Oregano, a favorite herb in Italian cooking. We especially love using oregano in Italian and meat dishes because of its distinct and hearty flavor. But what if I told you that this plant, a member of the mint family, isn’t just delicious to eat? That you could use this herb on your body and in your house for other purposes?
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of essential oils, the highly concentrated chemical compounds distilled from various parts of plants. Well, oregano essential oil (among others) have been shown to have an effect on tumor cells, bacteria, fleas, fungus, candida (yeast), and more (sources).
Carvicol and Thymol
The chemical constituents in oregano oil have been shown to reduce cancer cells (just one source), this oil is also an antimicrobial in cleaning produce with salmonella (source), and effective against candida (source). Antibacterial properties effective against staph and other infections (source).
Among alternative medical professionals, oil of oregano is considered one of the essential oil “powerhouses” because of the high amounts of carvicol and thymol.
Essential oils are not without danger. I tend to be more conservative when it comes to using these natural remedies than most of my naturally-minded colleagues. While essential oils are natural, that does not mean they should be used without caution and education. They will certainly have a shorter list of side effects than most drugs, but they should not be used blindly either.
Oregano comes from the same family (mint family) as lavender, basil, marjoram, and sage so if you have allergies to those you may also react to oregano.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Oregano oil may cause blood circulation within the uterus, causing the lining of the uterus to deteriorate. This in turn may cause menstruation and be harmful to the little babe growing inside.
Oregano is a “hot” oil, meaning dilution is necessary especially for those with sensitive skin. For adults, dilution should be at least 1:2, one drop of oregano to 2 drops of a carrier oil (I love using fractionated coconut oil.) and for young kids dilution should be at least 1:4.
We use oregano when we feel our immune system needs a boost or after we’ve already become sick. I will apply it topically along with OnGuard to my feet to boost immunity and during illness. If a more serious ailment is coming on, like the flu or an infection, I will take oregano internally via capsule. We have seen great results to our immune system after taking oregano. It’s our go-to oil when it comes to immunity boosting!