9 Benefits and Uses of Oregano Oil
Oregano is a fragrant herb that’s best known as an ingredient in Italian food.
However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that’s loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.
Oregano oil appears to be useful both when consumed or applied to the skin.
Interestingly, it’s an effective natural antibiotic and anti-fungal, and may also help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.
Oregano oil comes from the leaves and shoots of the oregano plant.
Botanically known as Origanum vulgare, oregano is a flowering plant from the same family as mint. It is often used as an herb to flavor food.
Although it is native to Europe, it now grows all over the world.
Oregano has been popular ever since the Greeks and Romans used it for medicinal purposes in ancient times. In fact, the name oregano comes from the Greek words “oros,” meaning mountain, and “ganos,” meaning joy or delight.
Oregano oil is made by air-drying the leaves and shoots of the plant. Once they are dried, the oil is extracted and concentrated by steam distillation.
The oil contains compounds called phenols, terpenes and terpenoids, which have powerful antioxidant properties and are responsible for its fragrance
Carvacrol: The most abundant phenol in oregano oil. It has been shown to stop the growth of several different types of bacteria.
Thymol: A natural antifungal that can also support the immune system and protect against toxins.
Rosmarinic acid: A powerful antioxidant that helps protect against damage caused by free radicals.
These compounds are thought to underlie oregano’s many health benefits.
Here are nine potential benefits and uses of oregano oil.
1. Immune System Support
There’s a lot of evidence to show that oregano oil is a powerful tool for the immune system, especially when it encounters outside invaders. One study straight from the United States Department of Agriculture reported that oregano oil has such a strong action against germs that it could easily defeat Salmonella.
These findings were echoed by researchers the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center who said, “New, safe agents are needed to…overcome harmful organisms… Based on our previous experience and that of others, we postulated that herbal essential oils, such as those of origanum (oregano oil) offer such possibilities.”
2. Protection Against Harmful Organisms
If you’ve consumed undercooked meat or impure water, or countless other risky actions, harmful organisms are likely to be residing inside of your body. Thankfully, oregano oil is shown to be extremely useful for getting rid of these unwanted invaders. One study examined the relationship between oregano oil and harmful organisms and found that taking 600 mg of oregano oil daily prompted a complete disappearance of harmful organisms in the body.
3. Promotes a Balanced Mood
Studies have found that some compounds in oregano oil, including carvacrol, thymol, and terpinene may positively influence the nervous system and mind. Aromatherapy with oregano oil seems to promote a healthy mood, reduce stress, and inhibit emotional abnormalities.
4. Digestive Aid
I’ve said it a million times—health begins in the gut! Good digestion is absolutely necessary to experience good health. While I recommend using an oxygen-based colon cleanser to clean out your digestive tract, stopping the build-up in the first place needs to be part of the plan, and oregano oil can help. Oregano oil is known to stimulate the flow of bile into the digestive organs, enhancing the digestive process.
5. Menstrual Aid
Irregular, uncomfortable periods and unpleasant effects from menopause are a big problem for many women; one of the best natural remedies is oregano oil. It may actually help support regular menstruation and protect against negative menopause experiences. For women, this is a substantial bonus to the already lengthy list of uses and effects of oregano oil.
6.May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
A few studies have indicated that carvacrol, one of the compounds of oregano oil, may have cancer-fighting properties. In studies on cancer cells in test tubes, carvacrol has demonstrated promising results against lung, liver and breast cancer cells.
It has been found to inhibit cell growth and cause cancer cell death.
Although this is promising research, there have not been any studies carried out on people, so more research is needed.
Summary: Preliminary studies have shown that the most abundant compound in oregano oil, carvacrol, inhibits cancer cell growth and causes cell death in lung, liver and breast cancer cells.