Oregano Essential Oil

Herbs have been used for centuries, imparting their goodness to health and as flavoring agents. Today, with the world becoming a global village, most herbs, spices or oils are available everywhere, regardless of the region of production and growth.

More surprisingly, it is found that about 80% of the world population relies on traditional medicine (which uses herbs and oils) for health.

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Oregano as an herb has gained popularity as the ‘pizza herb’, and it is found to blend well with all kinds of cuisines. Its taste ranges between spicy, tangy, or sweet. While oregano essential oil is used for therapeutic purposes, its dried leaves are used in culinary preparations.

Physical Properties

Oregano or origanum vulgare is a perennial herb, growing to two to three feet tall with opposite leaves and pink flowers.

Origin

It grows in the temperate climates of western and southern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. Though dry climate is preferred, it grows well in other climates as well, apart from the winter months when it is difficult for them to survive.

How to Extract

Oil of oregano is derived from flowering plants growing in the wild and naturally, with the leaves being picked at the right time when the leaves are high in oil content. These leaves are then passed through the steam distillation process to collect the oil. The oil collected is pale yellow and watery.

Chemical properties

Oregano’s chemical composition is made of carvacrol, limonene, thymol, ocimene, pinene, caryophyllene, linalool, bonreol, linyl acetate and geranyl acetate.

Therapeutic applications

The chemical characteristics of the oil make it a potent antidote for a wide range of infections and diseases. The benefits of oregano oil have been well researched and proved due to its wide use since ages. While the herb has dietary fiber that reduces cholesterol levels, oil of oregano can be used topically or internally, depending on the prescription.

Oregano essential oil has antimicrobial properties that help fight drug resistant bacteria and viruses. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-venom, antibacterial, and antiviral agent as a result of the phenols present in the oil. It inhibits bacterial and fungal growth. Few drops can be added to the shampoo to get rid of fungal infection affecting the scalp; it also aids in healing bruises, sores, athlete’s foot, cramps, sprains, and tendonitis.

It is also effective in treating arthritis.

The oil also contains antioxidants. It is boosts immunity, and two drops consumed every day can help prevent illnesses. Either taken internally or externally, oregano essential oil also fights chronic infections due to it antibiotic and antiseptic properties.

Benefits

Oregano essential oil is used in the treatment of viral infections such colds, the flu, warts, candida, shingles, and herpes. The oil is also an excellent anti-parasitic and can be used to counter tape worm and round worm infections, bed bugs, mites, lice, fleas, and mosquitoes. It also fights allergies and has a calming effect on the nerves, thus reducing hypersensitivity due to allergies. It is also a good for relieving inflammation and pain.

Oregano essential oil is antispasmodic and can be used in treating indigestion, diarrhea, toothaches, earaches, whooping cough, bronchitis, and nervous tension. Sniffing oregano essential oil helps relieve chest congestion and eases breathing.

Blends well with

Oregano blends easily with essential oils of rosemary, lavender, chamomile, cedar wood, Cyprus, tea tree, bergamot, and eucalyptus. When blended with olive oil, it is effective for wounds, scars, eczema and for other external therapeutic applications.

Word of caution

Essential oil of oregano should not be used by those who have serious underlying health conditions. It is contradictory with blood thinning medications, and hence, consultation with a physician is necessary. It is best diluted with extra virgin olive oil when used topically. When used extensively, it can cause irritation of the skin. Pregnant women should avoid essential oil of oregano.

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Oregano Essential Oil
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