Oregano is obtained from the flowers and leaves of oregano (Origanum vulgare), a bushy herb and a member or the mint family. It grows in most areas worldwide, but it is native to Europe. Its name derives from the Greek words “oros” and “ganos,” meaning “joy of the mountain.”
There are currently more than 400 oregano species, but the oil produced from Origanum vulgare is the most therapeutically beneficial.
Uses of Oregano Oil
It is highly recommended to add oregano oil to your arsenal of healing foods, as it indeed offers a wide plethora of health benefits. It is a potent antimicrobial which helps combat infections. It is also a powerful antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial agent. Other uses include:
- Treating foot or nail fungus: Add a couple of teaspoons of oregano oil in a basin of water and soak the feet in it. Alternatively, dilute the oil and then apply it on your nails or skin.
- Killing parasites and easing infections: Dilute the oil and place it under the tongue. Hold it for a couple of minutes, and then rinse.
- Alleviating sinus infections and colds: Add a couple of drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water and inhale the steam.
Composition of Oregano Oil
The two most abundant phenols in oregano oil include:
- Thymol : a natural fungicide with antiseptic properties. It helps boost your immune system, works as a shield against toxins, and even helps prevent tissue damage and encourages healing.
- Carvacrol : effective against various bacterial infections like Candida albicans, E. coli, listeria, campylobacter, salmonella, klebsiella, the aspergillus mold, giardia, and pseudomonas.
Other healthy compounds in oregano oil include:
- Terpenes: antibacterial agent
- Rosmarinic acid: an antioxidant which prevents free radical damage
- Naringin: shown to imhibit the growth of cancer cells
- Beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP): beneficial for conditions like osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis
Benefits of Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is mostly known for its ability to prevent and treat infections like:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by bacteria such as E. coli, Proteus,and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Respiratory infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria strains
- Yeast infections, even those that are resistant to antifungal drugs
- Parasitic infections caused by the amoeba giardia
- Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection
In addition to the benefits above, oregano oil can be also used to:
- Ward off insects: Carvacrol in oregano oil works as a natural insect repellant. You can either put a few drops on outdoor furniture or apply a diluted mixture on your skin.
- Relieve bug bites and rashes, including poison ivy rash:Simply apply diluted oregano oil on the affected areas
- Help heal cold sores, dandruff and other skin conditions: Use diluted oregano oil to treat acne and rosacea.
- Ease sore throat: Add a couple of drops to a glass of water
- Help relieve muscle and joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), sprains, and cramps
Oregano Oil Infusion
- Oregano leaves, chopped or crushed
- Olive oil, almond oil or grape seed oil
- Sanitized jar with lid
- Boil some water in a saucepan
- Add the oregano leaves and oil of choice in a jar
- Put the jar in the saucepan for about 5 minutes
- Remove the jar from the saucepan and store beside a sunny window