Posted on April 14th, 2017. Featured on New Health Advisor.
Oregano is a widely used bushy herb, especially when it comes to the preparation of several dishes. It comes from a plant called Origanum vulgare, which is a member of the mint family. Oregano oil can be produced by processing and later distilling dried leaves and flowers of the oregano plant that has been harvested when the oil content of the plant is at its peak; the result is strong and rich yellow coloured oil.
1. Respiratory Conditions
Oregano oil has expectorant qualities; this means that it helps expel all mucus and bacteria that may be present in the respiratory tract, therefore making this natural product an excellent option to prevent and treat respiratory conditions such as sinusitis, lung and trachea infections, among others.
The anti-inflammatory properties of oregano oil induce both topic and systemic responses that will help the body reduce any kind of swelling or pain, whether from external trauma or any disease such as arthritis or tendinitis.
Oregano oil prevents bacterial infections that can potentially cause diseases such as pneumonia, erysipelas, cholera, cystitis, pyelonephritis, typhoid, among others; however, it has no effect on the good bacteria that can normally be found in your intestines meaning this that it will not cause you gastrointestinal problems in the long term.
Certain types of fungus can be very harmful to your overall health, being even fatal in some cases. Most of the more dangerous and aggressive infections are caused by a fungal agent and can include diseases such as meningitis, otitis, pneumonia, skin infections, among others. Oregano oil can be ingested or used externally to treat and prevent any kind of fungal infection.
Most times simple colds and infections like tonsillitis are produced by a virus. You will be more prone to these viral infections if you have a weak immune system. Oregano oil works by strengthening your white blood cells –also known as leukocytes- therefore increasing your resistance to catching viruses and other harmful microorganisms.
Many bug sprays contain oregano oil as part of its ingredients, this is because this oil has been known to have anti-parasitic properties. Parasites can live either outside or inside the body; the first group includes lice, fleas, bed bugs or mosquitoes, and the second group intestinal worms. Whether is topically applying the oil or ingesting it, those parasites can be eliminated.
This is probably one of the best qualities that this oil can offer you. Because of the phenols it contains, oregano oil helps neutralize and eliminate oxidants –also known as free radicals- this way preventing the possible damage these agents can cause to the body, which includes premature aging, wrinkles, nerve diseases, degeneration of the macula, degeneration of joints and muscles, eyesight and hearing deterioration, and even some types of cancer.
Emmenagogues are herbs which stimulate menstruation. Oregano oil acts as one of these herbs, regulating menstrual flow and delaying the menopause arrival. It also can help relieve some menstrual symptoms such as mood changes, cramping, bloating, heavy blood flow, among others; this is possible because of the hormonal balance this oil can promote in the organism.
Allergies are caused by the contact of the body with an agent or substance that it recognizes as foreign, producing then an immune reaction with the liberation of certain protective elements which end up causing itchiness, redness, swelling, skin rash, and in some cases, even an anaphylactic shock. Oregano oil has proven to be effective in reducing or even preventing these symptoms.
Oregano oil helps form a protective layer in the digestive tract, therefore helping ease all digestive processes and improving nutrients absorption; it also stimulates the secretion of enzymes and gastric juices which aid in smoothing the digestion and regulating bowel movements.
11. Other Benefits
There are other benefits of using oregano oil such as helping with Eczema, Psoriasis, Flu, Athlete’s foot and other types of infections. It can also be used against digestive bacteria such as Food poisoning by E. Coli and Giardia Lamblia. It has a powerful effect on congestive and allergic problems such as rhinitis. According to scientific and medical studies, the oregano oil has an added benefit as a powerful painkiller.
It is important to know some small side effects that can happen when using this type of oil such as irritation of soft tissues like the mucous membrane or the skin itself when taken at very high doses.
Pregnant women avoid it altogether due to the hormone stimulation that the oregano oil causes. This can potentially induce a miscarriage, so it is better to consult with your doctor if you plan to use it.
How to Use Oregano Oil
Due to how potent the oregano oil is, it is better to dilute it before using it and to use as little as possible when it comes to frequency and duration. Never ingest this type of essential oil and consult with a physician for further recommendations. Some formulas come already diluted but it is better to start with a small dosage and increase it gradually as needed.
When used as a steam infusion, you can put some drops in a pot of hot water then, grab a cold wet towel, place it over your head and try to breathe near the steam. Some people prefer to buy an inhaler for easier use, in which case, it is better to buy a lower concentration and use it no more than 3 times a day. Thanks to the antifungal and antibacterial properties, the oregano oil will help clear your nose and protect you against rhinitis and other sinus infections.
If the oregano oil is used to treat wounds or skin infections, it is better to use a small dosage of it in the form of a few drops along your favourite ointment on a small piece of cloth and rub it onto your skin throughout the day. Due to the strong effects of this type of oil, it is better to first test it on a small area of skin that is healthy and clean. If you are feeling muscle pains, you can add a few drops on a balm to help with such issue.
Try to limit the use of oregano oil to a maximum of 2-3 with some breaks in-between. Talk with your doctor if you are planning to use it more regularly. Never use a lot of oil at one time, but instead, use it in small dosages throughout your treatment.
Thanks to the strong and powerful effect of oregano oil, it is important to be careful when using it. The skin can become irritated or you can feel dizzy thanks to its strong smell. Talk with your physician whenever you feel like you are having a bad reaction.
Pregnant women must be kept away from the oil to avoid hormonal changes and a possible miscarriage. Children must only use the smallest possible dosage. Consult with the appropriate gynaecologist or paediatrician for further recommendations.
Possible side effects if taken in excessive amounts include stomach aches, allergic reactions, increased risk of bleeding and headaches.