When we think about oregano, most of us head to the spice aisle. It has strong associations with cooking, especially for Italian food. Did you know that there are actually a great number of health benefits that come from oregano? You can reap some of these benefits by using it on food, but you can also buy it in essential oil form to get even more out of it.
Aside from seasoning your food, oregano can be used to treat a number of ailments and discomforts such as skin conditions, the flu, arthritis, sinus congestion, parasites, and much more. It is important to note that oregano oil should be diluted before it is applied to the skin. Undiluted oregano oil can cause burning or irritation of the skin. Pregnant women should avoid using oregano oil. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of using oregano oil.
Oregano oil is a great way to give a boost to your immune system. You can take a few drops of the oil straight or dilute it in water or fruit juice. This is especially beneficial during cold and flu season to fight off infections and viruses before they have a chance to make you sick. Oregano oil is both an anti-viral and an anti-bacterial, meaning that it can protect you from both viral and bacterial infections.
Congestion and Respiratory Trouble
Oregano oil can be used to treat both chest and sinus congestion. If you have chest congestion, try rubbing a few drops diluted with a carrier oil onto your chest. I recommend placing a hot pack over your chest as well to relieve chest congestion. If it begins to feel to hot, remove the hot pack, as undiluted oregano oil can burn sensitive skin. For sinus congestion, try inhaling the scent of the oil from the bottle, through steam, or with a couple of drops placed on a cloth. Not only is oregano an expectorant, meaning that it breaks down and loosens mucus, but it is also an anti-inflammatory which means that it has a soothing effect on the respiratory tract. It can also be used to treat more serious respiratory conditions such as Pneumonia.
Due to it's anti-inflammatory properties, oregano oil is a great way to treat pain. It can be applied topically with a carrier oil to relieve pain caused by injury or arthritis. It can also be taken internally to treat internal inflammation. This can be done by taking a few drops of the oil straight, diluting it in water or juice, or putting a few drops into a gel capsule and taking it as a pill.
Oregano can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, warts, skin tags, acne, dandruff, diaper rash, insect bites, and nail fungus. This is due to it's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, and anti-oxidant properties. Basically it clears up pain and inflammation, gets rid of fungus, helps to treat allergic reactions, and kills bacteria which can cause many skin conditions. For this reason, oregano oil is a great addition to your skin care routine. Try adding it to a lotion or creme, or putting it in your shampoo.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer
Because it has anti-oxidant properties, oregano oil is beneficial in helping to prevent heart disease. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers because of its anti-carcinogenic properties. If you have a family history of heart disease or cancer, try taking a few drops of the oil internally every day.
Oregano oil can be used to treat and get rid of many kinds of parasites such as ring worm, round worm, tape worms, lice, bed bugs, fleas, mosquitos, and more. Parasites are living organisms that feed off of humans and other animals. They can be found internally or externally. Taken internally, oregano oil can get rid of internal parasites such as worms. Applied topically, it can get rid of external parasites such as lice and fleas. Oregano oil can also be used to create a natural insect repellent.
Menopause and Menstruation
Oregano oil can be used by women to delay the onset and reduce the symptoms of menopause by balancing hormones and easing mood shifts. These benefits can also be utilized with women who have irregular cycles or trouble with menstrual symptoms like mood swings.
While it cannot prevent allergic reactions, it can help to ease symptoms and slow the progression of a reaction. Not only can it help to treat rashes, hives, and other skin reactions, but it can be utilized to slow the progression of an anaphylactic response, which can provide more time to seek medical attention.
A few drops added to your wash cycle can help to kill parasites, mold, and bacteria on your clothing and linens. This can be especially beneficial for towels or clothing that have been particularly wet.
Because it is an anti-fungal, oregano oil is great for killing mold around the house. Try adding it to a spray bottle with some vinegar and other anti-fungal essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, cedar wood, cinnamon, clove, lemon, or patchouli.
Oregano oil works well as an addition to all purpose cleaners and disinfectants because of its anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Try adding it to your own home made cleaner, or put a few drops in a store bought cleaner. You can also use oregano oil to make your own hand sanitizer.
What are some of your favorite uses for oregano oil? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.