Oil of Oregano’s Ingredients and Their Health Benefits

oil of oregano plant and its ingredients

Oregano Plant

Can you really use oregano oil for your health and well-being?

Historically, the oregano plant has been a staple in Mediterranean culture for hundreds of years. The Ancient Greeks used this herbal plant’s leaves, stems and essential oils for medicinal and cooking purposes.

When modern researchers took a closer look at oil of oregano ingredients, they found a unique mixture of compounds that offer many health benefits:

  • It’s a broad-spectrum antibiotic
  • Helps fight fungal infections
  • Kills parasites
  • Has antiviral properties
  • Prevents free radical damage to your cells
  • It’s a natural antihistamine
  • Could help lower cholesterol levels
  • May inhibit cancer cell growth

Here you’ll learn what oil of oregano’s ingredients are the health benefits they offer.

The 5 Main Active Ingredients in Oregano Oil

While many plants and essential oils contain a variety of ingredients, oregano oil was found to contain a unique mixture of compounds not found in other plants.

The 5 main ingredients found in oil of oregano are:

  1. Volatile Oils
  2. Terpenes
  3. Rosmarinic Acid
  4. Naringin
  5. Tocopherols.

Each of these compounds has different properties and health effects.

Here’s a more detailed look at each specific ingredient and their reported effects and health benefits.

1. Volatile Oils:

Oil of Oregano contains two volatile oils called Carvacrol and Thymol. These compounds are responsible for oregano oil’s anti-microbial properties.

2. Terpenes:

The name, terpene, originates from the word ‘turpentine’. You’ve probably used turpentine as a solvent for stripping off old paint, but this particular ingredient plays a more healthier role in oregano oil. Terpenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of many plants and flowers, particularly pine trees, and have a strong pine-smelling odor.

The Journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy reported that terpenes have anti-bacterial properties and are effective against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Tea tree oil is another essential oil that has anti-septic properties due to a terpene called terpinen-4-OL. 

3. Rosmarinic acid:

Rosmarinic acid is a polyphenol similar to caffeic acid (which is found in coffee).  There are dozens of studies showing rosmarinic acid is an anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  It’s been reported to have neuro-protective properties and can help lower the risk for atherosclerosis.

Other studies have shown that plants rich in Rosmarinic acid can be an help with allergic asthma and is an effective natural antihistamine.

4. Naringin:

Naringin is a plant compound classified as flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant compounds found in all fruits and vegetables. They are potent anti-oxidants and are responsible for the bright, vivid colors you see in fruits and vegetables. Naringin has been shown to inhibit cancer cells from growing and was proven to be an effective antioxidant.

grapefruitNaringin is also found in grapefruits, which gives them that bitter taste. Naringin has been found to increase the bio-availability of nutrients by reducing the enzyme activity in your digestive tract.

This is why some doctors or pharmacists may advise you to watch your grapefruit intake when taking certain medications; the naringin in grapefruit could cause your body to absorb more medication than it normally does leading to a possible over dose of medication in your system.

5. Tocopherols:

The most well known tocopherol is good ol’ vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Tocopherols have been found to reduce your risk for cataracts, cancer and heart disease.

They can also help in the formation of red blood cells and also help your body use Vitamin K, an important vitamin for forming blood clots.

Other oil of oregano ingredients include vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron and manganese.

When buying oil of oregano, it’s important to learn how to choose products that are highly-purified and contain all of these essential ingredients for maximum benefits.

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