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Is Oregano Oil A Natural Cure-All Elixir???
Healthy natural oils seem to be all the rage these days, and coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil tend to get the lion’s share of attention. But other lesser known oils derived from common spices and herbs offer their own range of benefits. One of these “unsung oils,” if you will, is the often overlooked oregano oil. Studies have shown that oregano oil offers a wide variety of health benefits that could potentially eliminate the need for many over-the-counter medications.
As the name implies, oregano oil is derived from the household herb of the same name, which is native to the Mediterranean region. Oregano has traditionally been used for culinary purposes, but recently the distilled oil has become popular for more medicinal uses.
There are more than 40 species of oregano, but the majority of oregano oil is derived from the subspecies oregano vulgare.
It is the presence of special phytochemical compounds in oregano oil that gives this oil its rare combination of health benefits. These include carvacrol, which has powerful antibacterial properties, and thymol, which kills harmful fungi.
What are the Health Benefits of Oregano Oil?
1. Natural anti-inflammatory
In a study conducted at the University of Bonn and ETH Zurich in Switzerland, researchers discovered a compound called beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP), which has a strong ability to fight inflammation. E-BCP is found in other spices, like cinnamon and rosemary. In seven out of 10 cases where it was tested, it proved quite effective against inflammation in test animals. It also demonstrated great potential for alleviating conditions like osteoporosis and metabolic syndrome.
2. Cancer fighting properties
A study carried out in the United Arab Emirates found that compounds in oregano oil triggered apoptosis in the breast tumors of women diagnoses with breast cancer. Apoptosis is when tumor cell attacks themselves and essentially “commit suicide.”
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3. Natural fungus and bacteria killer
The carvacol compound gives oregano oil its powerful antimicrobial qualities. In a study carried out in Portugal, the oil proved very effective against over 40 different strains of the foodborne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Oregano oil has proven effective against yeast infections (candida), respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
4. Antibiotic properties
Perhaps most amazingly, oregano oil has proven to be more effective than actual antibiotic medications for treating certain diseases.
By now, it is common knowledge that antibiotics are being overused and overprescribed by doctors. For the better part of a century, antibiotics like penicillin have been treated like miraculous, one-and-done solution to bacterial infections. The problem is that through natural selection, the hardier germs have survived and led to the development of treatment-resistant strains of diseases that were once only a small concern. These “superbugs” have the potential to cause a major public health crisis in the future.
The good news is that natural oils like oregano oil have the potential to solve this problem. Studies have shown that the oil was even more effective in treating parasitic infections like giardia than tinidazol, the antibiotic medication typically used for this condition.
Incredibly, a British study showed that the oil distilled from Himalayan oregano was successful in treating the dreaded methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA infection. MRSA is an especially severe form of a staph infection which resists conventional treatment. It demonstrated an ability to kill MRSA at a dilution of 1 to 1000 and was effective both as a liquid and a diffused vapor. This is welcome news for the increasing numbers of patients suffering from treatment-resistant diseases.
Because it is readily available as a supplement, oregano oil can also be used as an effective home remedy in liquid or diffused form.
Diffusing essential oils for aromatherapy purposes has become quite popular in recent years, and oregano oil makes a great choice for this. Diffused oregano oil can be used to alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions like bronchitis, pneumonia, and colds, as well as relieving sore throats and allergies.
Oregano oil can also be used topically as a natural repellant to keep away harmful or annoying insects, or applied to existing insect bites and rashes to relieve pain and itching.
READ ALSO: The Magic Of Coconut Oil
Oregano oil can be a safe and natural home remedy for certain conditions, and it also shows enormous potential for treating both common diseases and serious, treatment-resistant conditions like MRSA. Pick some up today, and experience the benefits essential oils like oregano can bring to your health.