This is another one of my favorite herbs. We use this herb when any of us get bronchitis or upper respiratory infections. This is our "antibiotic."
Oregano is an aromatic herb that belongs to the mint family, it can grow to about two feet in height. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is cultivated worldwide. The leaves as well as the volatile oil of oregano are used medicinally, but must be carefully distinguished as they are quite different. There is a common oregano that is use for cooking and the oregano that is use to make oil. Origanum Marjoram is the common oregano used for cooking. Origanum Vulgare is the wild oregano used for making oil.Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. The two important compounds that are responsible for the many health benefits of oregano are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds can inhibit the growth of bacteria, virus and fungi which is the main causes of many illnesses in humans. Oregano oil is marketed in either liquid or capsules/ tablets forms.
Health Benefits of Oregano Oil:
- It strong antiviral and antibacterial properties can help destroy organisms that contribute to skin infections.
- It also has antiparisitic properties which is helpful in digestive problems
- It can strengthen the immune system
- It helps increase the joint and muscles flexibility
- Improves respiratory health.
- Oil of Oregano when applied topically can help treat skin infections, itchy skin and irritated gums, (but make sure it has been diluted because oregano oil is concentrated and can cause burning sensation to tongue or skin).
- The high content of thymol and carvacrol in oregano can help calm upset stomachs and aid digestion. Mix 2 to 3 drops of oil to a glass of juice, milk or water for a quick remedy for mild indigestion.
- Oil of Oregano can help in the treatment of sinus or lung congestion. Just mix 2 or 3 drops of oil with juice, and drink this daily, you can notice the improvement within 3-5days. (We use capsules from Gaia herbs)
- Oregano has antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that the anti-oxidant properties of oregano may even exceed that of apples and blueberries. Antioxidant vitamins are thought to play a vital role in the prevention of many forms of cancer, as well as perhaps slowing down the aging process.
- Oregano is rich in fiber
- Fresh oregano like other leafy vegetables is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. It is a good source of iron and manganese as well as calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. It also has omega-3 fatty acids.
- Oregano is good in maintaining the respiratory health
- Oregano oil, also acts as a stimulant, carminative, and it helps to increase perspiration when a person has fever.
- Oregano can help increase menstrual flow.
- When given in the form of a warm infusion, oregano relieves muscle spasms and cramps, colic, or spasmodic pains in the abdomen.
- The dried leaves can also be applied in bags as a warm application to painful arthritic swellings and other conditions, including rheumatism.
- Oregano oil may reduce the body's ability to absorb iron. Therefore pregnant women are advised not to take Oil of Oregano regularly.
- If you are allergic to thyme, basil, mint, or sage you may also experience sensitivity to oregano oil since they all came from the same plant family.
- Be careful when taking oregano oil internally because its highly concentrated form may cause harm to the internal organ.
- Volatile oils are generally considered contraindicated in pregnancy as they likely reach the baby and may cause harm.
- Topically, the volatile oil of oregano may be moderately irritating to skin and can be a potent mucous membrane irritant. Therefore it should not be applied topically to mucous membranes in greater than a 1% concentration. Children less than two years of age and people with damaged or very sensitive skin should not use the oil topically.