Nourish - What’s the Scoop on: Oregano Oil
You’re likely to already be familiar with the pungent spicy smell of oregano that is closely connected to Italian and Mediterranean cuisine; but did you also know that Oregano Oil (also known as Oil of oregano) is one of nature’s most powerful remedies?
Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?
What is Oregano Oil?
Oregano is a perennial herb which is native to the milder climates of Europe, the Mediterranean and south-central Asia. Oregano oil is extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant through steam distillation of fresh oregano leaves, and it’s within this oil that the real health benefits come from. Oil of oregano contains a potent blend of plant compounds – namely carvacrol, thymol, eugenol, rosmarinic acid and beta-caryophyllin. Two key compounds, carvacrol and thymol are the key infection-fighting powerhouses. They are able to kill multiple strains of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Oregano oil is an incredibly rich source of antioxidants and this help to protect the body from free radicals and their associated damage, caused by everyday toxins, pollutants and through natural human physiological processes.
What is Oregano Oil good for?
Since oregano oil is one of nature’s most powerful remedies, you won’t be surprised to hear its benefits include having antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti parasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and digestive properties.
Oregano Oil may help to:
Boost the immune system
Treat respiratory conditions such as coughs and colds
Treat urinary tract infections
Treat fungal infections
Reduce topical inflammation
Maintain healthy, clear skin
Protect the body from free radicals caused by everyday toxins and pollutants
Reduce the recurrence and spread of infections
No. 1 – Immune System Booster
Oregano oil is an amazing immune system booster. Simply taking a couple of drops daily are enough to boost your immune system, and help to defend you from any colds or flu viruses going around. This is thanks to oreganos natural components carvacrol and thymol which have antibiotic and antiviral properties.
Taking oregano oil around the change of season, when travelling or finding yourself under stress will help supercharge your immune system and support you against the bugs and viruses going around. It’s a fantastic preventative for the winter.
No. 2 – Natural cold and flu treatment
If you’re unlucky enough to have caught one of the cold and flu bugs going around, oregano oil can help you out there too. Colds, flu, coughs, sore throats and bronchitis are typically caused by viruses or bacteria. Due to its antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, oil of oregano helps to improve symptoms of respiratory infection, cold and flu symptoms and even help shorten the duration of your sickness.
In addition, oregano oil has been shown to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so if you’ve been taking antibiotics and they didn’t do squat, try talking over with a health professional about oregano oil instead.
How to use oregano oil if you’re suffering from a respiratory infection, sinus congestion or general cold:
Add a few drops of oregano essential oil to a bowl of hot water and put a towel over your head, making sure to trap the steam in whilst you breathe in the vapour – this will help immensely. (Make sure to close your eyes to avoid the essential oil evaporating into them!)
You can also add a couple of drops to a diffuser to expel the oil around the room and help you breathe.
Taking orally – drop a couple of drops of Oregano oil p73 a day directly under the tongue or adding it to water will help soothe a sore throat, hoarseness and coughing. Alternatively, you can take the recommended amount of capsules on the bottle. Both will help your body fight from the inside.
No. 3 – Treats Athlete’s Foot and Toe Nail Fungus
Because of its ability to fight fungal infections, oregano oil can also be used to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections.
Athletes foot is a fungal skin condition where the skin becomes dry, flaky, sore, itchy and inflamed.
Toe Nail fungal infection is under the nail. It causes discolouration of the area underneath the nail, cracked nail edges & green/yellowing fungi growth under the nail.
Making use of oregano’s antifungal properties, add oregano oil to a foot soak and/or apply topically diluted in olive, jojoba or coconut oil. (coconut oil is also an antifungal).
Oregano can help to heal the skin in the case of athletes food and eliminate the fungal infection; plus it can help kill the fungus and allow growth of a new nail in the case of toenail fungus. I would also recommend taking oregano oil/capsules internally in addition to external use to help your body fight from the inside until symptoms disappear.
No. 4 – Helps prevention and treatment of Candida
Candida albicans a type of yeast that normally lives in small amounts in places like the mouth, gut and skin without causing any problems.
When the environment is right, the yeast can multiply quickly and grow out of control, causing an infection known as candidiasis. Candidiasis may cause oral or vaginal thrush.
Oregano oil is particularly useful for treating a Candida albicans overgrowth because it contains two naturally occurring antimicrobial agents, carvacrol and thymol. These work to fight Candida overgrowth by reacting with the water in the bloodstream, which dehydrates and eliminates Candida yeast cells. Oregano’s anti fungal properties are also a major player in the game.
And one big advantage to oregano oil is that, unlike many other natural antifungals, the Candida yeast does not develop a resistance to it, making it a highly effective treatment. Candida yeast infections are becoming more resistant to antifungal antibiotics therefore people are looking for more natural alternatives. Oregano is definitely your new go-to in my opinion.
Oregano oil can be used as both a preventative and a treatment for candidiasis.
I would recommend starting out by taking 3 drops under the tongue twice daily (followed by a glass of water to prevent burning your mouth) Gradually up your dose to about 6 drops twice a day over a couple of weeks.
No. 5 – Helps the prevention and treatment of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection is when bacteria gets into the urinary tract and multiplies. Certain bacteria have the ability to attach themselves to the lining of the urinary tract and inhabit the urethra, bladder and kidneys, causing discomfort and pain.
Most urinary tract infections are caused by a bacteria called E. coli which is often treated with antibiotics. The downside is that many strains of E-coli are becoming drug resistant.
The upside is that oregano oil has powerful antimicrobial and antibiotic properties making it effective in inhibiting the growth of clinical strains of serious bacteria such as E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa – happy days!
Oregano oil does a multitude of things against UTI’s, but in short, it disrupts the bacterial cell wall, basically killing the bacteria and leaving it vulnerable to attack by the immune system and stops bacteria from latching on to the bladder wall.
No. 6 – Lessens menstrual pain
You may be surprised to hear that oregano oil may help to alleviate the pain of period pains. This is thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic/anaesthetic (pain relieving) properties.
No. 7 – Use against stings and bites
Oregano oil can be applied directly to stings or bites and help not only reduce the inflammation and pain but also help in the prevention of infection from animal bites and other puncture wounds.
Use diluted with coconut/jojoba/olive oil when applying topically (you can use NAHS straight from the bottle as it’s already diluted). The oil will enter into the wound and neutralize the toxins and pathogens. You can also take a few drops internally for boosted effect.
No. 8 – Natural bug repellent
On the subject of bugs, you can even use oregano oil as a natural bug repellent thanks to the compound carvacrol — a natural insect repellent.
It can be used by applying few drops diluted with coconut/jojoba/olive oil on the skin to avoid insects or mosquitoes from attacking you. Alternatively, you can dilute the oil with water and/or vodka and spray on your skin and clothes, and you can also diffuse the oil into the air with an oil diffuser to keep away insects.
No. 9 – Intestinal and external parasite killer
Oregano contains anti parasitic properties making it fantastic at treating internal and external parasites such as head lice and scabies.
Taking the oil internally as well as externally regularly will help you rid yourself of these unwanted parasites.
For lice I recommend adding some oregano oil to the shampoo (neem shampoo is a good choice) to help kill the lice. For scabies I recommend applying the oil diluted on to the affected area to give instant itch relief and also help to kill the parasite.
Naturally, with internal parasites, internal use is required. And you’ll be happy to know that oregano oil is deadly to all types of pathogens; it can continue to be effective, no matter whatever form they assume.
No. 10 – Helps against Gingivitis (AKA Bad Breath)
Gingivitis is the inflation of gums, often resulting from poor oral hygiene, the formation of plaque or left-over food particles turning into bacteria.
Once again we give thanks to oregano’s anti fungal and anti bacterial properties for they are fantastic at killing the germs that form gingivitis. Plus, oregano helps to soothe the pain and redness of the gums associated with gingivitis, as well as the bad breath. Win-win!
You can add a couple of drops to water and use a mouthwash, rinse and/or gargle, and as always, it can be taken internally too. Oil pulling with coconut oil may also benefit here. See blog here.
No. 11 – Natural dandruff and itchy scalp remedy
Oregano is a great natural dandruff remedy. Simply add roughly 10 drops of oil of oregano into your shampoo (a nettle based one would be good) and the oil will naturally soothe the scalp and stop the itchy scalp and dandruff.
No. 12 – Helps to relieve toothache
A toothache is usually an indication of a larger problem, like tooth decay, and can get worse quickly so you should see a dentist as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. However if you can’t get to see a dentist right away, oregano oil has amazing antibiotic properties which help to relieve toothache and kill the infection in the tooth .Put a couple of drop onto the tooth area and after about 2 minutes you should feel relief. Repeat this up to 5 times in the day.
No. 13 – Digestion
Where to start? Oregano has heaps of benefits for the digestive system. We could make a blog on it all by itself! I’ll try and make it short:
Oregano helps to stimulate the flow of bile into the digestive organs, improving the digestive process.
It’s also antimicrobial and antibacterial and can destroy the most common foodborne pathogens.
Oregano is a fantastic essential oil for use as a preventative and treatment against food poisoning. Oregano oil treats food poisoning by directly killing the pathogenic bacteria that have taken over the gastrointestinal tract. If you don’t have any symptoms but you think you may have eaten something suspect, take a dose of oregano oil right away and a second dose three to four hours later. If symptoms do occur, still take oregano oil to help destroy the pathogen as quickly as possible.
How to take oregano oil
Liquid – you want to make sure the oregano oil you chose is edible-grade oregano, not industrial or perfume grade. We stock North American Herb & Spice Oreganol P73. Take it as a liquid for internal and external use. Take this by dropping the recommended dosage under the tongue and drinking a glass of water straight away afterwards (it’s very strong and will burn).
If you’re taking it externally as a topical treatment, always dilute with a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, or almond oil. The NAHS dropper bottle we sell is already diluted and can be used straight from the bottle if desired. For pure forms, do NOT apply it directly to skin as it may cause irritation.
Capsule – follow the recommended intake
Essential oil – use essential oil for diffusing around the room, as a facial steam or for household cleaning.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication
I strongly urge you to speak with a qualified herbalist, naturopath, nutritionist or GP before taking large doses or continuous use of oregano for any specific problem. Oregano oil is not recommended for during pregnancy.