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Oregano Oil

Home grown oregano plant in a potThe naturally occuring anti-microbial properties of oregano oil have been known for millennia. Oregano, or Origanum vulgare, is a plant of the mint family, believed to have originated in Greece. A pungent perennial shrub, growing up to two feet tall, indoors or outdoors, just about anywhere in the world. It's leaves, dried then pulverized, are used to season mediterranean cuisine, as a natural preservative, and have a high level of anti oxidants which help prevent damage to our body's cells. It contains two potent oils, thymol and carvacrol, which have a remarkable ability to inhibit the growth of pathogens.

So What is Oregano Oil?

Commercial Wild Oregano Oil - BottledOregano Oil, also known as Oil of Oregano, is an essential oil derived from the oregano plant. The oil extracted from the herb. Because the oregano plant is native to Greece and grows naturally (chemical free) in the wild, it is produced and sold commercially as organic Wild Oregano Oil. Although it can cause a stinging or burning sensation, especially for children, or when applied topically to open sores or wounds, in the United Kingdom it is classified as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).

Many manufactures often suggest diluting Oregano Oil with a carrier oil such as Olive Oil or Coconut Oil before use, though just about any edible oil can be used to dilute it's potency. Oregano Oil usually is sold in small 25 ml or 50 ml bottles with a pipette built into the cap for easy removal of the oil, and as gel capsules usually with 2-5 milliliters of oil per capsule which can be swallowed without leaving a strong taste in the mouth, or can be cut open and used as a topical application.

Oregano Oil Uses

Dried oregano leaves used as a herbOther than it's most common use as a culinary herb, some people swear by Oregano Oil's therapeutic properties and that it will cure just about anything, from foot fungus to ear infections, and there are some scientific studies to back their claims.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the following ailments can be cured, or at least soothed, by using Oregano Oil. It's important you keep an open mind, some of the ailments may have been cured by the body's immune system alone, not simply because the patient was using Oregano Oil.

On the other hand, scientific studies have shown there are two principal inhibitory components of Oregano Oil. They have been found to be effective against Staphylococcus Aureus, as well as prevent further proliferation of pathogens such as Escherichia Coli (E.Coli), Salmonella, Bacillus and several other strains of bacteria. These are:

  • Carvacrol

    A pungent liquid phenol shown to fight several types of bacterial infections such as Escherichia Coli, Candida Albicans, Salmonella, Listeria, Staphhylococcus and more. Also found in other plants of the mint family such as Thyme.

  • Thymol

    An aromatic liquid phenol, less powerful than Carvacrol, but with antiseptic and antifungal properties which can help protect against toxins and promote healing. This compound is also found in other plants of the mint family such as Rosemary and Thyme.

Remember to test the strength of your Oregano Oil and your threshold for the burning sensation it causes. Strength varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so changing brands may result in an increase or decrease in tolerance.

Colds and Flu

While it won't cure the common cold or influenza, a few drops taken orally, three times a day, or inhaled through a nebuliser can provide symptomatic relief.

  • If you don't have a nebuliser readily available, you can add a few drops into a basin of hot water, cover your head with a bath towel and inhale the steam. Oregano Oil's anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation of the sinuses which is what causes a stuffy nose.
  • You can also try a compress, by submerging a washcloth into the hot water and oregano oil mixture, then once cool enough, applying the compress directly to your skin, or face while inhaling through it.
  • Ingesting one to two drops a day, or a single capsule, may help prevent infection by boosting your body's defence mechanisms.

Throat and Chest Infections

The most common cause of sore throat is infection from the streptococcal strain of bacteria. Because Oregano Oil has both anti-viral and ant-bacterial properties, it can also be an effective treatment for throat infections, including Strep Throat and Tonsillitis.

  • As with Colds and Flu, use a nebuliser, or add a few drops of Oregano Oil into a basin of hot water and inhale the steam.
  • Once or twice a day, dilute two to three drops into a glass of water, milk or juice to help disguise the pungent taste. Swish around the mouth and gargle if possible, before swallowing.
  • Use as a safer alternative to antibiotics.

Outer Ear Infections

As an anti-septic, Oregano Oil will prevent the growth of an established infection. Applied topically, it immediately gets to work on ear infections killing all pathogens on contact, however caution should be used in and around the ears. Additionally, the oil has a softening effect on ear wax, aiding the natural expulsion process. Some people have a high tolerance for the burning sensation when applied directly to the skin. Others have been desensitized to it after prolonged use and can use the Oregano Oil undiluted. Proceed with caution.

Begin by diluting a few drops of oil in a carrier oil such as Olive Oil at a rate of about 1 part Oregano Oil to 10 parts Olive Oil. Apply to the back of the hand and wait a few minutes to gauge your tolerance. If required, dilute further, or use a more concentrated mixture if you can bear it.

You should never force anything into your ear canal, not even a cotton ear bud. You not only risk rupturing or damaging the ear drum, but you will almost certainly push and compact any ear wax or other debris deeper into the ear canal. This will result in longer lasting blockage and may exacerbate the infection.

  • Apply the mixture in and around the earlobe, taking care not to go near or enter the ear canal. Use a cotton ear bud to smear the oil in and around the earlobe.
  • For blockages, tilt your head to one side and use a pipette, or eye dropper to place a few extra drops into the earlobe and reposition your head until you feel the oil enter the canal opening. Let it rest there for a few minutes while it soaks into the ear wax. Straighten up and wipe away any excess oil.
  • Repeat after 12 hours if necessary.

Curette, used for removing ear wax.For severely compacted wax that is impairing your hearing, you can visit a Doctor who will use an instrument, known as a curette, to remove your excess wax. This is a simple instrument that looks like a sewing needle, with the loop shaped top inserted into the canal and pressed into the wax which is then extracted. Quite a simple procedure when performed by someone with a better vantage point than yourself.

Benefits of Oregano Oil

  • Anti-parasitic, antifungal, anti-bacterial and anti viral. No known pathogens can survive contact with Wild Oregano Oil, therefore it has traditionally been used to fight all kinds of infection, and stop disease spreading. This use has begun to regain popularity over the last 10 years as modern methods of dealing with infection have been shown to be less effective than traditional methods. With antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and modern disinfectants that may not be effective against all viral agents.
  • Immune support - fresh oil of oregano is known to regulate and strengthen the immune system, thus benefiting general health. At the first sign of infection immediately start taking 4 drops every 3 hours of Sweet Cures wild hand-picked Wild Oregano Oil C80 . Most of the time, if you do this is said to stop infections in their tracks, whether viral or bacterial.
  • Mucous support - known to help with mucous motility, thus helping intestinal disorders and helping the mucous membranes that are so important to our general health and comfort. Together with its known ability to stimulate bile production, this can greatly aid digestion, especially in the case of 'slow systems'.
  • Trying to get pregnant? Wild Oregano Oil should not be taken when pregnant without a Doctor's advice, it may help sperm motility in the uterus whilst trying to get pregnant. To put it in simple terms, the thicker the mucous, the harder it is for sperm to get to the egg. Wild Oregano Oil helps mucous mobility.

Side-Effects & Risk Factors

Oregano has Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status. This indicates that it is widely regarded as a safe product to use.

  • Consult your Doctor if using blood thinners such as Warfarin or Aspirin. Oregano oil has a naturally occurring blood thinning effect.
  • Not suitable during pregnancy, may be harmful to the fetus.
  • The liver needs time to process so a few days on, a few days off is recommended.
  • Do not exceed recommended dosages. In high doses, thymol is a mild irritant.
  • Use a carrier oil when applying to skin, be particularly careful around broken skin or open wounds.
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