Oregano essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of fresh leaves and flowers of oregano, the color of the resultant oil ranges from golden to dark yellow with a concentrated spicy scent.
Oregano is a scented herb usually used to give flavor to pasta, pizza and meat dishes. Oregano is majorly renowned for its usefulness in the kitchen. Oregano is indigenous to Europe and grown in other areas of the world; it is usually grown in the mountains. Which is how its name “oregano” was derived, oregano means “Delight of the mountain”.
Oregano belongs to the plant family called Lamiaceae which also comprise of other culinary herbs like basil, sage, marjoram, and lavender. This strong, bushy perennial herb grows up to 90cm tall, its dark green leaves grow to 2-3cm in length.
It was in ancient Greece that the antibacterial and disinfectant properties of oregano essential oil was first noticed. It was used to keep bacteria away from food, treat bacterial infections on the skin or in injuries, and used to protect food from bacteria. It was used laurels to crown brides and grooms in ancient custom.
There are more than 40 species of oregano, but it’s the Origanum Vulgare that oregano essential oil is produced from, due to its medicinal benefits. There are oregano essential oils made from other species of oregano, but its best to go for oregano essential oil made from Origanum Vulgare.
What are the benefits of oregano essential oil?
Oregano essential oil is known for antimicrobial, apart from which has other health benefits which include:
- It is antifungal
The antifungal properties make it effective against fungal infections. One of the major constituents of oregano essential oil is Thymol, which has been proven to potent against many fungi pathogens also against candida and yeast.
Origanum Vulgare essential oil is also found to equally as effective as regular antifungal drugs and is a healthy alternative to these lethal drugs.
Infectious diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. And among all these causative elements, fungi are responsible for many dangerous and fatal infections.
Fungi cause terrible, painful, and deadly infections in the nose, ear, skin, and throat and if not cured quickly can affect the brain fatally.
It can be used internally and externally to shield the body from fungal infections.
Origanum Vulgare essential oil is quite effective against athlete’s feet, a common infection caused by fungi, this infection can easily be contacted from swimming pools, gyms, changing rooms, and places where people with the infection walk barefoot.
A prevention measure for this is to mix a few drops of oregano essential oil with a teaspoonful of jojoba oil and use this mixture to massage your feet before visiting such places.
It is good to put some drops of oregano essential oil on cotton balls and place them in your footwear to keep them fresh and lessen the risk of athlete’s foot. In case you itch in between your toes or probably it’s peeling, you can apply the earlier mixture until it disappears.
Oregano essential oil can be taken internally to help combat yeast infections.
- It is antibacterial
The antibacterial properties of oregano essential oil make it effective against bacterial infection; this antibacterial property gives you additional protection against many bacterial diseases such as cholera, sores, food poisoning, infection in the colon and urinary tract.
- It helps to relieve menstrual problems
The emenagogue properties of oregano essential oil make it potent at regulating menstruation and delaying the rate at which menopause sets in. It also reduces the symptoms of menopause setting in which includes mood balance and hormonal changes due to the hormonal control quality.
It has been customarily used in relieving menstrual problems such as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea.
Mix 2 drops in a cup of ginger tea drink the mixture if you suffer painful periods. Another alternative is to use it with chamomile tea to increase its effectiveness.
For menstrual cramps, apply a mixture of 2-3 drops of essential oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil on the lower abdomen.
- It helps to regulate diabetes
May help to control type II diabetes by restraining the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV that stimulates insulin production.
- It helps with digestion
Oregano essential oil helps with digestion by intensifying the secretion of digestive juices, it also increases the digestibility of nutrients and enzymes which helps in food absorption. This property is beneficial to your overall health by maximizing the nutrients received from food.
- It provides relief from allergies
An allergy is a hyperactive reaction of the body towards to exterior stimuli, the sedative property of oregano extract helps to pacify this hypersensitivity.
The anti-inflammation of oregano essential oil helps to reduce the consequence of an allergic reaction, particularly with allergic reactions such as anaphylactic shock or bulge of the throat.
- It is effective against parasites
The anti-parasitic propertie oil make it potent against many types of parasites, such as tapeworms, mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, and roundworms.
These parasites can inhabit the interior or exterior of the human body and use it as a host and as a carrier of infectious diseases. When taken internally, it removes intestinal worms, and when it is used on the exterior of the body it wards off bedbugs, lice, mosquitoes, and fleas.
This is why oregano essential oil is a constituent of organic bug spray and repellent. Mix 2-3 drops with ginger tea or lemonade; drink the mixture 1-2 times a day.
- It is useful as an insect repellant
For a long time Origanum Vulgare essential oil has been used to control head lice, and it is used in controlling household pests.
Oregano oil can be used to wipe surfaces to ward off ants and cockroaches. Mix 20 drops of essential oil and lemon oil in a bottle of water. Shake the mixture well to make a fine emulsion. Use the mixture to spray surfaces and wipe thereafter.
- It lessens the risk of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases
The antioxidant property makes it potent in protecting the heart and blood vessel from free radical harm.
The ursolic acid contained is known to prevent cancer cell spread in many ways. One of the many benefits of ursolic acid is that it boosts the amount of brown fat and muscle at the same time decreasing the accumulation of white fat.
This could help lessen the risk of cardiovascular diseases and metabolic ailments in obese people.
- It is useful in pet care
Many of the skin problems and exterior parasites in pets like dogs and cats can be contained with it.
It can be used in areas where your pets have missing fur due to ringworm infection or hotspots, it is best when diluted with a carrier oil.
You can mix a teaspoonful of oregano essential oil with a gallon of warm water and use it to clean up your pet after bathing; this would help ward off fleas and other skin parasites.
Oregano essential oil has been effectively used in treating arthritis in dogs; it can be used to wet dog food or cod liver oil to make it appealing to your pet.
In the past antibiotics are normally mixed with poultry feed to make chickens stay healthy and put on weight faster, off recent many organic farmers have avoided these medications and opted for oregano oil. The advantage of the use, is it produces the same result as the use of antibiotics without its side effects.
- It is useful in the treatment of respiratory conditions
Most of the herbal remedies used in Europe for the treatment of respiratory conditions have oregano essential oil a major constituent. The expectorant property of Origanum Vulgare essential oil makes it effective in relieving symptoms of respiratory conditions such as cold and flu, bronchitis, and asthma.
It helps to eliminate the accumulation of mucus and phlegm in the respiratory tract and sinuses, and it serves as a soothing balm for irritated lungs and throat.
Research has proven the effectiveness of oregano essential oil in obliterating Staphylococcus aureus, which is responsible for most upper respiratory infections. It is also found to be effective against Klebsiella pneumonia, which is responsible for lower respiratory tract infections.
The antibacterial constituents of essential oil such as thymol and carvacrol work against infectious organisms; this anti-inflammatory property helps to relieve nose and airway congestion, as well as headaches caused by sinus congestion.
- It acts as an antioxidant
The antioxidant property of oregano essential oil helps it to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals at the same time repairing the damage done.
It also reduces the speed of aging, prevents the spread of cancer, muscle degeneration due to aging, premature aging, wrinkles, loss of vision and hearing, it helps to prevent ailments associated with premature aging and the influences of free radicals.
Origanum Vulgare essential oil contains a powerful antioxidant called phenol, which combs and removes free radicals that cause disease.
- It is antiviral
The antiviral property of oregano essential oil makes it effective against viral infections. This antiviral property helps to reinforce the immune system against diseases caused by viruses such as measles, mumps, colds, and pox.
The production and function of white blood cells are stimulated.
- It helps to relieve stomach disorder
A lot of agents could be responsible for stomach disorder such as mild bacterial infections, ingestion of toxins, indigestion due to endocrine problems and discomfort as a result of excess production of acid or gas.
Toxins which are produced by these infectious organisms inflame the lining of the stomach; this is dealt with by the anti-inflammatory property of oregano essential oil. The antispasmodic property also helps to relieve stomach pain and cramping.
The carminative property of oregano essential oil makes it potent in reducing gas formation in the stomach. It is also cholagogue; this means it enables the release of bile and digestion of fat.
To help settle your stomach after a heavy meal, add a few drops to warm tea.
How to use oregano essential oil
Can be used topically on the skin to combat skin irritation and areas around wounds for a quick recovery. It can also be applied to areas under the eyes and on wrinkles.
Can be used additives to food; it can be used in straight doses of about 500mg, 3-4 times a day.
Can be consumed in the form of capsules or tablets. Basically, the nature of the ailment or condition determines how will be used.
How to make oregano essential oil
Oregano essential oil is extracted by a special distillation process; nevertheless, you can also make it in your home. Here is how:
- Chopped or crushed leaves of oregano
- Almond, Olive, or Grapeseed oil
- Clean container with a lid
- Heat some water, and once its rolling boil turns down the heat.
- Pour your preferred oil and chopped oregano leaves in the container.
- Put the container in the steaming water and let it stay for about 5-10 minutes. The oil is heated and this enables oregano to release its natural oils.
- Take the jar out of the water and put it beside a sunny window for 1-2 weeks. Ensure you shake the jar intermittently every few days.
- After two weeks, strain the oil from the leaves and transfer them into a clean container. Finally store in a dark, cool and dry place.