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