Oil of oregano is obtained from oregano leaves and flowers (Origanum vulgare). The bushy perennial herb is a member of the mint family. Wild oregano oil is the most therapeutically beneficial oil.
You probably use oregano to give flavor to your pasta and meat dishes. But, it can easily be turned into herbal oil with numerous health benefits.
Oregano oil is native to Europe, but it grows in many parts of the world. The plant can grow up to 35 centimeters high, and its dark green leaves grow up to 1.8 inches.
Ancient Greeks and Romans appreciated oregano, and used it to treat numerous ailments. Its name comes from the Greek words “oros” and “ganos,” standing for mountain and joy. Yes, oregano would practically mean “joy of the mountain.”
Brides and grooms were crowned with a laurel of oregano. Science has recognized over 40 oregano species, but wild oregano is the most appreciated variety.
Many of the oregano oils sold in your grocery store are not made from wild oregano, which means you should only look for the oil made from Origanum vulgare and Thymus capitatus, a variety that’s commonly found in Spain.
Dried leaves and flowers are harvested because the oil content of the plant is at its highest at that point. The dried material is distilled, and the resulting oil has a strong spicy odor and golden to dark yellow color.
Oregano oil is a strong antimicrobial agent that wards off infections. It offers potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Here are some other uses of this oil:
Foot or nail fungus
Add a few teaspoons of the oil in a basin of water, and soak your feet in the solution. Dilute the oil with a drop of carrier oil, and apply it directly on the affected area.
Parasites and infections
Dilute the oil with a drop of carrier oil and hold it under your tongue for a few minutes. Rinse. Do this at least 4 times a day.
Sinus infections and colds
Add a few drops of the oil in a pot of steaming hot water, and inhale the vapors.
Here’s another use of this oil. Add four drops of oregano oil, 10 drops of lemon oil, and a quarter cup of white vinegar to a bucket of water. Use this solution to wipe and clean dirty surfaces.
Phenols are natural phytochemical compounds with strong antioxidant effect.
Thymol is a natural fungicide and offers powerful antiseptic effect. It boosts immunity, wards off toxins, and prevents tissue damage. It’s also shown to accelerate healing.
Carvacrol aids in the treatment of bacterial infections, including Candida albicans, staphylococcus, E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, klebsiella, the aspergillus mold, giardia, pseudomonas, and listeria.
Oregano oil contains other powerful compounds:
Terpenes have antibacterial effect
Rosmarinic acid is an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Scientists have confirmed that it treats asthma, and prevents cancer and atherosclerosis. Rosmarinic acid is a natural histamine that reduces fluid buildup and swelling triggered by allergy attacks.
Naringin inhibits cancer growth, and boosts the antioxidant power of oregano oil.
Beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) reduces inflammation, and aids in the treatment of osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome.
Oregano oil also contains vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, boron and niacin.
Oregano oil is mostly beneficial for your respiratory and immunity. It can also prevent and treat infections.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by E. coli, Proteus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Respiratory infections are caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria strains.
Yeast infections are gone after the very first application of oregano oil, including even the infections that are resistant to the most commonly used antifungal drug Diflucan.
Parasitic infections are caused by the amoeba giardia. Oregano oil is more powerful than antibiotics like Tinidazol.
Methicillin-resistant staphlococcus aureus (MRSA) infection can be also treated with this oil. A team of Indian and British researchers have found that oregano oil offers antibacterial effect that literally destroys the superbug.
Oregano oil prevents food-borne illnesses caused by listeria, salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella dysenteria. Add it to your food to kill the bacteria, and treat food poisoning symptoms.
According to an animal study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona, oregano oil can kill the norovirus which actually causes gastroenteritis. Oregano oil is often used as an antiseptic oil in aromatherapy because of its phenol content. Scientists believe that it has the highest content of phenols when compared to other aromatic plants.
You can also use oregano oil to ward off insects, because carvacrol is a natural insect repellent. Apply a few drops on your outdoor furniture or just add diluted oil onto your skin.
- Use diluted oregano oil to relive bug bites, rashes, poison ivy rash, etc.
- Diluted oregano oil can help in the treatment of acne, rosacea, cold sores, dandruff, and other skin issues.
- Add a few drops of the oil to a glass of water to soothe sore throat and relieve toothache.
- Oregano oil is an excellent remedy for muscle/joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), sprains and cramps.
Make your own oregano oil infusion
You should follow some detailed instructions, and the procedure is actually a special distillation process. But, don’t get disappointed, because there’s an easy way to make your own oregano oil infusion at home.
- Oregano leaves, crushed
- Olive, almond or grape seed oil
- Sanitized jar with lid
Boil the water, and turn off the heat. Put your oregano and oil in the jar, and place it in the saucepan with hot water. Let it “rest” for 5-10 minutes so the leaves release their natural oils.
Take the jar out of the water bath, and keep it next to a sunny window for 7-14 days. Shake the content once in a while.
Strain the oil, and pour it into a sanitized jar. Keep it in a dark and cool place. You can add a few more drops of grapefruit seed oil to preserve the oil.
The power of oregano oil
The compounds of oregano oil work in a synergy and provide an excellent antimicrobial power. Carvacrol is the most powerful component, and it’s an excellent antimicrobial agent. This component breaks through outer cell membranes and protect the system from bacteria.
Oregano oil is only recommended for a short-term use, of course, when used orally. Take it in small doses of 4-6 drops for a week or 10 days.
“Oregano oil can either be applied topically or ingested, depending on the condition you’re using it for. However, I advise against using the oil full-strength, as it can irritate your skin. Do not apply it to broken skin or open wounds.”
Is oregano oil safe for you?
It’s safe only when diluted in water or carrier oil. You should always use one part of oregano oil and three parts of carrier oil. Do a spot test to see if the oil causes allergic reactions.
Beware of the fake formula, because some producers offer adulterated oils and products made from thyme, Spanish oregano, and cultivated oregano. These products don’t offer any health effect.
Oregano oil may cause stomach upset when ingesting the oil or the herb. If you are allergic to mint, lavender, sage or basil (plants from Lamiaceae family), avoid oregano oil, because you may deal with an allergic reaction.
Oregano is not recommended for infants and children, pregnant or nursing women. It may encourage blood circulation in the uterus, and thus deteriorate the lining within the womb. Oregano oil may induce menstruation, and can be dangerous to your unborn baby.