Oregano oil benefits appear to be all the rage in the health industry (and even among certain celebrities, such as Kristen Bell and Emily Blunt) at the moment. You read that correctly; the oil of oregano is the same flavorful herb that’s used in your favorite pizza and spaghetti sauce.
If you ask devotees, they could tell you that the benefits of the oil are many, including the potential to promote gut health and reduce physical pain. If you do this, they might tell you that the oil can ease physical pain. But does the buzz around herbal oil have any basis in reality? In the following, you will take a more in-depth look at the top 10 oregano oil benefits, as described by studies and qualified dietitians.
What is Oregano Oil?
Oregano, also known as Origanum vulgare, is a perennial plant that comes from the mint family (Labiatae). Traditional remedies that originated in different parts of the world has been used for over 2,500 years and is regarded as valuable plant product.
It has been used in traditional medicine for a very long time to cure ailments such as the common cold, indigestion, and upset tummies. You may have some experience cooking with fresh or dried oregano leaves, such as oregano spice, which is one of the most effective herbs for healing; nevertheless, oregano essential oil is not the same as what you would put on your pizza.
Distilling medicinal grade oregano, which can be found in the Mediterranean, throughout many parts of Europe, and in South and Central Asia, yields the essential oil of the herb, which contains a high concentration of the herb’s active constituents. This essential oil can then be used to treat a variety of conditions. To extract only one pound of oregano essential oil from wild oregano, it needs more than a thousand pounds of the herb.
Alcohol acts as a preservative for the active components of the oil, which are then applied topically (on the skin) and taken orally in the form of essential oil. Oregano is often referred to as oil of oregano after it has been processed into a dietary supplement or essential oil. As discussed, oregano oil is often recommended as a natural alternative to antibiotics that are available by prescription.
Studies have found that the oil of oregano includes two potent chemicals known as carvacrol and thymol. Both of these compounds have high antibacterial and antifungal activities, and the oil of oregano contains both of them.
Carvacrol is the primary component of oregano oil, and research has shown that the leaves of the plant contain several antioxidant chemicals, including phenols, triterpenes, rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid. Carvacrol is also the primary component of oregano oil.
Oregano Essential Oil vs. Oregano Oil Extract
When utilizing oregano oil, you have a wide variety of supplements from which to pick. What sets oregano essential oil distinct from oregano oil extract, and why would you use one over the other?
The dried shoots and leaves of the oregano plant are used in the production of oregano essential oil. Distillation by steam is the process that yields the oil extract. Oregano essential oil may be administered topically to the skin for a variety of benefits, including wound healing, when it is combined with carrier oil. Always do a patch test on the back of your hand before using essential oils, in case your skin is sensitive to them. Never eat essential oils.
Oregano oil extract may be produced using any one of several different extraction processes; these processes often include the use of substances like alcohol or carbon dioxide. It is also available in capsule form if that’s more your thing.
How can Oil of Oregano help with Digestive Issues?
The potent antibacterial properties of oregano oil may assist in alleviating persistent discomfort associated with the stomach. To provide some context, the stomach is thought to be the origin of a wide variety of symptoms and diseases, including colitis, thyroid problems, general brain fog, and lethargy.
They may be caused by bacterial imbalances and a lack of variety in the gut (a condition known as gut dysbiosis), an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (also known as SIBO), or parasitic or fungal infections.
The wide antibacterial spectrum action that oils of oregano has been an essential advantage that it may provide to the health benefits of the stomach. This has the potential to assist in the cleansing of the intestines and the removal of any lingering bacterial infections, overgrowths, or fungal infections.
Oregano Oil Benefits
What are some of the potential applications for oregano essential oil? Carvacrol, the primary therapeutic component present in oregano oil, has a broad variety of applications. These applications range from the treatment of allergies to the protection of the skin. It is according to information provided by the University of Messina’s Faculty of Pharmacy in Italy:
Carvacrol is a monoterpene phenol that has recently come to light due to its extensive antimicrobial properties. This activity extends to food spoilage or pathogenic fungi, yeast, and bacteria, as well as human, animal, and plant pathogenic microorganisms, as well as drug-resistant and biofilm-forming microorganisms.
Top Health Benefits that Oregano Oil may Provide
1. Eliminating Bacterial Infections
The high carvacrol content in oregano oil might make it more effective against particular strains of bacteria. For example, staphylococcus is a widespread kind of bacterium that is responsible for staph infection. Certain types of bacteria are found naturally in the body; however, when the bacteria proliferate at an excessive rate, it may create irritating symptoms.
The germs Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis may be eliminated with the use of carvacrol. These are two of the main reasons why people fall sick from time to time. To take advantage of oregano oil’s antibacterial properties, a person might try taking supplements containing the oil or putting it directly into their skin.
Oregano oil is another potential treatment option that researchers are looking at for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The authors of research that were published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology discovered that a mixture of oregano oil and silver nanoparticles was able to eradicate every strain of bacteria that was put to the test.
2. The Treatment of Bacterial Overgrowth in the Small Intestine (SIBO)
The use of oregano oil might be beneficial in the treatment of persistent bacterial conditions like SIBO. People who have SIBO suffer from gastrointestinal issues because an overgrowth of specific bacteria in their intestines causes the bacteria to multiply in excessive numbers.
In research that was conducted in 2014, it was discovered that herbal treatments, including one that included high quantities of carvacrol and thymol, were useful aids for the treatment of SIBO. Additional study is required to investigate the individual impacts of each component; however, the results of this first research may be encouraging.
3. Managing the Treatment of Fungal Infections
Because it contains a significant amount of thymol, oregano oil also has the potential to be an effective antifungal agent. According to research that was conducted in 2015, thymol is an effective therapy for common fungal infections caused by Candida.
The study was carried out in test tubes; however, to determine whether or not oregano oil is effective, there has to be more research carried out on people.
4. Serving as a Source of Antioxidants
Additionally, oregano oil is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are known to assist in the protection of the body against the effects of oxidative stress and free radicals. Stress caused by oxidation has the potential to enhance DNA damage and even cause cell death. Oxidation is suspected of playing a part in a variety of health problems, including arthritis, atherosclerosis, and some malignancies.
Both thymol and carvacrol are potent antioxidants that might assist in lowering overall oxidation levels. The experts recommended doing more studies to investigate appropriate dosages for long-term usage.
5. Lessening the Effects of Inflammation
There is some evidence that oregano may reduce inflammation in the body. Oregano oil, according to the claims of certain sources, may help decrease inflammation. Research conducted on animal models as well as studies conducted in vitro has shown that the chemical carvacrol has anti-inflammatory properties.
Carvacrol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in several different studies, one of which was published in 2017. The chemical avoided obesity in research conducted on mice by affecting the genes that are involved in inflammation. Another animal investigation found that the chemical was effective at reducing edema.
Even though the findings show promise, the researchers have urged for more experiments to be conducted on people to identify an appropriate dose.
6. The Treatment of Wounds
Applying a thin layer of diluted oregano oil to the skin over minor cuts and scrapes on the body may help protect the skin as it heals. Compounds like thymol and carvacrol might prevent bacterial infections in these kinds of wounds if they were applied topically.
7. Keeping Insects Away from Food
Carvacrol and thymol both have the potential to act as powerful insect repellents. Researchers in 2017 discovered that these chemicals were effective in warding off some species of ticks and mosquitoes. The study consisted of both investigations conducted in test tubes and those conducted using human subjects.
There is still a need for further study to prove this possible advantage but massaging diluted oregano oil into the skin may be a natural technique to help protect against being bitten by insects.
8. Relieving Pain
There is some evidence to suggest that oregano may be a good pain reliever. Oregano extract was used in an experiment on animals, and it was proven to be effective in reducing pain. These findings were dose-dependent, meaning that the more the animals consumed, the greater alleviation of the discomfort they experienced.
It is essential to note that the researchers used a water-based extract; hence, it is possible that the oil will not provide the same findings. Additional study in humans may be necessary to establish a suitable dosage.
9. Helping to Lose Weight
People who are trying to reduce weight may also find that oregano oil is an effective strategy to use. Researchers have discovered that carvacrol, the primary component of oregano essential oil protected a portion of the process that leads to the development and storage of fat tissue. This finding is significant because it suggests that carvacrol may have therapeutic potential.
10. Efforts to Combat Cancer
There is evidence that the benefits of oregano oil may be effective against some malignancies, according to some authorities. One study found that the essential oil from oregano could inhibit the growth of some forms of colon cancer and breast cancer in test tubes.
Additionally, it seemed as if the oil was able to prevent the development of certain prostate and lung cancer cells. People should approach the findings with care and should never use oils as a substitute for medical therapy since the majority of cancer research comes from test tubes or animal models.
How to Use the Oregano Oil?
If the oregano oil is of medicinal quality, it may be used topically, diffused, or consumed orally (but only if it is 100 percent pure). In an ideal world, you would buy oregano oil that was unfiltered, pure, and certified organic by the USDA. Internal consumption may also be accomplished via the use of soft gels or capsules containing oregano oil.
Always combine oregano essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, before applying it to your skin. This will help prevent the oil from being absorbed improperly. Doing so dilutes the oil, this helps lower the potential for irritation and other unwanted responses.
To use it topically, first, combine three drops of undiluted oregano oil with a tiny quantity of your carrier oil, and then massage the mixture into the skin over the afflicted region. This method may be used for either internal or external applications.
How much Oregano Essential Oil Should be Consumed?
The dose of oil of oregano that you take will be determined by the ailment that you are trying to address. Oral supplementation of emulsified oregano, which commonly comes in the form of capsules, is somewhere about 600 mg daily. (It may be done in either one or two doses.)
Making a tea that helps with digestion is a common traditional application for oregano leaves. You have the option of purchasing oregano tea that has already been prepared, or you can prepare your own by steeping 15 grams of oregano leaves in 250 milliliters of water for at least five-ten minutes (or longer to make a stronger herbal infusion, up to 24 hours).
If you are on any other drugs, you should always check with your physician before ingesting oregano oil to ensure that it will not interact negatively with any of your prescriptions.
An Easy-to-Follow Guide to Consuming Oregano Oil Supplements
The strength of oregano supplements may vary depending on the brand that you buy and the method that you choose to use to consume them. Read the instructions for use on the label, particularly considering that the USDA does not regulate the claims made by manufacturers of such goods.
Essential oils that have been sold by reputable companies have been subjected to rigorous scientific analysis and verification by an independent laboratory. Before utilizing an oregano oil extract or oregano essential oil, you should talk to your primary care physician.
Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, by combining a drop or two of the essential oil with one teaspoon of the carrier oil. In case your skin is sensitive to it, you should do a spot test on a tiny area of your skin. Never eat essential oils.
Consumption of an extract made from oregano oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Before using an orally administered supplement containing oregano oil extract, you should see your primary care physician, particularly if you are already taking any prescription drugs.
Both oregano oil extract and oregano essential oil are accessible at a price that is reasonable enough to make them feasible alternatives for supplementing. This is particularly true considering how widely available oregano is.
Supplementation with oregano oil is intriguing since it includes a plethora of advantages, ranging from antioxidant to antifungal characteristics. These features make it excellent for possibly helping with common health concerns because it is acceptable for supplementation.
Concerns and Factors to Keep in Mind
Because of its potency, oregano oil should be used by a person with caution. Because of its high strength, oregano oil should not be consumed in excessive amounts. It is recommended that you use it in moderation under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
If a person ingests the oil via their mouth, there is a considerable chance of the oil burning inside the tissue. Always be sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Oregano oil should never be used for newborns or young children. Women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as anyone who has diabetes, should also avoid using this product.
Some drugs, such as lithium and diuretics, might be negatively affected when used with oregano oil. Additionally, there is a possibility of developing an allergy to the oil.
It may be difficult to get relief from uncomfortable gut-related symptoms, and it can be discouraging if changing your diet and taking probiotics do not provide the results that are wanted. In this situation, consuming antimicrobials like oil of oregano may be quite beneficial, because of oregano oil benefits and among the many helpful alternatives, oil of oregano is one of the best choices. It can have substantial cleaning effects on the digestive tract, which, for some individuals, may deliver more relief than diet and probiotics alone.