Food For Thought
The Magic of Oil of Oregano
By: Leanne Ely
Oil of Oregano really is nature’s antibiotic. This special oil is harvested from the leaves and flowers of the wild oregano plant when its oil content is at its highest. A member of the mint family, the wild oregano plant grows in the far away mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. This potent oil kills fungus, yeast, bacteria, viruses and parasites in the human body. It can fight colitis, regenerate liver cells and it also works as an antihistamine.
We have the ancient Greeks to thank for turning us on to oil of oregano. Its name translates to “joy of the mountain,” and anyone who has used oil of oregano to fight off a cold or infection indeed knows what a joy this natural remedy really is. The Greeks used oil of oregano to treat all sorts of infection-related diseases and illnesses.
Today, naturopaths and health-minded folks who are concerned with the overuse of antibiotics are using oil of oregano to treat infections. Some say that oil of oregano is the most valuable item in the natural medicine cabinet. It can be used to treat everything from earaches, toothaches, insect bites, bronchitis, indigestion, bee stings and gas. I always pop a capsule of oil of oregano when I feel a cold coming on and it generally stops those germs dead in their tracks.
Let’s take a closer look at what benefits you can gain by taking oil of oregano:
• Antiseptic. The thymol in oil of oregano is a natural fungicide. This is actually the active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash! Thymol boosts your immune system and protects the body against toxic intruders. Thymol encourages healing and it also prevents tissue damage.
• Antimicrobial. Oil of oregano contains carvacrol, which is a powerful antimicrobial that fights against mold, e.coli, listeria, salmonella and a bunch of other nasties.
• Antioxidant. A substance in oil of oregano called rosmarinic acid is a potent antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals and can prevent cancer and atherosclerosis. This rosmarinic acid is excellent for fighting allergies and allergic asthma. Oil of oregano also contains naringin, which has been shown to boost the powerful effects of antioxidants and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Oil of oregano is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, iron, niacin, boron, vitamins A, C and E complex.
Now, you can’t just use any old oregano, hoping to get the health benefits of oil of oregano. For the good stuff, you have to look for origanum vulgare or thymus capitatus. Those are the two varieties of wild oregano with therapeutic properties.
Look for oil of oregano that was naturally extracted and buy the brand that contains a high percentage of volatile oils carvacrol and thymol in the product’s natural ingredients.
I prefer capsules to the actual oil, personally, because it’s much easier to swallow. As it is, you’ll most likely burp oregano for several hours after the oil hits your system. I recommend drinking lots of water with your oil of oregano and take it with some food because it can be tough on an empty tummy.
Have you used oil of oregano? What have your experiences been with it? Let us know on our Facebook page!