Several herb species classified as oregano have been widely used in folk medicine to alleviate inflammation-related diseases, respiratory and digestive disorders, headaches, rheumatism, diabetes and others. These potential health benefits are partially attributed to the phytochemical compounds in oregano such as flavonoids (FL) and phenolic acids (PA). Flavonoids and phenolic acids are among the most abundant and most studied phytochemicals in oregano species. Epidemiological, in vitro and in vivo experiments have related long-term consumption of dietary FL and PA with a decreased risk of incidence of chronic diseases. The aim of this manuscript is to summarize the latest studies on the identification and distribution of flavonoids and phenolic compounds from oregano species and their potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer health benefits.
Keywords: antioxidant; flavones; flavonoids; flavonols; hydroxybenzoic acids; hydroxycinnamic acids; oregano; phenolic acids; phytochemicals.