Oregano is a Natural Anti-Biotic
Oregano is a wonderful, aromatic herb that is native to the Mediterranean. It is thought to have originated in the mountainous regions of Greece, Turkey and Italy. It was named by the Ancient Greeks “Mountain Joy.” Oregano is one of the most powerful healing herbs and natural anti-biotics ever studied. Discover 12 ways to use oregano to improve your health in this article.
Oregano has a warming and aromatic flavor to it. It can be very hot and bitter at times when it is picked fresh. The bite usually wanes as it is dried. Oregano became a staple of Italian-American foods. American soldiers who were stationed in Europe during World War II brought oregano back as the “pizza herb.” It was soon used in more popularity in pastas, grilled/roasted veggies, meat & fish. It is also popularly used in meat marinates and salad dressings.
Oregano Oil is an extraordinarily powerful natural anti-biotic. Oregano has been found in studies to be significantly better than all of the 18 currently used anti-biotics in the treatment of MRSA staph infections and challenging microbial biofilms(1). The strong phenol anti-oxidants destroy pathogenic bacteria, viruses and yeasts (2, 3, 4).
Incredible Anti-Oxidant Capacity
This super herb is very rich in anti-oxidant phytochemical flavonoids and phenolic acids. It is the third highest herb in oxygen radical absorbancy capacity (ORAC) with an impressive score of 175,295 (5). Oregano is one of the world’s greatest sources of the powerful phenol component thymol. Thymol is great for improving digestive function as well as destroying harmful microbes.
The USDA ranks oregano’s antioxidant capacity anywhere from 3 to 20 times higher than any other herb. Oregano has four times the antioxidant power of blueberries, 12 times that of oranges and 42 times greater than apples (6).
Oregano is an Anti-Microbial:
Oregano oil has been classically used as a disinfectant, an aid for ear, nose, & throat/respiratory infections, candida, and any sort of bacterial or viral conditions. Additionally, it works to suppress inflammatory mediators and cancer cell production (7, 8). Oregano oil is more potent than the dried herb; however, the dried version still contains many powerful health benefits.
Studies have shown that carvacrol, a phenol anti-oxidant within oregano has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity when applied to food or taken in supplement form (9). Oregano also contains rosmarinic acid which has very strong cancer fighting properties (10).
Best Ways to Use Oregano and Oregano Oil:
I am a HUGE FAN of oregano and use it all the time. I personally love the smell of the fresh or dried herb and use it very generously in the following ways.
1) Put 1-3 small drops of oregano essential oil in water – this will help prevent or be a great therapy for sore throats and respiratory infections
2) For Ear Infections, place 1-3 small drops oregano essential oil in hand or cloth and rub around the outer region of a children’s ear.
3) Use Dried Oregano on salads, steamed or sauteed vegetables and meat dishes.
4) Use 1/4 cup of fresh oregano leaves in a vegetable juice
5) Put dried or fresh oregano in soups, stews and bone broths
6) Put fresh or dried oregano on grilled or BBQ meat. When animal protein is cooked at high temperatures it creates highly reactive free radicals. The oregano will help to buffer the effects of these free radicals and improve the flavor of the meat.
7) Oil pull with 1-2 drops of oregano essential oil and a half teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish for 10-15 minutes and then spit in trash can. This reduces microbial load in your oral cavity and improves immune health. For more on the benefits of oil pulling read this article.
8) Make household cleaning agents using a few drops of oregano essential oil with water, white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide
9) Put a drop of oregano oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and place on cuts, burns and wounds (it will burn) to disinfect the area
10) To eliminate acne and warts – Dip a Q-tip in oregano oil and put on acne or warts – 2-4x daily. This will kill off bacteria and reduce inflammation in the infected area and allow it heal more effectively.
11) Take 10 drops of oregano oil and combine with 2 tbsps of coconut oil and rub it into your hands as a natural hand sanitizer
12) Add a few drops to your laundry wash to sanitize your clothing naturally and to provide a nice fragrance for your clothes.
Remember that oregano essential oil is particularly strong so use it at the tolerance level you can comfortably enjoy!
Sources For This Article:
- Kavanaugh NL, Ribbeck K. Selectedantimicrobial essential oils eradicate Pseudomonas spp. and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jun;78(11):4057-61. PMID:22467497
- Barbour EK, Dankar SK, Shaib HA, Kumosani T, Azhar E, Masaudi S, Iyer A, Harakeh S. Antimicrobial profile of essential oils extracted from wild versus cultivated Origanum ehrenberjii against enteric bacteria. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2014 Oct 15;8(10):1344-9. PMID: 25313614
- Eng W, Norman R. Development of an oregano-based ointment with anti-microbial activity including activity against methicillin-resistant Staphlococcusaureus.J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Apr;9(4):377-80. PMID: 20514796
- Yap PS, Yiap BC, Ping HC, Lim SH. Essential oils, a new horizon in combating bacterial antibiotic resistance. Open Microbiol J. 2014 Feb 7;8:6-14. PMID: 24627729
- American Chemical Society. “Researchers Call Herbs Rich Source of Healthy Anti-Oxidants; Oregano Ranks Highest.” ScienceDaily, Jan 8th, 2002. Link here
- Al Dhaheri Y, Attoub S, Arafat K, Abuqamar S, Viallet J, Saleh A, Al Agha H, Eid A, Iratni R. Anti-metastatic and anti-tumor growth effects of Origanum majorana on highly metastatic human breast cancer cells: inhibition of NFκB signaling and reduction of nitric oxide production. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7). PMID: 23874773
- Tuncer E, Unver-Saraydin S, Tepe B, Karadayi S, Ozer H, Karadayi K, Inan D, Elagoz S, Polat Z, Duman M, Turan M. Antitumor effects of Origanum acutidens extracts on human breast cancer. J BUON. 2013 Jan-Mar;18(1):77-85. PMID: 23613392
- Suntres ZE, Coccimiglio J, Alipour M. The bioactivity and toxicological actions of carvacrol. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(3):304-18. PMID: 24915411
- Furtado RA, Oliveira BR, Silva LR, Cleto SS, Munari CC, Cunha WR, Tavares DC. Chemopreventive effects of rosmarinic acid on rat colon carcinogenesis. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2015 Mar;24(2):106-12. PMID: 24977626