Oregano Oil Benefits and Uses of Our Favourite Italian Herb
Oregano is a very famous fragrant herb that is commonly used in Italian foods. It not only makes a great food herb, but oregano oil has numerous benefits for health. Oregano essential oil can be used topically as well as ingested to reap the benefits. In this article, we will tell you all about the Oregano oil benefits, its uses, side effects in detail.
So without wasting any more minutes, let’s learn what is oregano oil good for?
What is oregano oil?
Oregano is a flowering plant botanically known as Origanum Vulgare. The plant belongs to the mint family and is a commonly used flavoring herb in food.
Oregano is native to Europe; however, now it is grown all over the world. The herb is popular since the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations for its medicinal properties. It has been used as a culinary spice for centuries.
Oregano essential oil is formed by air-drying the shoots and leaves of the plant then extracting the oil by steam distillation. (source) It is produced using various extraction methods like using alcohol or carbon dioxide. Oregano essential oils are widely used as a supplement in capsule or pill forms.
Oregano contains various compounds like terpenes, phenols, and terpenoids. These are very powerful antioxidants and bring fragrance to oregano.
Oregano Oil Benefits:
Below we have mentioned some of the potential health benefits of oregano essential oil:
Oregano is a natural antibiotic and helps to fight bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is the most common cause of food poisoning and skin infections.
A study done on mice found that oregano essential oil reduced the effects of bacterial infection. (source)
Regular consumption of oregano essential oil can prevent antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including E.coli and Pseudomonas (a common cause of respiratory tract and urinary infection).
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It May help lower cholesterol.
According to several studies, oregano oil is also known to have lower cholesterol benefits.
A study was done on people with slightly high cholesterol who were given the right diet and oregano oil extracts after meals. After three months, it was reported that the cholesterol levels went down compared to people who did not follow the diet program. (Source)
Oregano contains a compound named Carvacrol, which helps in reducing the cholesterol level.
As we all know, antioxidants protect the body from free radicals damage; it should be a part of our daily diet. Free radicals increase the chances of early aging and diseases like heart disease and cancer. Exposure to air pollutants and smoke can increase the buildup of free radicals in our bodies.
A test-tube study presents that oregano contains the highest amount of antioxidants as compared to 39 other herbs. The antioxidants level in oregano is 3-30 times more than other flavoring herbs.
Also, oregano has four times more antioxidants than blueberries and 42 times more than apples.
Could help treat yeast infections
Yeast infection is quite common. It is a type of fungus that can overgrow and cause skin infections and as well as gut problems.
Candida is the most common type of yeast, causing most yeast infections all over the world.
Several test-tube studies present that Oregano essential oil is effective against various types of Candida. It was also found that oregano essential oil can be used as an alternative treatment for Candida yeast infections.
Improves gut health
Oregano oil has benefits for gut health in many ways:
Gut problems l; like pain, diarrhea, and bloating are very common and are caused by gut parasites.
An old study presents that people who consume oregano oil experience a reduction in gut problems caused by gut parasites and can be cured by regular treatment. It also reduced the symptoms of gut health and tiredness.
Oregano oil also benefits in protecting against a gut problem known as “leaky gut.” A leaky gut happens when the gut wall is damaged, allowing toxins and bacteria to pass into the bloodstream.
A study done on pigs presents that oregano essential oil protects the gut lining damage and reduces the E.coli bacteria found in the gut.
Inflammation is the key cause of various health problems. According to research, Oregano oil helps in reducing inflammation. It contains a key compound known as Carvacrol, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
A study presents that when Carvacrol is used in different concentrations directly on inflammation areas, it minimizes the effects of inflammation.
Help relieve pain
Oregano essential oil is famous for its painkilling properties. A study done on mice presents that oregano oil has the ability to relieve pain. It produces the same effects as morphine and fenoprofen painkillers. This happens due to the presence of Carvacrol compounds in oregano.
Many studies present that Carvacrol, a key compound of oregano, has cancer-fighting properties.
In several test-tube studies on cancer cells, Carvacrol has produced promising results against breast, lung, and liver cancer cells. It helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
help you lose weight
Carvacrol content in oregano is responsible for the weight loss effects in the body.
A study done on mice presents that when fed a high-fat diet containing Carvacrol gained significantly less weight compared to those who were only fed a high-fat diet. Carvacrol reverses the chain of events that lead to fat cell formation.
Oregano Oil Uses
Oregano oil is used widely in tablet and capsule form as a supplement. These can be easily found online and even in general health stores.
Oregano supplements are highly concentrated; therefore, reading the instructions carefully on the packet before consumption is essential.
Oregano extracts are also available in essential oil forms and can be diluted with a carrier oil to use topically.
Oregano oil can also be ingested and has many uses. However, there is no standard dosage limit for consumption.
Note:- Before ingesting oregano oil extracts, make sure to consult with your doctor if you are on any type of medication. Also, breastfeeding women should avoid using oregano oil extracts.
Oregano herb uses in cooking or supplement :
- bacterial infections, such as E. coli
- viruses, (stomach virus) or upper respiratory infections
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- parasitic infections
- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- yeast infections (Candida)
oregano essential oil uses as a vapor for:
- respiratory infections
- a cough
Diluted oregano essential oil for:
- bug bites
- topical infections
- poison ivy
Oregano Oil Side Effects
Unlike other herbs, oregano oil is highly concentrated. People often make the mistake of using too much quantity or using it for too long. Oregano oil is safe for consumption; however, too high doses can have some detrimental effects.
It contains Thymol that is a phenol compound. Higher doses of Thymol can be mildly irritating and affect internal organs as well as skin. It may cause:
- gastric distress
- central hyperactivity
Thymol can also be corrosive or irritating to the eyes as well as skin. Nevel applies oregano oil on broken skin or anywhere close to the eyes.
Oregano oil is also known to cause mild allergic reactions to overdosage. If you are allergic to any plant from the mint family or lavender, avoid using oregano.
Sometimes using oregano essential oil topically can also cause skin rash in people who are not even allergic to oregano. Therefore it is important to always check with the healthcare professional before using any essential oil and also follow the directions mentioned on the package. The rules apply to both capsules and oil extracts.
Oregano extracts or oil are readily available and affordable. It contains higher antioxidants levels than most herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Oregano is also loaded with a powerful compound known as phenols.
Oregano oil extracts have been known to have various benefits like reducing inflammation, pain, bacterial and fungal infections, etc.
However, it may also show some side effects in case of overdosage or long term use. Therefore make sure to always consult with your doctor before using, especially if you are already on some medication routine.