Relieve It With A Herb: Oregano Oil For Infections
4 mins read
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a popular flavoring ingredient used in Mexican, Italian and Spanish cuisine. Rosmarinic acid, the active substance present in oregano, is a powerful antioxidant—almost 42 times more than the antioxidants present in apples—that improves immunity.(1)
It also contains beta-caryophyllene, a substance that is known to stop inflammation and could be beneficial for arteriosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries), osteoporosis and hypertension.(2,3)
Oregano For Infections
Oregano has essential oils that could kill the foodborne pathogen ‘listeria’ and the superbug MRSA (that causes Staph infections). Essential oils obtained from oregano have antifungal properties and are effective against certain Candida species.(4,5,6)
The antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties of oregano oil can be useful in:
- Preventing the growth of bacteria causing respiratory infections (Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus) and curtailing the growth of multi-drug resistant bacteria.(7,8)
- Stopping the growth of E.coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus, bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.(9)
- Dealing with parasitic infections. It is more effective against the parasite Giardia than the drug tinidazol.(10)
How To Use It
1. To treat sinus infections or cold, put four to five drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water or a vaporizer. Inhale the steam twice a day.
2. For parasitic infections, take a drop each of oregano and coconut oil (carrier oil) in a spoon and mix it. Keep it under your tongue for two to three minutes and rinse your mouth with water. Repeat this four times a day to see an improvement.
3. To treat fungal nail infections and athlete’s foot, soak your feet in a tub of warm water, with two to three drops of oregano oil added to it, for 10 minutes every day for a week for relief. You can buy oregano oil here.
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1. Dragland S, Senoo H, Wake K, Holte K, Blomhoff R. Several culinary and medicinal herbs are important sources of dietary antioxidants. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1286-90. PubMed PMID: 12730411.
2. Gertsch J, Leonti M, Raduner S, Racz I, Chen JZ, Xie XQ, Altmann KH, Karsak M, Zimmer A. Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Jul 1;105(26):9099-104. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803601105. Epub 2008 Jun 23. PubMed PMID: 18574142; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2449371.
3. Mueller M, Lukas B, Novak J, Simoncini T, Genazzani AR, Jungbauer A. Oregano: a source for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma antagonists. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Dec 24;56(24):11621-30. doi: 10.1021/jf802298w. PubMed PMID: 19053389.
4. Leonor Faleiro, Graça Miguel, Sónia Gomes, Ludmila Costa, Florencia Venâncio, Adriano Teixeira, A. Cristina Figueiredo, José G. Barroso, and, and Luis G. Pedro. Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activities of Essential Oils Isolated from Thymbra capitata L. (Cav.) and Origanum vulgare L. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2005 53 (21), 8162-8168 DOI: 10.1021/jf0510079
5. Himalayan Oregano Effective Against MRSA. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/130620.php
6. Rosato A, Vitali C, Piarulli M, Mazzotta M, Argentieri MP, Mallamaci R. In vitro synergic efficacy of the combination of Nystatin with the essential oils of Origanum vulgare and Pelargonium graveolens against some Candida species. Phytomedicine. 2009 Oct;16(10):972-5. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.02.011. Epub 2009 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 19616925.
7. Saeed S, Tariq P. Antibacterial activity of oregano (Origanum vulgare Linn.) against gram positive bacteria. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2009 Oct;22(4):421-4. PubMed PMID: 19783523.
8. Dahiya P, Purkayastha S. Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Some Medicinal Plants Against Multi-drug Resistant Bacteria from Clinical Isolates. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2012 Sep;74(5):443-50. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.108420. Erratum in: Indian J Pharm Sci. 2012 Nov;74(6):563. Dahiya, P [corrected to Dahiya, Praveen]. PubMed PMID: 23716873; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3660871.
9. Pozzatti P, Scheid LA, Spader TB, Atayde ML, Santurio JM, Alves SH. In vitro activity of essential oils extracted from plants used as spices against fluconazole-resistant and fluconazole-susceptible Candida spp. Can J Microbiol. 2008 Nov;54(11):950-6. doi: 10.1139/w08-097. PubMed PMID: 18997851.
10. Ponce-Macotela M, Rufino-González Y, González-Maciel A, Reynoso-Robles R, Martínez-Gordillo MN. Oregano (Lippia spp.) kills Giardia intestinalis trophozoites in vitro: antigiardiasic activity and ultrastructural damage. Parasitol Res. 2006 May;98(6):557-60. Epub 2006 Jan 20. PubMed PMID: 16425064.
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