Oregano is natures antibiotic. It may be one reason why
people who eat a Mediterranean diet tend to live longer and
healthier lives. Besides making pizza, pasta and salad taste
great, the oil of the wild oregano plant has been shown to kill
unwanted bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites and viruses. Its
a powerful antihistamine. New research is finding that oil of
oregano is as effective against colitis as prescription drugs
without the harmful side effects. It is also able to regenerate
Oil of oregano is made from the leaves and flowers of the wild
oregano plant found growing naturally in the remote mountainous
regions of the Mediterranean where there is little pollution.
It is a member of the mint family. The flowers and leaves are
harvested when the oil content of the plant is at its highest.
It has a history that stretches back to the ancient Greeks,
whose name for it translates into joy of the mountain.
They used it to treating infection related illnesses and diseases.
As the dangers of antibiotic use become more apparent, health
conscious people as well as holistic healers are looking for
natural alternatives to treat infections. They are finding oil
of oregano to be the perfect natural choice.
The ingredients in oil of oregano are unique
What is sold in most traditional grocery stores as oregano
is not wild Mediterranean oregano. It has little preventative
or therapeutic value. Real wild Mediterranean oregano is of
two varieties. Thymus capitatus is the variety that grows in
Spain. Most of the oregano that grows throughout the rest of
the Mediterranean is the origanum vulgare variety. In order
to obtain the health benefits of oil of oregano, the oregano
must be of one of these two varieties.
These are the ingredients found in oil of oregano that provide
its unique properties:
Carvacrol has been proven in studies to be a powerful antimicrobial,
so powerful that it can be used to preserve food and render
it self-stable. Reseach has shown it to be effective against
candida albicans, the aspergillus mold, staphylococcus, campylobacter,
klebsiella, e.coli, giardia, pseudomonas, salmonella, and listeria.
Carvacrol provides many of the health benefits of oil of oregano
Thymol is a natural fungicide with antiseptic properties. It
is the active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash. Thymol is also
an immune system booster and a shield against toxins. It is
capable of preventing tissue damage and encouraging healing.
Terpenes is the source of the word turpentine. Terpenes give
off a pine scent and are also produced by pine trees. Terpenes
have potent antibacterial properties.
Rosmarinic acid is a stronger antioxidant than vitamin E. It
prevents free radical damage and is instrumental in preventing
atherosclerosis and cancer. Rosmarinic acid has shown to be
effective in the treatment of allergic asthma. It reduces fluid
build up and swelling during an allergy attack, and is an effective
Naringin is the substance that gives grapefruit its bitter
taste. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells
and helps boost the effect of antioxidants.
Oil of oregano also contains a good amount of the vitamin E
complex, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium,
copper, boron, manganese, vitamins A and C, and niacin.
Recent research shows oil of oregano beneficial to the colon
A study reported in the journal Experimental and Toxicologic
Pathology investigated the treatment efficacy of intra-rectal
and intra-peritoneal application of oregano oil on induced colitis
in rats using a morphological damage score. They found a significant
difference in terms of ulceration, mucus cell depletion, inflammatory
cell infiltration, vascular dilatation, crypt abcesses, and
edema between the group given oregano oil compared to the control
A study reported in the journal Mediators of Inflammation examined
the anti-inflammatory effects of the combination of thyme and
oregano oil administered at three concentrations on mice with
induced colitis. They found that the treatment decreased the
levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, GM-CSF,
and TNF-alpha, especially after the application of the medium
dose of 0.2% thyme and 0.1% oregano oil. The medium dose also
significantly lowered the amount of the IL-1beta and IL-6 proteins.
Administration of the medium dose decreased the mortality rate,
accelerated the body weight gain recovery, and reduced the macroscopic
damage of the colonic tissue.
Phytomedicine reports a study to investigate the possible effects
of carvacrol obtained from oregano oil on the regenerative feature
of the liver following partial hepatectomy in rats. The liver
regeneration rate of the animals was calculated measuring the
weights of their livers before and after the hepatectomy. The
researchers found that the liver regeneration increased significantly
in the rats given the oregano oil compared to the control group.
Another study reported in Phytomedicine investigated the comparative
effects of carvacrol in the liver of rats subjected to restricted
blood supply and the restoration of blood flow to the organs
and tissues following a period of time. They found that carvacrol
ws able to protect the liver against defects caused by the event.
They also found carvacrol to be non-hepatotoxic at the applied
Oil of oregano is a powerful and versatile medicine
In his book, The Cure is in the Cupboard, Dr. Cass Ingram tells
of how oil of oregano saved his life after he contacted a blood
borne fungus from an IV needle. He claims that oil of oregano
holds supremacy as natures most powerful and versatile
antiseptic. It is a preservative that can be used to halt the
growth of microbes and reduce the risk for food poisoning in
meats, eggs, milk and other foods. In his book he lists more
than 170 conditions for which the oil may be useful, including
treatment for athletes foot, psoriasis, eczema, worms, amoebae,
and protozoa. It is helpful in combating diarrhea, intestinal
gas, sore throat, sinusitis, breathing difficulties, dandruff,
diaper rash, bee stings and venomous bites. It can help reduce
fever, relieve cramps, and reduce the effects of measles and
Herbal authority Steven Foster credits oregano as having been
used successfully to treat indigestion, diarrhea, nervous tension,
insect bites, toothache, earache, rheumatism, and coughs due
to whopping cough and bronchitis.
Using oil of oregano
There is a large quality difference in oil of oregano products
currently on the market. Most products do not contain pure oil
of oregano. They are instead a combination of oregano oil with
a dilutive oil such as olive or flax. Some of these products
probably contain a significant amount of oil of oregano, others
do not, but there is no way to know. It would also be helpful
to know if the oil of oregano was naturally extracted. If you
find a brand that tells you how much actual oil of oregano is
in the product, the next step is to determine the amount of
the active ingredients which are primarily the volatile oils
carvacrol and thymol. This is not an easy task.
Supplements of oregano oil are available as tinctures and capsules.
Oreganol is a popular product but the oil of oregano is listed
as part of a proprietary blend, so you really dont have
any idea what you are getting. It is expensive, so its price
may be an indication of quality or it may not.
Bio-alternatives makes a tincture that it says it provides
85% naturally extracted carvacrol, but it is blended with olive
oil, so you dont know how much oil of oregano is in it.
A one ounce bottle sells for $17.99. This oregano is the origanum
Byron Richards of Wellness Resources has done a fairly good
job of coming clean about what is in his Oregano Oil product.
According to him each capsule contains 100 mg. of wild oregano
oil that is 55%-65% carvacrol. He doesnt tell you how
it was extracted. A bottle of 180 capsules sells for about $28.00.
This oregano is the thymus capitatus variety.
Oregano can be grown in the garden and processed in the kitchen.