The power of wild oregano was known already in Ancient Greece where crushed oregano leaves where used to prevent food from spoiling, and to treat various ailments such as itchy rashes, coughs and dental problems. Numerous scientific studies have shown that oil squeezed from wild oregano can provide many benefits for human health.
Oil of oregano is an essential oil that is extracted from wild oregano plants, Origanum Vulgare. (One should not confuse oil of oregano with common oregano that is used as a spice; common oregano is typically Origanum Marjoram) Key compounds of the oil are phenols called carvacrol and thymol, both possessing powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Wild oregano also contains many valuable vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B and C, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Boron and Manganese. Scientific studies have proven that oil of oregano indeed has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and anti-inlammatory properties. There are also studies claiming that oil of oregano is pharmacologically powerful substance that can in some cases be as effective as traditional dosed of antibiotics.
Oil of oregano has multiple uses. Most commonly it is used to treat skin infections, digestive problems, sinus congestion as well as sore throat, common colds and other viral infections. When treating common cold with Oil of oregano, it is important to start using it as soon as you feel the cold symptoms (like sore throat) coming on. Taking oil of oregano at the first signs of feeling sick may well be enough to charge your immune system to ward off possible infections. The recommended dosage depends of the concentration of the oil. As a rule of thumb you should not take more than few drops diluted in liquid. You should keep taking Oil of oregano up to 5 days until the symptoms are gone.
Oil of oregano can be found from almost any health store and can usually be purchased as liquid or capsules. It is important to check that the oil is derived from Origanum Vulgare and that its carvacrol concentration is at least 70%.
Oil of oregano is usually well tolerated but there are few possible side effects that you should be aware of. People who are allergic to basil, mint, sage, thyme and other plants of the mint family may be sensitive to oil of oregano as well. Carvacrol is a strong antiseptic that works on mucous membranes; too much can cause irritation. In cases of prolonged use and/or high doses, the phenols of the oil can damage the liver and kidneys. Oil of oregano can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron that can in certain individuals lead to anemia. Pregnant women should not use oil of oregano. Overall, it is wise to use oil of oregano under the guidance of qualified professional.