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Oregano Essential Oil

Have you ever enjoyed oregano with our foods?  Maybe on a pizza or with spaghetti?  Maybe you will enjoy it all the more after you realize how beneficial oregano could be to your health.   The world has long ignored the benefits of oregano � it is one of the world�s best natural medicines.

Oregano Essential Oil Background

Oregano is native to Europe, the Mediterranean region, and southern and central Asia. It is a perennial herb with long purple flowers in erect spikes.  The word �oregano� comes from the Greek word oreganos, which loosely translated means "joy of the mountains."

Wild oregano is rich in many important minerals that includes calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, boron, copper, and manganese. You will also find vitamins A (beta carotene), C, and niacin. 

Oregano essential oil comes from oregano plants through steam distillation. There are several different varities of oregano, but only a few have the quality to make them appropriate for making oregano essential oil.

Oregano essential oil contains carvacrol, gamma-terpinene, p-cymene, alpha-pinene, myrcene, thymol, and flavonoids (most commonly known for their antioxidant activity).

Oregano Essential Oil Benefits

General: Oregano essential oil has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antiseptic properties. It is used as a strong analgesic (painkiller).

Bacterial: Several studies have shown that oregano essential oil can kill many types of bacteria, parasites, and fungus.  Some evidence suggests it is an effective treatment for athlete's foot. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported a study where 18 mice were injected with a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Three of the six mice that received oregano oil orally survived, while only two of the six mice that received a medical antibiotic (vancomycin) survived.  All six of the mice that received no treatment died within three days.

Infection: Powerful anti-microbial properties may assist in the prevention of infections and treat skin fungus such as athlete's foot.  Many have used it eliminate lice infestations and intestinal worms.

Uses: Oregano essential oil is usually diluted oil, with 5 drops of essential oil to 25 drops of a carrier oil like jojoba.  You can rub it on a toothache to relieve pain, or on an insect bite. 

Don�t use oregano essential oil undiluted. Always dilute it with a carrier oil like almond oil or olive oil.  Always read the label instructions and warnings.

Conduct a skin patch test before using oregano essential oil for the first time. Put a drop of diluted essential oil on the inside of your elbow and cover with a bandage. Wait 24 hours to see if there is any negative reaction, like skin irritation or redness or irritation, before using the oil more extensively.

Oregano essential oil is very concentrated - a little oil goes a long way.  Use only one drop of oregano essential oil to three parts olive oil and massage into the affected area once or twice a day.

Oregano Essential Oil Cautions

Oregano is not intended for internal consumption. Some essential oils may be toxic to the liver and kidney � even in very small quantities. Short term us on the skin may be safe.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid the use of Oregano Essential Oil.

Oregano essential oil can redness, cause skin irritation, or burning. If you experience these symptoms, stop using it right away.

Many essential oils are photosensitive - stay away from direct sunlight after applying oregano essential oil to prevent skin burn.

Interesting notes

While many companies list wild oregano or oregano essential oil in their catalogues, many times what they are actually selling is thyme oil or marjoram oil.  Neither of these have the same medical and scientific properties as true oregano essential oil.