“Methane produced by livestock farming accounts for around 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions in the form of flatulence and belching, according to official estimates.
“But researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark believe they may be able to reduce this by feeding co[w]s oregano to alter the balance of bacteria in their digestive systems.”
Senior researcher, Dr. Kai Grevsen, said: “Oregano has essential oils with a mild antimicrobial called carvacrol, which can kill some of the bacteria in the cow’s rumen that produce methane.”
Grevsen says another major difference is that his team will use “Greek oregano,” which has a significantly higher concentration of belch-suppressing essential oil than oregano used in earlier research. They hope this oregano feed could reduce methane emissions by up to 25 percent.
And, if it works, there’s (buttercream) icing on the cake:
“A cow loses a lot of energy in releasing all this methane,” explains Grevsen. “By blocking the bacteria, the energy that doesn’t get lost can be used by the cow to produce more milk.”
There is also the question of what this will taste like. Grevsen hasn’t tried any oregano-milk — yet — but he assures that those earlier studies found no hints of pizza or spaghetti in the final product. He says there is even some evidence that oregano changes the composition of fatty acids, creating a better-quality milk. Whether that remains true with the “turbo-powered” oregano is yet to be taste-tested.
Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavour of its leaves, which can be more flavourful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Good-quality oregano may be strong enough almost to numb the tongue, but cultivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavor. Factors such as climate, season, and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants. Among the chemical compounds contributing to the flavour are carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene.
Oregano’s most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. Its popularity in the US began when soldiers returning from World War II brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”, which had probably been eaten in southern Italy for centuries. There, it is most frequently used with roasted, fried, or grilled vegetables, meat, and fish. Oregano combines well with spicy foods popular in southern Italy. It is less commonly used in the north of the country, as marjoram generally is preferred.
The herb is widely used in cuisines of the Mediterranean Basin, the Philippines, and Latin America.
In Turkish cuisine, oregano is mostly used for flavoring meat, especially for mutton and lamb. In barbecue and kebab restaurants,[clarification needed] it can be usually found as a condiment, together with paprika, salt, and pepper.
The dried and ground leaves are most often used in Greece to add flavor to Greek salad, and is usually added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies fish or meat grills and casseroles.
Oregano is used in the southern Philippines to eliminate the odor of carabao or water buffalo when boiling it, while simultaneously imparting flavor.
In Austrian folk medicine, oregano was used internally (as tea) or externally (as ointment) for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and nervous system.
In 2005, the US Federal Trade Commission brought legal action against a firm that had claimed oil of oregano treated colds and flu, and that oil of oregano taken orally treated and relieved bacterial and viral infections and their symptoms, saying the representations were false or were not substantiated at the time the representations were made, and that they were therefore a deceptive practice and false advertisements. The final stipulation on the matter said no representation as to any health benefit could be made without “…competent and reliable scientific evidence…”.
Oregano contains polyphenols, including numerous flavones.
The essential oil of oregano is composed primarily of monoterpenoids and monoterpenes, with the relative concentration of each compound varying widely across geographic origin and other factors. Over 60 different compounds have been identified, with the primary ones being carvacrol and thymol ranging to over 80%, while lesser abundant compounds include p-cymene, γ-terpinene, caryophyllene, spathulenol, germacrene-D, β-fenchyl alcohol and δ-terpineol.
Drying of the plant material affects both quantity and distribution of volatile compounds, with methods using higher heat and longer drying times having greater negative impact. A sample of fresh whole plant material found to contain 33 g/kg dry weight (3.1 g/kg wet) decreased to below a third after warm-air convection drying. Much higher concentrations of volatile compounds are achieved towards the end of the growing season.
Oregano oil is under research for its potential use on foods or skin as an antibacterial agent. It is also tested for its ability to reduce the methane production in cows, which emit 70-120kg of the greenhouse gas per year per cow.
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Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram. This erectly spreading plant has strong aromatic characteristics, with leaves and stems that are fleshy. The leaves of oregano are heart-shaped, with toothed edges, and which, grow for up to 9 meters in length. In other countries, the plant is primarily used as a culinary ingredient. However, in countries like the Philippines, Oregano is a known herbal medicine for its strong anti-oxidant properties. Oregano contains a rosmarinic acid compound, thymol, and carvacrol that are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Oregano also contains flavinoids, triterpenoids, sterols, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Its anti-bacterial properties have been proven by recent studies to treat infections of the reproductive tracts, and which make it ideal to be given to women who have just given birth.
The volatile oils in oregano and its properties are believed to be responsible for slowing the process of spoilage of food and thus minimizing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi.
The anti-oxidant properties of oregano helps fight free radicals in the body that cause cellular damage and accelerate ageing. Free radicals are believed to be involved with many degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and heart diseases, to name a few.
The most useful parts of this plant are its leaves. The extracts and juices of such are used for asthma, dyspepsia, chronic coughs, bronchitis, and rheumatism. Ear aches have also been proven to be cured by the infusion prepared from its leaves. The leaves relieve painful swellings, boils, and sprains, when their poultices are applied directly to the affected area.
Health Benefits of Oregano:
- Good for cough and cold relief
- Helps prevent degenerative arthritis
- Has Anti-aging properties
- Helps relieve rheumatism and osteoarthritis
- Bronchitis herbal remedy
- Ease asthma attacks
- Relieves upset stomach
- Treatment of urinary tract problems
- Relief for dyspepsia or indigestion
- Healing wounds, insect bites & stings
- Cure for sore throat
- Avoid infections caused by childbirth by taking decoctions of the leaves by the new mother.
- For general good health
Preparation of Oregano Leaves:
- Boil one cup of fresh leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half a cup 3 times a day for common colds.
- For a concentrate, juice the oregano leaves and take 1 tablespoon every hour to relieve chronic coughs, rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and dyspepsia.
- For Insect bites, wounds and stings, apply the leaves as a poultice directly on the afflicted area.
- For sore throat, boil 2 tablespoonfuls of dried oregano leaves in a pint of water, take 2 hours before or after meals.
- To prevent degenerative arthritis & for general good health, drink oregano decoction daily.
Oregano is rich in iron. In cooked form, oxalates is removed. It is best eaten with iron rich food in the morning . Too much iron interferes with calcium absorption. Take calcium rich food in the evening.