One whiff of the unmistakable aroma and many people don’t even think that oregano is anything other than an herb. They simply don’t know the secret health benefits that many herbs possess. At first glance, oregano appears to simply be a lovely green plant, layered in small, broad leaves. We frequently use it to season our food to give it that distinctive Italian flavor. Oregano is commonly found in our pasta and other sauces, some meat rubs and marinades, salad dressings, breads, and a number of other foods.
It is also available in a few different forms from fresh leaves, dried flakes, and sometimes even a paste that can be squeezed from a tube. However, while most of us are familiar with the culinary uses of oregano, there are many other benefits for this wonder herb of which you may not be not be aware or have explored.
Oregano is an ancient Mediterranean herb that has been cultivated for centuries and used for variety of purposes. Ancient Greeks and Romans used to treat a variety of maladies with oregano leaves such as skin sores and aching muscles, in addition to using them for antiseptic purposes. Even today, the Greeks still use oregano in their folk medicine to treat colds, upset stomach, and maintain general health.
So, what is it about oregano that makes it a powerful healer? The essential oil of oregano contains some powerful healing compounds such as carvacrol, thymol, rosmarinic acid, and terpenes among others.
Carvacrol is a compound found in the essential oil of oregano, as well as thyme, pepper wort, and wild bergamot. It prevents bacterial growth and promotes health while giving oregano its taste and aroma.
Thymol contains antimicrobial, antifungal, antimutagenic, and antitumor properties.
Much like some of the other compounds found in the oregano family and other plants and herbs, rosmarinic acid also contains a bounty of health promoting benefits such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties
A terpene is another compound in oregano as well as other plants and herbs that accounts for at least part of the powerful aroma given off by the plant. However, terpenes also play a role as an antihistamine, an insect repellent, and a natural decongestant among other things.
With so many health benefits and uses attributed to the various compounds found within oregano oil, it’s no wonder why it has been used since ancient times to battle a variety of health maladies and promote well being. With that said, there are a number of alternative medicinal uses in which oil oregano can be used.
Bacterial infections, regardless of type, never make for a fun ordeal. While oregano has been praised for its traditional and medicinal purposes, and antibacterial qualities, for there has been limited research performed on this aspect. A number of others within the alternative health field such as Mercola, however, maintain the claim that the herb’s antibacterial properties do, in fact, still exist. This is particularly the case with the components found within oil oregano such as carvacrol, thymol, and the terpenes. All three of these components have shown some promise in the areas of treating antibacterial and antimicrobial infections.
In fact, when it comes to bacteria that cause infection, one of the top invaders that wild oregano can counter is the infamous bad guy E. Coli, as well as a number of others. Some strains of bacteria also negatively impacted are Proteus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, as well as Staphylococcus, all of which carry names that sound like something from a martian’s mouth. Yet, in the medical field, these are all common names of bacteria strains that can cause urinary tract infections as well as respiratory infections respectively.
What may further surprise you is that Mercola, in their oregano oil report, also noted that this wonder oil also has the capacity to kill the superbug known as MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. What makes this particular bacterial infection so concerning is its resistance to a number of existing antibiotics. While a majority of the infections caused by MRSA are generally skin related infections, there are other ways it can impact your body, some of which can even result in life-threatening situations. With that said, the news that wild oregano can aid in the elimination of MRSA comes as a welcome solution for many.
Fungal infections, particularly yeast infections that affect both male and female anatomy are always a concern. Yeast infections are not only downright uncomfortable, they can be painful as well as down right embarrassing for some individuals. Creams, lotions, and suppositories are all messy solutions with a number of potential side effects along for the ride.
The problem with some of these prescriptions is that sometimes what you are attempting to treat finds a way to overcome the intended treatment. Diflucan is a perfect example of this. There are fungal infections that have grown resistant to Diflucan rendering it either useless or nearly so. While that does not apply to every fungal infection, it can make for a frustrating time when you adhere to a dosing schedule only to find out later that the treatment was inefficient against the infection leaving you to suffer longer through the symptoms.
What if there were a more natural solution? Yes, essential oregano oil can help with a yeast infection as well. Additionally, it can also be used effectively against some other fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot. It’s essentially the thymol component of wild oregano oil that does all the work.
The thought of even one parasitic invader is enough to make anyone squirm, let alone a whole colony of them. Amoeba giardia are one type of invader that are set on survival. The are like the cockroaches of the microorganism world. In the case of amoeba giardia, they literally encase themselves for the duration that they are outside of a body and then release themselves from that encasement once back inside again, where they can deal the most damage.
These microscopic invaders have flagella, which is essentially like a tail that allows them to swim within your body. Amoeba giardia are most often considered to be a waterborne illness. However, here’s the kicker, while they are common in areas of poor sanitation, they can also be found in municipal water supplies, pools, and other areas as well on occasion.
Despite the amoeba giardia survival methods, oil of oregano can defend your body against them by aiding in the destruction of these parasitic pirates.
But there are more benefits of oil oregano you probably don’t know.
Although antiviral drugs do exist, they’re usually reserved for the more challenging and persistent viruses. However, there are still a number of other viral illnesses that usually go untreated, such as the rhinovirus associated with the common cold. With such viruses, it could take a week or two for the symptoms of these illnesses to finally subside, and often leaving you feeling miserable in the meantime.
Did you know that in most cases it is better for your body to simply allow the virus to run its course? Our bodies are amazing structures. They are constantly growing, repairing, building, and even destroying different parts of themselves all the time. Our bodies are made up of millions of cells and each one grows and multiplies only so many times before it has reached the end of its life cycle, dies off, and is replaced by another. However, when cells have become damaged or have some other problem, our bodies have other specialized cells whose job it is to seek and destroy these weakened cells before they have a chance to get too far.
A virus attacks our weakest cells, the ones that would otherwise die off or be killed off naturally anyway. Unlike bacteria or fungi, a virus does not have the ability to replicate itself. The only way it can spread is by attacking our weakest cells and using that cell’s resources to multiply before moving on to other weak cells. In the end, however, the virus typically loses when our bodies sound the alarm that something is awry and our natural defense system rushes to battle this viral invader, eventually killing off the virus in the end. The common cold or flu are excellent examples.
Sometimes our bodies need a little boost to eliminate the virus. Typically, this means prescription antiviral medication. While prescription medication can cure a number of illnesses, including some viruses, they all carry a certain amount of risk. Some people have allergic reactions to or complications with the medication ranging from very mild to very severe.
There is one virus in particular that has made headlines in recent years, particularly with cruise ships and that is the infamous norovirus (derived from the Norwalk virus), which causes bouts of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. While symptoms typically occur after consuming contaminated food or drink, it is not technically considered food poisoning, nor is it considered to be a form of the flu. The norovirus can occur from contaminated food, but it can also result from eating oysters that are raw or undercooked, and sometimes even raw fruit and vegetables.
The good news is that oil of oregano works against this type of virus. In fact, the University of Arizona performed a study on the oil of oregano benefits on the norovirus and discovered that the component carvacrol can effectively kill the norovirus.
Considering the sheer number of people on cruise ships, in nursing homes and other care facilities, or anywhere else who can contract norovirus each year, this is fantastic news!
Most of us have experienced some form of inflammation at one point or another. Inflammation is painful and can leave us feeling miserable.
Inflammation is a common companion to both injuries and illnesses alike. In fact, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with a condition whose suffix is “-itis,” then you’ve experienced inflammation in all of its glory. The suffix “-itis,” itself, literally means “inflammation of.” A few good examples include bronchitis, as in inflammation of the bronchial tubes, and tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendons. Of course, there are numerous other injuries and illnesses that despite lacking the telltale suffix “-itis” are often accompanied with inflammation as well. Think of sprained wrists or ankles.
For the most part, inflammation is essentially the body’s natural response when something is wrong. It as a kind of defense mechanism intended to protect an area of the body from further injury. Unfortunately for those who must endure the effects of inflammation, in some cases it can be considerably painful.
The benefits of oregano oil have shown promise against painful inflammation according to a Swiss study performed on mice. While additional research is still needed in order to conclude the overall impact of oregano oil on inflammation within the human body, it is clear that this essential oil can still benefit you in a number of ways and potentially improve some inflammatory responses.
Seasonal allergies can be the pits. Dealing with the sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy, runny nose, and red eyes can feel like a hyped up cold in overdrive and unfortunately for you, you’re riding shotgun. Lucky you.
While there are a number of prescription and over the counter remedies to combat this mucous mimosa, not everyone enjoys the hidden risks behind the cocktail. Sometimes, it can be better to grab for an old, reliable, remedy like essential oil of oregano.
Oil oregano can provide a viable, natural alternative to curtail some of the effects associated with seasonal allergies. It can also encourage relief by creating a sedating effect on your allergy sensitivities.
Cancer is a six-letter word that no one ever wants to hear. It is the bane of every living individual, young and old alike. With newer technologies and medical advances, cancerous tumors are often caught earlier and thus, more people survive this horrendous disease. However, cancer treatments are not without their side effects and risks. Some cause hair loss. Some cause nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, and many other sensations and effects. Not every cancer patient undergoing the same treatment experiences the same effects, but the potential is always there.
One cancer treatment drug, Methotrexate, or MTX, comes with a number of dangerous side effects, and that’s not including the whopping 763 different medications that MTX interacts with as well. However, there was a study performed on mice concerning oregano oil and the results showed that oregano oil’s carvacrol component was able to minimize some of the side effects.
Additionally, oregano oil helps to protect the body from cancerous mutations. It protects your DNA from a number of factors that could otherwise damage it. This essential oil has also shown promise in inhibiting melanoma cells from growing.
Relief from Insects
Regardless of whether you are out camping, hiking in a wooded area, or are stepping outside your own front door, one thing is certain, mosquitos are everywhere, and the closer to a wooded area and water source you are, the more of the blood sucking, little dive bombers you will have careening towards you. In fact, it’s almost as though they can sense you from the moment you step outside. They are always waiting for you.
There are numerous products available claiming to come to your defense from candles to sprays to personal accessories and more. The problem is that most of these products contain chemicals, some of which have names that are impossible to pronounce.
One of the infamous ingredients widely used in a number of insect repellents is DEET. While it is still approved for direct use on the skin, there are a number of negative side effects associated with DEET, including a few fatalities. Some people are even allergic to DEET, making accidental usage dangerous. Thus, DEET is a serious chemical that should be respected and never misused or abused. While it is certainly effective against mosquitos, ask yourself first whether the risk is worth taking.
Carvacrol in oregano oil works wonders as nature’s own insect repellent. One of the great things about using oregano oil is that carvacrol is effective at repelling the blood sucking, little buggers regardless of whether you apply it in diluted form directly to your skin, or apply a few drops on your patio furniture. But, insect repellent isn’t the only thing that oregano oil can be.
If you’ve already received a mosquito bite, or have developed a rash, particularly that from brushing against poison ivy, then consider a adding oregano essential oil to a little olive oil as an aid. By using a diluted combination of oregano oil and olive oil on the itchy spot, you can find the soothing relief you need.
Toothaches occur at the least convenient of times, and often when the dental office is closed. They can happen for any number of reasons such as decay, infection, injury, or food getting caught between the tooth and gums. So, what can you do about toothache?
First, unless the cause is obviously associated with damage, decay, or tooth loss, check first to ensure that a small piece of food hasn’t wedged itself between your tooth and gums. If it has, use a piece of dental floss to gently remove it. Then, rinse your mouth with some warm saltwater before beginning your oregano treatment.
Place a few drops of oregano oil beneath your tongue and hold it there for a few minutes. Afterwards, swish your mouth with colloidal silver and spit it out. You can then rub both the colloidal silver as well as a dab of oil of oregano into the gum area surrounding the painful tooth and repeat this treatment every hour as needed. However, if your toothache persists, then do contact your dentist for prompt care.
The same treatment can be used for the other types of toothaches as well. Keep in mind that a decayed tooth is the most common reason behind a toothache. Decayed teeth are caused by mouth bacteria feeding on your tooth enamel and drilling a cavity into the tooth. Once the cavity reaches the nerve deep within, you can expect not only pain, especially when biting or chewing, but also temperature sensitivity as well, which can also be painful.
There are a growing number of dentists that now offer emergency dental care if needed during non-business hours. Some dental offices have a dentist on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, sometimes even including holidays. If the pain is unmanageable, or you have a broken tooth with bleeding or swelling, don’t suffer needlessly. Contact your dentist for emergency dental services, to correct the problem before it worsens.
Good Source of Essential Nutrients
Like a good herb, oregano is there and it is brimming with nutrients that your body needs every day. While it doesn’t take the place of a multivitamin, it can still give your body a boost and help bridge the gap between what you eat and what your body requires.
A growing number of people engage in an annual body cleanse each year. For others, the cleanse is performed more frequently. Eliminating toxins from your body has become a kind of ritual for many. Some use it prior to beginning a diet or healthy eating regime, while others perform it simply to maintain good health. Whatever the reason for the cleanse, wild oregano oil can aid you by stimulating bile to flow through your digestive organs.
Ah, menstruation. It can be a bane and a blessing all at the same time for any woman. While it certainly does serve its purpose well, sometimes it leaves one to wonder if Mother Nature has overindulged in her, ahem, monthly blessing. Painful cramps, bloating, and fatigue are enough to make anyone feel less than thrilled during that festive week of each month. The symptoms that run along with a menstrual cycle can be truly problematic for some women, especially for those with irregular cycles.
For this reason, oregano oil may provide assistance. It can help support a regular monthly cycle as well as protect you during the menopause phase against some of the negative effects that run alongside “the change”.
Anything with anti-aging benefits seems to be among the hottest trends from creams, lotions, pills, serums, injections — you name it. Some of these anti-aging products, however, can be quite costly as well coming with a price tag of $20, $50, or more. Why pay more, when you can benefit for less the natural way?
The benefits of oregano oil reach into the anti-aging market as well. Oxidation and free radicals are the primary culprits behind accelerated aging and oregano oil provides a huge boost of antioxidants that can help fight it.
Weight Loss Aid
Aside from anti-aging products, if there are any other products out there that can top the list, it would have to be weight loss products. In a world where obesity runs rampant in many places, there are a gazillion different weight loss aids and programs that will promise any number of things to direct your purchasing power their way. However, when a natural product is available, and for considerably less, wouldn’t it make sense to try it first?
Oregano oil’s carvacrol component can, among its many other uses, influence genes and aid in reducing your white adipose tissue, otherwise known as body fat.
What You should Know
While it would be nice if everyone were perfectly able to enjoy the whole slew of oil of oregano benefits, but a perfect world this is not. With that said, if you are allergic to any of the plants within the Lamiaceae family, such as basil, marjoram, sage, hyssop, lavender, or mint, it is also possible that you may experience sensitivity to oregano oil as well and you should, therefore, avoid using it.
Additionally, if you have a bleeding disorder, or if you are planning to have surgery, you should first consult with your doctor as oil oregano can increase the risk of bleeding. If you are planning to have surgery, cease any oregano treatments at least two weeks before your scheduled procedure.
Diabetics should practice caution when using oregano oil due to the essential oil’s ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, using oregano oil is not recommended by some due to safety concerns during pregnancy and lack of safety information concerning medicinal amounts of the essential oil used during both pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The problem is that the use of essential oils during pregnancy is a hot topic of debate because of insufficient evidence pointing towards the safety of its use one way or another. According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, or NAHA, it is recommended that women avoid using it during the first few months of pregnancy. However, after that, using a few drops of an essential oil in a bath, as an inhalant, or for topical application doesn’t appear to pose any harm, nor have any reports shown otherwise.
In fact, the only known application during pregnancy that has resulted in miscarriage was in those individuals who used an essential oil in large, toxic doses, primarily for the purpose of aborting the fetus.
There are several oils that the NAHA recommends not to use during pregnancy:
Lavandula Stoechas (Lavender)
There are also a number of essential oils that appear to be safe for use during pregnancy according to NAHA.
German and Roman Chamomile
Other non-toxic essential oils not listed also appear to be safe during pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding. Visit the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy website for a more complete list.
Where to Buy
There are numerous places where you can buy oregano oil such as your local health food store, an aromatherapist, Amazon, Ebay, or any number of other online stores.
However, before you buy, there are a few important things you should know about the brand that you are considering.
Plant source. Organically grown plants are best as they will reduce the likelihood of your exposure to pesticides.
Purity and Quality. The purer the product, the more effective the oil’s antimicrobial benefits will be.
Amount of the active ingredients. The oil’s carvacrol concentrations with each oil varies, depending on quality. On average, it can range between 50% and 85%. While the cost increases as the concentration of carvacrol increases, so do the antimicrobial benefits.
So, what is the big deal with wild oregano oil? Quite a bit, actually. Using essential oils for your health is a great alternative to standard medicine in many instances. Oregano oil is no different. While there are some people who should not use essential oil, and some who should practice caution while using them, for the average person, essential oils have no dangerous side effects. There are still numerous times when regular pharmaceuticals may be required. However, when an alternative option is available, why not use it?
The one word of caution, however, is ensuring that you are purchasing from a reputable dealer. There are a few dealers out there who tote their essential oils as being “aromatherapy grade” or “therapeutic grade” quality. However, there is no such thing at this time. The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, or NAHA, currently has no grading system for essential oils, nor has there been one previously. Anyone suggesting otherwise may be making a false claim on the product and as the buyer, this is something that you should be aware of.