This is something you probably didn’t know, but oregano essential oil is one of the world’s most powerful antibiotics. This oil is derived from the oregano plant known as Origanum vulgare. It is native to Europe, but it’s actually grown throughout the world. Its name derives from the Greek words “oros,” meaning mountain, and “ganos,” meaning joy or pleasure.
Whether an individual applies it topically or takes an oral supplement, oregano oil can be useful for a variety of conditions. Oil compounds have effective antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, explaining many of the advantages
Oregano oil contains high levels of healthy compounds in its leaves and smaller stems. Oil manufacturers are drying the leaves and stems and then steaming the plant material to extract as many compounds as possible.
It has extremely powerful healing properties and contains three times more antioxidants than blueberries. It is abundant in carvacrol, a powerful antibacterial compound that can fight against many bacterial strains. The oregano oil also contains minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, vitamin C, niacin, and boron.
Oregano Oil Benefits
1. Natural Antibiotic
Oregano oil can help fight certain types of bacteria thanks to the high carvacrol levels. Staphylococcus, for example, is a common type of bacteria that causes infection. Some strains occur naturally in the body, but it can cause symptoms when the bacteria grow too fast.
Some studies showed that oregano oil improved the survival of mice infected with the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
Taking supplements or rubbing oregano oil on the skin can help an individual use these antibacterial effects.
2. Treats Respiratory Conditions
Oregano oil acts as an expectorant that can loosen or even eliminate completely the uncomfortable buildup in the respiratory tracts and sinuses of mucus and phlegm. For inflamed lungs and throat, it is also a soothing balm, which can often stimulate coughing fits. Hence, essential oregano prevents and treats respiratory symptoms.
3. Treating Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
Oregano oil may be helpful in treating chronic bacterial problems like SIBO. People with SIBO have gastrointestinal problems in their intestines due to overgrowth of certain bacteria. A study conducted in 2014 found that herbal remedies that contain high carvacrol and thymol levels, were effective in the treatment of SIBO. More research will be needed to explore the individual effects of each compound, but these initial findings may be promising.
4. May Help Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that oil from oregano can help lower cholesterol. In one study, advice on diet and lifestyle was given to 48 people with mildly high cholesterol to help lower their cholesterol. After each meal, 32 participants also received 0.85 ounces (25 ml) of oregano oil. Three months later, those who had oregano oil had lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher “good” HDL cholesterol compared to those just given diet and lifestyle advice.
5. Anti-inflammatory Properties
A 2010 study revealed that essential oregano oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe many types of internal or external inflammation caused by a variety of reasons. It can reduce redness and irritation on the applied area when applied topically and also relieve arthritis-related pain or injury.
6. Treating Fungal Infections
Due to high thymol levels, oregano oil also appears to be a potent antifungal agent. Research from 2015 found that thymol is an effective treatment for common infections of the Candida fungus.
Most common Candida infections:
- oral thrush
- yeast infections
- infected toenails or fingernails
- athlete’s foot
7. Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals damage. Free radical damage is believed to play a role in aging and the development of certain diseases, such as heart disease. Free radicals are a natural metabolism product. However, by exposure to environmental factors such as cigarette smoke and air pollutants, they can build up in the body. One study compared 39 commonly used herbs’ antioxidant content and found that oregano had the highest concentration of antioxidants.
8. Antiparasitic Properties
Many types of parasites live inside or outside the human body, such as roundworms, tapeworms, lice, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and fleas. These parasites use the human body as a food source and as a communicable disease vessel. This is why when ingested, oregano oil can eliminate intestinal worms, and when applied externally, lice, bed bugs, mosquitoes and fleas are effectively kept away. Therefore, finding essential oregano oil as a component of organic bug sprays and repellents is not uncommon.