Off the Spaghetti, Top Uses for Oregano Oil

By on April 1, 2013

Oregano is one of the most commonly used herbs in cooking.  However, it’s time we started using this versatile herb for more than just adding flavor to foods.  Oregano oil has many health benefits due largely to its two main compounds, carvacrol and thymol.  The following are some of the top uses for oregano oil.

Digestive Issues:

Oregano oil helps promote digestion by increasing secretion of digestive juices.  Taking 2-3 drops diluted in some water can help relieve indigestion and calm an upset stomach as well.

Injury Support:

Oregano oil can be an active person’s best friend due to its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving actions. When applied topically, it can speed healing and reduce pain of sprains, bruises, tendonitis, torn muscles and other similar injuries. 

Immune System Booster:

Studies have found that oil of oregano is more effective than goldenseal or echinacea at boosting the body’s natural immunity.  A couple of drops daily during cold and flu season can help strengthen the immune system and prevent infection.

Anti-fungal:

Oregano oil can be effective at treating stubborn fungal infections such as candida and nail fungus. You can also mix a couple drops into shampoo to help relieve dandruff or seborrhea which are fungal infections of the scalp.

Relief of Sinus Congestion:

Sinus congestion is very common during allergy season.  Use internally or add a couple drops to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the vapors to cure a stuffy nose.

Treats Upper Respiratory Tract Infections:

Oregano oil has strong antimicrobial properties which help to target bacteria and viruses.  Studies show that when taken at the first signs of a cold, oregano oil can immediately improve symptoms as well as reduce the duration of the cold. 

Anti-parasitic:

Oregano oil is a great companion for those who travel to other countries.  Taking a few drops daily while traveling can protect against intestinal parasites such as protozoans, amoeba, and various intestinal worms.  Oregano oil can also kill skin parasites such as head lice and scabies when applied topically.

Skin Conditions:

Oregano oil’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make it very useful in treating various skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rashes etc.  It can also be used topically to treat insect bites as well as herpes virus flare-ups.

How to use Oregano Oil:

Topically: Oregano oil is very potent and can burn the skin so it is best to add it to a carrier substance.  A mixture of 1 drop of oregano oil to 1 tsp of olive or coconut oil can be applied directly to the skin.

Internally: Oregano oil should be diluted in water before consuming i.e. 2-3 drops in water.

Cautions

  • Though oregano oil is natural, it is still important to consult your health care practitioner before using it to determine correct dosages for your specific condition.
  • If with topical use you notice any irritation, discontinue use.
  • Avoid if you are pregnant as it can increase blood flow to the uterus.

Lesley D’Souza, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor at Your Health Wellness Centre in Oakville.  She has a special interest in fertility and pregnancy support and overall women’s health.  For more information check out the clinic’s website at www.yourhealthwellnesscentre.com 

References:

Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: a randomized study using aromatic herbs.

Ben-Arye E, Dudai N, Eini A, Torem M, Schiff E, Rakover Y.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2011, 690346.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21052500

 

Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans.

Manohar V, Ingram C, Gray J, Talpur NA, Echard BW, Bagchi D, Preuss HG.

Mol Cell Biochem., 2001 Dec, 228(1-2), 111-117.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11855736

 

Vapor-phase activities of cinnamon, thyme, and oregano essential oils and key constituents against foodborne microorganisms.

López P, Sanchez C, Batlle R, Nerín C.

J Agric Food Chem., 2007 May 30, 55(11), 4348-4356.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17488023

 

Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo.

Force M, Sparks WS, Ronzio RA.

Phytother Res., 2000 May, 14(3), 213-214.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10815019

 

Biological and pharmacological activities of carvacrol and carvacrol bearing essential oils.

Baser KH.

Curr Pharm Des, 2008, 14(29), 3106-3119.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19075694

About Charleen Wyman

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