When the famous Greek physician Hippocrates cut his finger or had an upset stomach, he reached for oil of oregano. That’s not something he would have tasted in a fragrant Greek pasta dish; it’s something he would have plucked from a waist-high bush growing freely in the European countryside. Hippocrates most likely would have had to ask for help to harvest those oregano plants if his intent was to make essential oil. The requirement for just one pound of oil of oregano forces the squeezing of one hundred pounds of oregano leaves.
The oil of oregano that Hippocrates recommended for antiseptic use, stomach upset and respiratory problems is derived from a plant botanically named Origanum vulgare, not be confused with the spice called oregano used in cooking, Originum Marjoram. Origanum vulgare is true, wild oregano. Origanum Marjoram is a common, distant relative, more kin to marjoram than oregano. Steam is used to distill wild oregano oil, drawing the cinnamon and menthol essence from the dried herb’s leaves (read about cinnamon oil).
The Greeks may have been the first to tap into the health benefits of the oil for disorders of their day, but they weren’t the last people to recognize what the herb could do. During the Middle Ages, oil of oregano was used as a way to kill germs and preserve foods. In Britain’s 17th century, it was prescribed for head colds. Over the years and including today, it has served as an herbal defense against fungus, viruses, bacteria and parasites.
What the Hippocrates knew about the health properties of oregano oil is as true today as it was in ancient times. If he were here, he would still be recommending the oil of oregano to patients for the 50 anti-microbial compounds in each drop.
The purifying, medicinal benefits in wild oregano oil come mainly from two compounds, carvacrol and thymol, with carvacrol being the major component effective in disabling harmful microorganisms and fighting infections.
Only an oil containing more than 70 percent of carvacrol concentrate is considered true oregano oil.
Oil of oregano’s most powerful medicinal punch is its antimicrobial feature. The natural, essential oil starves the most stubborn biological toxins and encourages immunity. It acts as an herbal multivitamin with A, C and E complexes and healthy minerals including zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. The calcium content of just 100 grams of oregano oil equals 16 times the calcium found in milk.
As well as tea tree oil, oil of oregano works as a natural antibiotic. Research shows that carvacrol’s high oxygen content mixes with the body’s water to create enough heat to shrink and destroy harmful microorganisms. This shores up the body’s immunity, reduces infections, eases digestion and kills germs. In lab tests, oil of oregano worked just as well against E. coli and staph infections as the antibiotic Vancomycin. One natural advantage of oil of oregano oil is that bacteria do not rebel against the natural oil the way they mutate in response to antibiotic treatment. This is welcome news for patients suffering with recurring skin, respiratory and sinus infections.
Antibiotic resistance has literally created rapidly-growing fungal problems. The naturally-occurring candida albicans stomach fungus spreads unchecked after repeated prescription antibiotic use causing myriad problems for patients. Oil of oregano can be an alternative to deal with the candida-fueled symptoms of nail fungus, skin problems, allergies and yeast infections.
In Mexican studies, oregano oil proved completely effective against the water-borne, intestinal parasite giardia. In separate research, parasites were eliminated using a daily 600 mg treatment of oregano oil. Wild oregano oil is also believed to be effective against external parasites including mosquitoes, lice and fleas, making it a dependable, worldwide travelling companion for business executives and tourists.
Anti-Viral and Anti-Oxidant
Seasonal sore throats, colds and flu are pervasive illnesses that are most often treated for symptoms. The antiviral qualities of oregano oil can help restrain the worst common cold symptoms with treatment at a virus’s earliest onset. Thanks to its ability to neutralize free radicals, its possible oil of oregano can also slow cell damage along with the effects of neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Anti-oxidants are also thought to help in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
Anti-Allergen and Anti-Inflammatory
Oregano oil has been shown to suppress allergy symptoms and diminish sinus congestion. For joint and muscle pain, the liquid form of oil of oregano has been proven to alleviate pain and swelling as well as and more quickly than prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, opening the way for a faster and more potent treatment for those in pain from sports injuries, arthritis and backache.