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How Oil of Oregano Supports the Immune System

Every fall I purchase a bottle of two of oil of oregano to get me through the winter. In the years that I have been using it, I have not had a cold, the flu, or bronchitis. Although, I have had a few sinus infections, they had been much milder than in the past. So it is definitely something that I swear by.

Oil of oregano is extracted from wild oregano plants that grow in the mountains of Greece and Turkey. The two main ingredients that make it so effective against various germs are carvacrol and thymol. Oil of oregano can be used either in liquid or capsule form. But whichever you choose be sure that it is derived from the proper plant (Origanum Vulgare) and that the carvacrol concentration is at least 70%. Oil of oregano should not be confused with the spice that we use in cooking.

Oil of oregano is a known antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparastic. It can reduce pain and inflammation and is also effective in fighting off infections. It has been used to destroy the organisms that cause skin infections and digestive problems. It strengthens the immune system; increases joint and muscle flexibility; and improves the health of the respiratory system.

When tested against 52 other plant oils, oil of oregano has also been found to be effective against Staphylococcus bacteria, Candida albicans (yeast), E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella enterica, Klebsiella pneumonic (pneumonia) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ( a germ that is becoming resistant to antibiotic drugs). It has been found that oil of oregano has germ killing properties similar to antibiotic drugs such as streptomycin, penicillin and vancomycin. But germs, such as those listed above, do not develop resistance to naturally occurring antibiotics such as oil of oregano and garlic. Studies in Scotland have shown that oil of oregano is effective against 25 different bacteria.

In recent studies, the carvacrol in oil of oregano has been found to also kill spores such as Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).

Other uses for oil of oregano are to relieve tooth pain (5 drops of oil of oregano in 25 drops of carrier oil rubbed on the tooth), discomfort of insect bites, prevention of skin infection and psoriasis, treatment of skin fungi, such as athlete’s foot (always dilute oil of oregano with a carrier oil before applying to the skin), and the elimination of lice infestations and intestinal worms.

An article in Phytotherapy Research stated that oil of oregano worked better than anti-inflammatory drugs in dealing with pain and inflamation and was almost as powerful as morphine for pain relief. Since the oil penetrates the skins and reaches down into the joint, oil or oregano might be used to treat carpal tunnel, sport injuries, backaches and may even be able to relieve the pain of arthritis.

Side effects: Oil of oregano reduces the body’s ability to absorb iron, so a supplement is advised if you are going to be using the oil on a regular basis. And pregnant women are not advised to use oil or oregano on a regular basis. Also, if you are allergic to thyme, basil, mint or sage you should not use oil or oregano.

If while using, you develop a rash or other skin irritation, or begin to vomit, discontinue the use and see your doctor.