Used for over two thousand years, oregano essential oil is native to the Mediterranean region. It's amazing healing benefits were first discovered in Greece, where it was used as a topical anti-bacterial for the skin and for wounds. Growing wild in high altitude mountainous areas, it got its name, 'oregano,' or 'joy of the mountains.'
Oregano is a perennial plant that belongs to the Labiatae botanical family, which also includes many other culinary herbs like rosemary, mint, basil, sage, thyme and lavender. Extracted through the steam distillation of fresh oregano leaves and flowers, oregano essential oil, scientifically known as Origanum Vulgare is brimming with nature's goodness and important medicinal properties.
With over 40 different species available, it's important to note that the therapeutic benefits of oregano oil are not present in many off-the-shelf varieties found in your local grocery store and that you should only buy therapeutic-grade oregano oil labeled as Origanum Vulgare.
Oregano Essential Oil is a natural:
High in phenols (compounds that have beneficial antioxidant effects and react with free radicals preventing them from causing harm), here's a quick break-down of the power-packed components found in oregano essential oil:
Carvacrol — Research has shown that this phenol has promising potent healing properties and can fight several types of bacterial infections such as E. coli, Candida albicans, salmonella, listeria, staphhylococcus and more.
Thymol — Another phenol, this compound has excellent antiseptic properties and is great for treating fungal infections. It also helps protect against toxins and promotes healing.
Rosmarinic acid — Powerful antioxidant and antihistamine, naturally reduces swelling and is effective in treating allergic reactions.
Terpenes — Brimming with potent anti-bacterial properties.
Linalool — Soothes and relieves stress and anxiety.
Naringin — Restrains cancer cells from growing and supports the other antioxidants in oregano oil.
Beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) — An excellent anti-inflammatory.
Oregano essential oil is a must-have addition to your medicine cabinet! It is an excellent immunity booster, and works wonders when used topically for skin, parasitic and fungal infections. It also helps to aid digestion, can alleviate severe allergy and menstrual symptoms and more!
Feeling congested? If you feel the symptoms of flu coming on and want a natural go-to remedy to stave off falling sick, there's evidence to suggest that oregano oil can help.
Research published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology in 2007 showed that oregano oil can help destroy staphylococcus aureus that is known to cause upper respiratory tract infections. Both compounds, carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil naturally fight bacteria and being an anti-inflammatory the oil helps alleviate congestion in the airways and relieve sinus blockages.
How to use oregano essential oil for colds:
1. Steam Inhalation: Add a few drops of oregano oil to a bowl of boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the powerful vapors for 5-10 minutes. The moist steam helps to loosen and drain mucus in the nasal passages and the antibacterial properties of the oil help to fight infections and relieve cold symptoms. This home remedy is excellent for those suffering from sinus infections or pneumonia.
2. Use in a diffuser: Add several drops of oregano oil in your diffuser and breathe in the medicinal vapors. Great for cold and flu season.
3. Inhale directly: Feeling stuffy at work? A deep sniff of oregano oil directly from the bottle is a great pick-me-up and can help open up the airways.
4. Sore throat: Add a few drops of oregano oil to a glass of warm water and gargle with the blend. The antibacterial properties of the oil will help to ward off bacteria and the anti-inflammatory properties will help to soothe an aching throat.
5. Take sublingually: Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to an edible carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and take it sublingually (under your tongue). Swish the blend for a minute, giving it time to absorb into your blood system, and then spit it out. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Oregano oil also acts as an expectorant and helps to thin mucus, essential to relieve bronchitis symptoms and coughs.
Oregano oil has shown to be particularly effective in providing relief from croup, a hacking cough caused primarily by viral infections in the larynx and trachea.
How to use oregano essential oil for cough:
1. Steam inhalation: Add a few drops of oregano oil to a bowl of boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the potent healing vapors for 5-10 minutes. The hot steam helps to loosen mucus in the airways helping the cough to be more productive. This home remedy is extremely beneficial for those suffering from bronchitis and whooping cough.
2. Healing rub: Add 5-8 drops of oregano oil to 1-2 tsp of coconut oil (solid at room temperature) and rub on the chest as a soothing balm for respiratory tract infections and coughs. You can also rub this balm on the soles of the feet for added benefit.
Ear infections can be extremely painful due to fluid build-up in the ear caused by the Eustachian tubes (tubes that connect the middle ear to the nose) becoming blocked. This can occur due to viral or bacterial infections, blocked sinuses, allergies, swollen adenoid glands and more.
Oregano oil can help relieve the pain caused by an ear infection as it is a natural anti-inflammatory and has anesthetic properties and is one of the most effective essential oils to use for ear infections.
How to use oregano oil for ear infections:
1. Apply topically: Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil with 2-3 drops of a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil and rub and massage it on the outside of the ear. Be careful not to get it inside the ear canal. The oil will permeate the skin and absorb into the tissues and help alleviate pain and throbbing in the ear.
There can be many causes of an upset stomach, such as indigestion, a bacterial infection, excess acid, bloating and more. Oregano oil has shown to be effective against several strains of bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella, the microbes notoriously responsible for causing food poisoning.
Toxins and bacteria can also cause inflammation of the stomach lining, and being an anti-inflammatory oregano oil helps ease the stomach and also aids in digestion by enhancing the release of bile and gastric juices that help to digest food.
How to use oregano essential oil for stomach discomfort:
1. Upset stomach: Add 1-2 drops of therapeutic-grade oregano essential oil to a warm cup of tea (lemon or peppermint tea work well) and sip on it to aid digestion after a big, heavy meal.
Being a natural anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory and a mild sedative oregano essential oil helps to reduce the way the body reacts to allergens such as pollen, mold and other airborne irritants that can cause inflammation in the airways.
Therapeutic-grade oregano oil contains carvacrol which has anti-inflammatory properties, and rosmarinic acid, a natural antihistamine that can help reduce swelling and is effective in treating allergic reactions. Both these active components found in oregano essential oil can help relieve allergy symptoms like sneezing, congestion and itching.
How to use oregano essential oil for allergies:
1. Steam inhalation: Add a few drops of oregano oil to a bowl of boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the strong vapors for 5-10 minutes. The hot steam helps to loosen mucus, open up the airways, and the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil help to soothe and relieve allergy symptoms.
2. Use in a Diffuser: Add several drops of oregano oil in your diffuser, let it waft through the air and breathe in the medicinal vapors. Great for allergy season!
Oregano oil can benefit those who have skin conditions such as eczema, candidisis, acne, psoraiasis, rosacea, and those suffering from skin infections can find relief from the external topical application of oregano oil.
Especially those who suffer from psoriasis (an inflammatory skin condition) say that oregano oil helps them to alleviate symptoms, and although there's no official published research on this, it may well be because oregano oil is a natural anti-inflammatory.
How to use oregano essential oil for skin:1. Skin rub: Mix 10-15 drops of oregano oil in 2-3 tablespoons of a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba or olive oil and apply to the affected areas.
Please note: Oregano oil is considered to be an oil having 'hot' properties so can cause irritation to the skin if used directly. It is best to mix with a carrier oil and try a small area on your skin first and if your skin feels irritated or you see redness, discontinue use.
The antiseptic and antibacterial medicinal properties of oregano essential oil can work wonders for those who suffer from acne. Oregano oil contains carvacrol, an active compound with excellent antimicrobial properties that can help to kill acne-causing bacteria, dry out acne lesions and reduce swelling and inflammation. It is especially beneficial against cystic acne, a severe type of acne that usually occurs in the teenage years, where pores become clogged leading to large pimples, chronic inflammation and infection.
How to use oregano essential oil for acne:
1. Acne healing: Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to a little water. Soak a cotton ball with the blend and dab onto acne lesions. Carvacrol, the active compound in oregano oil, helps to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation caused by acne.
Please note: It is best to not use oregano oil directly on acne as it can actually burn the skin. Also, when using it as a natural treatment for acne, try it on a small area on your skin first and if your skin feels irritated or you see redness, discontinue use.
Candida is a type of fungus that lives in the body and when the conditions are right can multiply and unleash havoc in the body. Some of the tell-tale signs of Candida overgrowth include a thick whitish coating on the tongue, vaginal yeast infections and more.
Oregano oil is rich in thymol, a compound with excellent anti-fungal properties. In fact certain studies have shown that oregano oil is as effective in treating fungus including the Aspergillus mold, Candida and yeast as compared to standard anti-fungal drugs prescribed by physicians. And more importantly, oregano oil is a much safer alternative to chemically-toxic drugs.
How to use oregano oil for candida:
1. Take sublingually: For internal yeast infections, add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to an edible carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and take it sublingually (under your tongue). Swish the blend under the tongue for a minute or so giving it time to absorb into your blood, and then spit it out. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
2. Skin infections: For topical yeast infections mix a few drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil and apply 2-3 times daily.
Nail fungus is one of those recurrent problems that people can suffer with for years. If you've used creams and chemical-filled medications and still nothing has seemed to work oregano oil can be the miracle cure you've been looking for.
Oregano essential oil can work wonders for all sorts of fungal infections, especially nail fungus and a contagious condition called tinea pedis, better known as Athlete's foot.
How to use oregano oil for toenail fungus and fungal infections:
1. Athlete's foot wash: Soak the affected foot for 15-20 minutes in a solution of warm water and 1 teaspoon of oregano oil. Do this twice a day for best results. You can also add 1/2 a cup of Epsom salts as this will help to relax your muscles.
Athlete's foot is commonly spread in changing rooms, gyms, swimming pools and areas where people with infected feet walk around barefoot. As a precaution, rub your feet with a few drops of oregano oil combined with a carrier oil such as jojoba or tamanu oil, prior to visiting these places or keep a few small cotton balls soaked in the same blend in your shoes to prevent an infection.
2. Nail infections: Combine 2-3 drops of oregano oil with the same amount of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or neem oil. Neem oil makes an excellent carrier oil to combine with oregano essential oil as it is also naturally anti-fungal in nature. Dab and soak a cotton ball or a cotton swab in the blend and apply it on the infected nails or peeling or itchy skin between the toes, really rubbing it in. Repeat daily until the infection subsides and completely disappears.
Therapeutic grade oregano essential oil contains powerful antioxidant properties, and is an excellent oil to have in your medicine cabinet if you want to slow down the aging process. But how does it work? To understand how oregano oil works for aging, we need to take a quick look at the process of aging itself. Aging is largely caused by free radicals and oxidation in the body, which is why antioxidants are so important.
Oregano oil contains an abundance of antioxidants that defend the body against free radicals and other damaging agents that speed up aging. Phenols present in the oil are powerful antioxidants and target and neutralize free radicals responsible for causing certain cancers, aging, wrinkles, nervous system disorders, muscle degeneration and more.
How to use oregano oil for aging:
1. Daily lotion: Mix 20 drops of oregano essential oil with 1/4 cup coconut oil (solid at room temperature) and 1/4 cup moringa oil, an excellent carrier oil that naturally rejuvenates dull, tired and aging skin and prevents sagging facial muscles. Blend and apply on the face. This daily regimen can help you age gracefully and is an excellent alternative to chemically-ridden anti-wrinkle creams.
As a natural anti-parasitic oregano oil is excellent for killing parasites and fighting parasitic infections. In fact one study done in the year 2000 showed that in a majority of cases supplementing with oregano oil caused the harmful organisms to be completely eliminated from the body.
A 2014 study found that oregano oil can help kill the norovirus, which can lead to gastroenteritis or the stomach flu. It is also beneficial for worm infections and has shown promising potential against several food-borne pathogens such us E. coli, listeria and salmonella.
How to use oregano oil for parasites:
1. Take internally: Adding a few drops of oregano oil to your food can potentially kill bacteria, but make sure to use therapeutic-grade oregano oil. You can also add 2-3 drops to your tea or warm water and add some raw honey to mellow down the strong flavor.
2. Take sublingually: If you'd rather not take the oil internally, adding 2-3 drops to an edible carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and taking it sublingually (under your tongue) can work as well. Swish the blend under the tongue for a minute or so giving it time to dissolve and absorb into your blood, and then spit it out.
3. Skin infections: Being a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal mix a few drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil and apply 2-3 times daily to treat skin infections.
Warts are annoying growths that usually appear on the feet, hands or can appear in other areas of the body as well. They are caused by a virus called the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can become quite painful, especially plantar warts that occur under the feet and can affect your ability to walk.
Warts can also spread to other areas of the body so dealing with them as quickly as you can is recommended. Oregano essential oil can work very well to burn off warts due to its high concentration of carvacrol.
How to use oregano oil for warts:
1. Apply topically: Mix 3-4 drops of oregano essential oil with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such us neem oil (which also excellent against warts). Apply the blend with a clean cotton swab 4-5 times a day and make sure to use a clean swab if you are treating more than one wart so you don't spread the infection. After treatment cover the wart with a tape or bandage so it is not fueled by oxygen. Within a week or two you should be able to notice a sizeable difference in the size of the wart.
Being a powerful anti-bacterial, carvacrol, the active ingredient in oregano oil can help fight the herpes virus. Bacteria have a cell membrane that can become impenetrable to antibiotics. What oregano oil does is that it helps to break down this cell membrane and actually delivers naturally potent antibiotics at the same time to help kill the bacteria. Similarly essential oils like oregano oil can permeate the cell membranes to attack viruses right where they live - in the cell.
A study conducted by Sidiqqui, published in Medical Science Research, demonstrated that oregano essential oil totally ‘disintegrated’ the herpes virus.
How to use oregano oil for herpes:
1. Apply topically: Mix 3-4 drops of oregano essential oil with 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil such us neem oil (an excellent oil with natural medicinal properties to fight herpes) or coconut oil, a natural anti-viral. It is suggested to apply the blend on the spine as the herpes virus lays dormant in the spinal column and usually infects the cerebrospinal fluid. This is the case with other viruses as well, so essentially doing this daily can help protect you from other viral attacks.
2. Take sublingually: Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to an edible carrier oil such as coconut oil and take it sublingually (under your tongue). Swish the blend under the tongue for a minute or so giving it time to absorb into your central nervous system and blood, and then spit it out.
Cold sores are small, swollen, often painful, red blisters that appear usually on the lips and around the mouth and are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1). The reason why oregano essential oil works so well against viruses, like the herpes virus, is because unlike conventional antibiotics and drugs oregano oil can penetrate through the cell membrane and attack viruses right where they live, in the cell itself.
A 2007 study documented that, "treatment of HSV-1 with oregano essential oil has been shown to disrupt the viral envelope."
Oregano oil can help heal cold sores by reducing swelling and killing the virus inside the red, painful blisters. It's anti-inflammatory properties also helps promote faster healing.
How to use oregano oil for cold sores:
1. Apply topically: Mix 3-4 drops of oregano essential oil with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such us neem oil (a powerful oil with healing properties to fight the herpes virus) or coconut oil, a natural anti-viral. Dab the mixture in a cotton ball or q-tip and apply directly on the cold sore 3-4 times a day. At night, do the same but this time hold the soaked cotton ball in place with a bandaid and keep it on overnight. Repeat this for a few days until the cold sore disappears completely.
Arthritis affects millions of people around the world and causes joint pain and inflammation of the joints. Prescription drugs administered to arthritis patients usually include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which are typically pain relievers. Oil of oregano is now gaining attention as a natural alternative to chemical-filled drugs that can have adverse side effects.
Oregano essential oil, being a power anti-inflammatory, can penetrate the skin and go deep into the joints to help relieve pain and inflammation and help increase mobility. Research has shown that the oil can go to the synovial fluid in the joints and serve as a natural pain-killer.
Due to its high content of carvacrol, oregano oil can activate heat shock proteins or HSPs through T cells in the body. T cells are high-stress regulators and HSPs are responsible for defending the body against inflammation. Studies have shown that carvacrol can increase the T cell response to self stress proteins and "down-regulate inflammatory disease."
If you have sore and tired muscles oil of oregano can work wonders due to its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and anesthetic action. It penetrates deep into the tissues and can relieve pain caused by muscle cramps, aching muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome and other muscular injuries.
How to use oregano oil for arthritis and pain:
1. Apply topically: Mix 5-7 drops of oregano essential oil with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such us moringa oil (Moringa oil is recommended as a study showed that it is a potent anti-inflammatory, making it an excellent carrier oil for relieving painful, arthritic joints). You can also add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil (an excellent analgesic) to the blend. The cooling sensation of peppermint oil will help to alleviate pain. Rub and massage the blend into the affected joints 2-3 times daily. You can also use the same blend to relieve cramps and sore aching muscles.
If you find yourself getting sick year after year during cold and flu season, oregano oil can help boost your immunity. There's quite a bit of research to show that oregano oil helps fight bacterial and viral infections and some studies have shown it to be better than other natural remedies such as echinacea.
Along with its ability to fight bacterial and fungal infections, it also contains natural antioxidants that prevent free radical damage and as an anti-parasitic it wards off powerful invaders that can wreak havoc in the body.
How to use oregano oil for immunity:
1. Take sublingually: Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to 2-3 drops of an edible carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and take it sublingually (under your tongue). Swish the blend under the tongue for a few minutes giving it time to absorb into your central nervous system and blood, and then spit it out. Doing this as a daily ritual right before you sleep is recommended to boost your immunity.
2. Use in a diffuser: Add several drops of oregano oil in your diffuser and breathe in the powerful medicinal vapors. This is great to boost your immunity during cold and flu season.
Oregano oil is a natural emenagogue, meaning it helps to stimulate menstrual flow so it can be beneficial to women who face irregular periods. It can also help to delay the onset of menopause and alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hormonal and mood imbalances.
Being an emenagogue also means that it can induce contractions in the uterus so oil of oregano should be avoided during pregnancy.
How to use oregano oil for menstrual issues:
1. Take internally: Add 2-3 drops of therapeutic-grade oregano oil to ginger or chamomile tea to get relief from painful periods and help stimulate blood flow.
2. Apply topically: For painful menstrual cramps, blend 6-7 drops of oregano oil with a little coconut oil and massage on the lower abdomen to relieve pain.
If you have an itchy scalp and suffer from dandruff, try oregano oil. Research shows that dandruff is caused by a yeast infection or fungus in the scalp and not the many reasons most people believe cause dandruff, like a dry or oily scalp, too much or too little hair washing etc. Being a natural anti-fungal oregano oil can help fight yeast and fungal infections, including dandruff.
How to use oregano oil for dandruff:
1. Add to shampoo: Add 5-6 drops of therapeutic-grade oregano essential oil to around 1 tablespoon of shampoo and massage into the scalp. Make sure you don't get any shampoo into your eyes. Leave for 10 minutes and wash off. Repeat for a week.
2. Hair oil: Add 10-15 drops of oregano oil and 8-10 drops of tea tree oil (also excellent for dandruff and flaking scalp) to 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil or neem oil and rub into the scalp after washing your hair. Leave overnight for best results.
Oregano oil contains thymol, which is the active ingredient used in over the counter mouthwashes available in your local drug store to fight bad breath, bacteria and plaque. Thymol is an antiseptic and acts as a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent to fight bad breath and even gingivitis.
How to use oregano oil for better oral health:
1. Add to toothpaste: Add 1 drop of oregano oil to your toothbrush (with or without toothpaste), and brush your teeth. If you have tooth pain, oregano oil can also serve as a natural anesthetic to relieve pain and swelling.
2. Home-made mouth wash: Combine 5 drops of oregano oil and 5 drops of peppermint oil to 2 cups of spring water. Pour all ingredients into a clean bottle (glass is preferred) and shake to mix. Swish about 10ml or 2 teaspoons of the mouthwash in your mouth for 30 seconds or so and spit out. Use daily.
Oregano oil is an excellent antiseptic and insect repellent. Oregano oil can be the safer alternative to using strong repellents that contain DEET, which although permitted by health agencies, have debatable health concerns.
In a 2005 study, both the active ingredients in oregano essential oil, carvacrol and thymol, were documented to be highly effective in repelling mosquitoes.
You can also grow oregano in your garden to help keep pests away, and this makes it a welcome add on to your vegetable or herb garden!
How to use oregano oil as a natural insect repellent:
1. Antiseptic spray: Add 20 drops of oregano oil and 15 drops of lemon or lime essential oil in a spray bottle and fill it up with water. Shake and spray on kitchen counters to keep small critters like ants and cockroaches away.
2. Keep the bugs away: Insects despise the strong, pungent smell of oregano oil. Add a few drops of oregano oil to cotton balls and keep them in the corners of your house, your kitchen cabinets and even your garden to repel insects away.
3. Natural mosquito repellent: To repel mosquitoes naturally and effectively you can use the recipe below:
Fill an 8oz spray bottle half-way up with boiled/distilled water. Fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel. Add the essential oils. Shake and spray!
It is recommended to use this all-natural mosquito and insect repellent on clothing (especially when using on children) than directly on the skin.
4. Natural pesticide: Want a safe and natural pesticide for your vegetables? If you find that your vegetables are getting infested with annoying pests, add 1 full teaspoon oregano oil to 5-7 drops of regular dish washing liquid in 8 cups or 1/2 a gallon spray can of water and spray the blend on your vegetable patch to keep it pest-free.
Oregano oil is a safe, natural remedy to treat and control skin, fungal and parasitic infections in pets such as dogs and cats. It has also proven beneficial in treating arthritis in dogs.
How to use oregano oil for dogs, cats and pets:
1. Apply topically: Dilute a few drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply the oil to areas of the skin affected by fungus or parasites such as ringworm. Also apply in areas where you can see pets have lost their fur, perhaps due to hot spots (red, itchy, inflamed skin). You can also apply the same blend to joints and muscles to treat arthritis in your pet.
2. Pet bath: To control fleas and prevent parasite infestation and growth combine 1 full teaspoon of oregano oil with 1 gallon (16 cups) of water and use it as a final rinse after bathing your pet.
Essential oils are natural but powerful. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to any oil so it's always best to try a little by doing a small skin patch test on your arm or leg (never your face or neck) to make sure you don't have an adverse reaction. Oregano essential oil is a hot oil and can cause irritation of the skin and mucus membranes so it is best to mix it with a carrier oil. Pregnant women should stay away from oregano oil as it can stimulate blood flow in the uterus.
When buying essential oils make sure the bottle says 100% pure essential oil, and has the proper name of the species mentioned on the label of the bottle. Example for Oregano: (Origanum Vulgare). If you see the word 'fragrance' it almost always means there are other additives.
Ideally it's always best to buy essential oils from an organic source that are labeled as "Therapeutic grade," meaning they are free of toxins and chemicals and are unfiltered and undiluted.
Also beware of genetically modified ingredients and choose Non GMO essential oils.
There is no fixed recipe when it comes to essential oils and what might work for you might not work for someone else. Since we are all biochemically exclusive, it's best to experiment with a variety of essential oils, pay attention to your body, and find the "personal blends" that work most optimally for you.
Back to you! How do you take oregano essential oil? Is it an essential part of your medicine cabinet? We'd love to hear from you!
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