Essential Oil Spotlight - Oregano
Oregano Oil - An Ancient Miracle in a bottle
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has been used for over 5,000 years by Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and many other nations that regarded it as the most important herb. They used it as food and also as medicine. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine used oregano oil to treat skin conditions, fever, and many other ailments.
The oil can be used topically and internally, however only therapeutic grade oil that comes from reputable source should be used.
Traditionally oil of oregano has been used for its antiseptic and antispasmodic benefits, but it’s also known as an expectorant, stimulant, mildly tonic and carminative.
Oregano oil found in health food stores is mostly diluted in extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and therefore safe to apply to the skin or even use it internally right out of the bottle. However, although convenient diluted oregano oil
⦁ Costs more since consumer is paying high price for a bottle that contains only 10% oregano oil. If the label says “safe to use on skin and to digest” then check to see if percentage of oregano oil is listed; in most cases it’s around 10%.
⦁ Has much shorter shelf life since it depends on the shelf life of the carrier oil used in preparation; most carrier oils will become rancid in about six months.
The better option is to buy pure undiluted oregano oil and dilute it yourself.
You will need:
Pour 10 ml of undiluted oregano oil into the dark glass bottle and add 100 ml of your favourite carrier oil. Close the bottle, shake it well and store it in a fridge until you need to use it.
Pure Oregano oil will keep far longer, so only dilute a small amount at a time. The remaining undiluted oregano oil will last for a few years when refrigerated. So for the price of one bottle of diluted oregano oil (30 ml) you can make 330 ml (11 x 30 ml bottles) yourself (30 ml oregano + 300 ml carrier oil = 11 x 30 ml bottles).
Oregano leaves contain 34 potent chemical compounds such as Terpinolene, Carvacrol, thymol, cymene, terpinine, phenolic glycosides, leanolic acids, ursolic acids, etc. It has long been believed that these compounds have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effects. Recent research papers on the effectiveness of Oregano oil in fighting Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and other pathogens proved its effectiveness.*
The UK researchers from the University of the West of England discovered that the essential oil of Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties and even kills the hospital superbug MRSA, (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), a form of bacterial infection resistant to numerous antibiotics, extremely difficult to treat, potentially dangerous and sometimes fatal.**
* African Journal of Microbiology Research -http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/AJMR/article-abstract/1EFD8B446044,
Journal of Animal Science -http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/130620.php
** Medical News Today - Himalayan Oregano Effective Against MRSA -http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/130620.php
CAUTIONS: When diluted (1 part Oregano : 10 parts carrier oil) Oregano oil is generally well-tolerated. However avoid using oregano oil if pregnant or breastfeeding and use it only under supervision of your naturopathic doctor. Oregano can be taken in stronger concentrations (e.g. 1:3) but higher dosage may cause blood thinning and interfere with other drugs. Higher dilutions can also cause skin irritation in sensitive people and oil must always be properly diluted (1:10) if used by children.
Keep away from eyes, inner ears and the inside of the nose.