produced in Mexico, Greece, Israel, Albania, Morocco and Turkey.

The world’s top oregano exporting country is Germany, followed by China, India, USA, Spain, Poland, Egypt, Canada, Hong Kong and UK.

Is oregano nutritious?

Oregano is high in antioxidants like tryptophan, lysine, valine, arginine, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E (tocopherol).

Is oregano alkaline or acidic?

Is oregano alkaline or acidic?

Oregano is alkaline when fresh.

What is the pH level of oregano?

Oregano has an 8.0 pH level when fresh, once digested. Fresh herbs are typically alkaline.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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Is oregano gluten free?

Is oregano gluten free?

Yes, oregano is gluten free. Oregano does not contain gluten. Oregano is a type of herb, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

Is oregano a common food allergen?

Is oregano a common food allergen?

No, oregano is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to oregano but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

Is oregano low fodmap?

Is oregano low fodmap?

Yes, oregano is low fodmap, a food you can eat if on a low fodmap diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High FODMAP and Low FODMAP List of Foods

Water footprint of oregano?

Water footprint of oregano?

Oregano has a relatively low water footprint when fresh and a high water footprint when dried.

It takes 7,048 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of dried spices / 845 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of dried spices.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Carbon footprint of oregano?

Carbon footprint of oregano?

Oregano has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

It takes around 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of spices, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Is oregano sustainable?

Is oregano sustainable?

Oregano production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Is oregano vegan?

Is oregano vegan?

Yes, oregano is vegan. Oregano is an herb and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

Does oregano have human rights issues?  

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

At this time there have been no major concerns with oregano production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Conclusion

Oregano pros include:

Oregano cons include:

This post was all about oregano benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Spices, oregano, dried – FoodData Central

Origanum vulgare L. – USDA Plants Database

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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