Health Benefits of Oil of Oregano

glass eyedropper bottle of oil of oregano beside oregano leaves

What is oil of oregano and why would you want to use it?

The oregano plant is an herb that’s been traditionally used in Mediterranean culture for food and medicinal purposes.

Research have shown that the oil from the plant contains a variety of active ingredients that can fight virus, bacteria and fungal infections.

People would apply the oil topically to the skin or ingest it.

Oregano oil offers the following benefits:

  • Can help your body fight off the flu and colds
  • May reduce pain and inflammation
  • Can kill certain germs and viruses on contact
  • May help repel fungi, parasites and yeast infections
  • Can provide immediate relief from certain allergies and insect bites

What are the Active Ingredients?

The oregano plant (Origanum vulgare) is a flowering plant in the mint family and is found throughout Europe and Asia.

The oils are made by steam-distilling the leaves. It’s active compounds are classified as terpenes, phenols and flavonoids.

While you get a number of other constituents in the oil, the majority of research is based on the active ingredients carvacrol, thymol, rosmarinic acid and naringin:

What are the Health Benefits of Oregano Oil?

There are a number of ways you can use oregano oil to treat different health conditions.  Based on the available research, here’s small collection of studies highlighting its health benefits:

  1. Acne – A study published in 2018 indicated that oregano oil is a safe, effective treatment for acne caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  2. Yeast Infections – Brazilian researchers discover that the oils areeffective anti-fungal against 16 different strains of Candida yeast.
  3. Herpes and Viral Infections – Most anti-viral drugs don’t kill viruses, they only inhibit their development. Carvacrol is one of the few ingredients that can actually ‘break open’ the virus’s outer shell, exposing the inner RNA and destroying it. Studies showed that carvacrol is effective against the herpes virus.
  4. Anti-Cancer – Phytotherapy Research Journal reports that it has anti-cancer properties in breast, liver and lung cancers.
  5. Enhances Wound Healing – Doctors at University of Medicine, New Jersey found a 3% extract of oregano oil decreased bacterial infections and improved healing in post-surgical wounds.
  6. Fights Skin Inflammation – Scientists report this essential oil can significantly inhibit inflammation and scar formation in human skin cells.
  7. Toenail Fungus – Many studies indicate that it has anti-fungal properties and it can effectively treat toenail fungus.

How to Safely Use and Choose the Best Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is now a popular natural health supplement and you can get it online or health food stores.

You can get the oil in soft gel form or bottled liquid oils. Since it’s available in these two different forms, you can apply the oil to your skin or take it by mouth.  The method you use will usually depend on the health condition you’re treating.

There aren’t many documented studies on the most effective dosage, but there are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • By Mouth: If you want to take it orally, you can place a couple of drops in a small cup of water and swallow it.
  • Absorbed Under the Tongue: By placing a couple of drops under your tongue, you are dissolving it so it can be rapidly absorbed into your blood by the tissue. The oils don’t go through your digestive system so it may be more easily absorbed. The big disadvantage is if you have any mouth sores of which can become irritated by the strong spicy oil. You can dilute the strength of the oil by mixing with some olive oil before placing it under your tongue. Hold the oil for a few minutes under your tongue before flushing your mouth with water.
  • Apply to Your Skin: If you want to treat joint pain, aching muscles or some other type of skin condition, dilute the oil with olive oil and apply to the affected area. You should do a small skin patch test to check for any possible skin reactions or side effects.

You can also give the oil to children, but you may have to use weaker and more diluted solutions. You can research online or visit  natural health forums to learn other ways people have used this essential oil for treating a variety of conditions.

Remember to consult with your doctor before using the oil for treating any condition.

Using a guide will help you choose the best product based on the concentration and purity. You’ll find there are a wide variety of products to choose from.  The oil comes in different strengths and soft gel dosages. Bottles containing 100% pure oils will generally cost more than diluted oils or products containing other ingredients.

Make sure you read the ingredient labels as it may tell you the strength and concentration of carvacrol and other ingredients. There may also be additional information on how to use the product and suggested or recommended dosages.

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