Oregano has long since been a popular seasonal herb for various pizza and pasta dishes, as well as a powerful antioxidant. But its benefits may extend beyond just enhancing flavor and fighting bacteria: An ingredient in the spice may actually kill prostate cancer cells.
A new study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology highlights the cancer fighting effects of one of the main components of oregano called carvacrol. While some research has been done previously on the herb’s medicinal properties, this is the first study of its kind to study the effects of carvacrol on prostate cancer.
“Oregano has been studied quite a bit,” said lead investigator Supriya Bavadekar, assistant professor of Pharmacology at Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “There are so many beneficial effects such as antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties. There is also some literature that shows this compound has some effects against breast cancer and other cancer cells. But nobody knows how it’s working and it hasn’t been tested on prostate cancer.”