Oil of Oregano is made by taking fresh leaves from Oregano vulgare and making an infusion using a carrier oil—commonly olive or grape seed oil. The leaves are steeped in the oil over a period of weeks, which draws the volatile (less stable) components out of the leaves and into the carrier oil. Once the leaves are discarded, you’re left with an oil rich in beneficial compounds. Sometimes steam distillation is used for extraction instead of a carrier oil.
The word oregano derives from the Greek oros and "nos meaning mountain and joy. Hence, oregano literally means "joy of the mountain." In ancient times, it was traditional to crown brides and grooms with a laurel of oregano as it was revered as a symbol of happiness.
How does Oil of Oregano work?
Analysis of the mechanism of effect of oil of oregano suggests that the oxygen molecules in the oil react with water molecules in the body, thus creating heat enough to kill the germs via dehydration.
In 2000, Phytotherapy Research published a limited study on eleven adults suffering from the intestinal Blastocystis hominis. This organism can cause anal itching, diarrhea and weight loss. Doses of 600 mg oil of oregano were administered daily for six weeks, with the result that eight participants were completely free of the parasite, and the remaining three had a reduction in symptoms.
- Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 86, June 2000
What is Oil of Oregano used for?
Certain elements in Oil of Oregano have been identified to help in specific ways, for instance:
• Thymol is natural fungicide used to kill various fungi such as ringworm and athletes foot
• Carvacrol reduces candida and yeast infections
• Terpenes is a powerful antibacterial
• Rosmarinic acid works as a natural antihistamine to help breathing problems such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis
• Naringin inhibits the growth of cancer cells
• Beta-caryophyllin inhibits inflammation
Because of these properties, promising research shows Oil of Oregano to be helpful with regard to a multitude of health issues:
• Useful agent in fighting parasites and bacterial infections (as noted above)
• Reduces intestinal gas and diarrhea
• Lessens digestive problems
• Eases suffering from migraine headaches
• Improves eczema
• Eases sore throat
• Provides immediate relief from venomous bites and bee stings
• Fights skin disorders such as diaper rash, dandruff, and other topical disorders
• Prevent and treat wound infections
• Aids in healing tick-borne infections
• Effective against the superbug MRSA
• Is a natural antihistamine to relieve sinusitis
• Reduces symptoms of shingles
• Helps prevent and heal bladder infections
• Eases symptoms and may shorten duration of the flu
• Has shown to be effective against hepatitis
- Southern Medical Journal, Volume 94, August 2001
How Do I Take Oil of Oregano?
Oil of oregano is available both in capsules and liquid drops. Taken internally for infections, colds or flu, a 150 lb. adult would take the drops or capsules 2 or 3 times a day until symptoms subside. Used topically, oil of oregano can help heal cuts and prevent infection. For use in liquid form, oil of oregano should be diluted with water and applied to the affected area. To shorten a cold or bronchitis, use capsules.
Where can I find it?
It’s crucial that you be sure you’re purchasing true oregano and not a substitute like marjoram or thyme. Oil of Oregano is usually available at local health food stores, or you can pick it up right here in our office.
Wherever you choose to get Oil of Oregano, be sure it’s from a reputable company, as it’s suspected that some of the oils commercially available oils are derived from non-oregano species, again available various types of marjoram and thyme in particular. There are also different concentrations of oregano oil created with different extraction processes, some of which may involve using hazardous solvents.
Oregano oil is a great addition to your arsenal against colds, flu, and infections to work in conjunction with Lauricidin, Zinc Lozenges and Echinacea. It’s also helpful for mild stomach upset, toothaches, bronchitis, and even athlete's foot.
Helpful Hints for using Oil of Oregano
Gentle warning: Even though oregano oil is really good for you, it doesn’t necessarily taste good! For best effect, take oil of oregano with food.
If you’re sensitive to anything that causes heartburn, get coated capsules that are absorbed in the small and large intestine rather than breaking down in the stomach.
Capsules also work well if you need oregano’s germ-killing action farther down your GI tract.
Put a few drops of oregano oil in a vaporizer or diffuser to help unstuff your sinuses.
If you’re going to use it topically, always dilute oregano oil in an additional carrier oil such as almond or olive oil, or some other pure vegetable oil, so you don’t burn your skin.
Important: Do not use canola or Wesson oil or any other commercially used vegetable oils.
-Journal Food Protection, Volume 64, July 2003
• Oil of oregano is for temporary use--4 to 6 drops per day—or the capsule equivalent—for 7 to 10 days.
• Unless your healthcare provider specifically prescribes otherwise, avoid using Oil of Oregano for infants, children, pregnant and nursing women, those with high blood pressure and cardiac issues.
• Always go slowly and discontinue using Oil of Oregano immediately if it irritates your skin or if you have any kind of systemic reaction such as wheezing, rash, or other common signs of allergic reaction.
A Final Note
Oil of oregano may well be a miracle in many ways, however… If you get colds and flu every year, you may be missing something and should get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem in the first place.
Always remember: the only way to know exactly what you need to take to prevent or alleviate chronic and infectious disease is to be tested. Then you’ll know precisely what your body needs as well as what diet you need to follow.
Knowing the root cause of all your ailments may save you time and money by taking the guesswork out of your health care choices.