Guest writer for Wake Up World
Oregano oil is extracted from the oregano plant (Origanum vulgare), a perennial herb from the flowering plant family Lamiaceae. Thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants, carvacrol, and other critical vitamins and nutrients, the health benefits of oregano oil are truly staggering. Oregano oil may support gastrointestinal, respiratory, and skin health. Additionally, its chemical makeup is a powerful force against harmful organisms.
Unlike the dried leaves used in cooking, organic oregano oil provides the health benefits of both the leaf and flower in a few concentrated drops. The potency of oregano oil is due to carvacrol, the compound in the leaves and flowers that is responsible for most of oregano’s positive health benefits. There are over fifty different types of oregano. Mediterranean varieties of oregano, like those grown in Turkey, usually have the highest amount of carvacrol. These varieties include Origanum heracleoticum and Origanum vulgare, among others.
According to Greek myth, oregano was a beloved and cherished herb of the goddess Aphrodite. She grew it in her garden atop Mount Olympus. Given this history, it’s no surprise that oregano has been studied intensely and its benefits for human health are well known. Below are the top nine you should know about.
9 Ways Oregano Oil Naturally Supports Your Health
1. Calms Lip Blemishes
Many people apply oregano oil to lip blemishes with the belief it will help soothe the area and accelerate healing time. Research is ongoing to pinpoint the validity of this use. Carvacrol may promote resistance against the harmful organisms that cause lip blemishes.
2. Helps with Food Preservation
Spices and herbs, like oregano, have a long history of food preservation and safety. Many types of food, especially raw meat, are a haven for harmful bacteria. Oregano oil may help resist harmful organisms. In one study, a concentrated application of carvacrol slowed the growth of lab cultures or caused them to stop multiplying altogether. Other studies show that essential oils, including oregano, halt the spread of organisms in spoiled fruit juice and aged meat.
3. Soothes Muscle Discomfort
Oregano itself is tremendously soothing and research shows that oregano oil may be helpful for reducing muscle discomfort. In one study, carvacrol was administered orally to mice and measured against opioid-based pain medication. The study concluded that carvacrol offered benefits similar to opioid drugs while being safer.
4. Promotes Intestinal Balance
Maintaining a proper balance of healthy bacteria in your intestines and gut is crucial for supporting good health. A healthy colony of intestinal flora encourages proper digestion and boosts the immune system. Good bacteria also support the immune system and help balance mood. Carvacrol may help promote gut health by creating an appropriate balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria.
5. Eases Bone and Joint Discomfort
Swelling and redness of the joints is an uncomfortable ailment that affects many people. Preliminary studies suggest that carvacrol may offer hope for soothing bones and joints.[8,9]
6. Resists Harmful Organisms
If you travel to underdeveloped areas of the world, you’ll be exposed to organisms that can wreak havoc on your health. Avoiding the water may be insufficient. Harmful organisms in the natural environment carry a high risk, especially if the body is already in poor health. Research has shown that carvacrol may support the body’s natural response to toxic invaders.
7. Encourages Normal Yeast Balance
Yeast and fungus exist everywhere, even on and in the human body; total eradication is next to impossible. Balance, however, is both desirable and achievable with the help of carvacrol. In a study that examined the use of essential oils as a means to address fungus, carvacrol was among the most effective. Likewise, oregano oil is helpful for promoting balanced candida, a fungus that commonly falls out of balance from poor diet, stress, or antibiotics.
8. Supports Liver Health
Toxins exist in our water, food, and even the air we breathe. The ever-present barrage of toxins in our environment is extraordinary, and the burden it places on the liver is equally mind boggling. Carvacrol may support normal function of the liver, the body’s primary detoxifying organ.
9. Boosts the Immune System
Gut health, toxins, and lifestyle all play a role in your body’s ability to stay healthy. Oregano oil supports many of the critical factors that ultimately contribute to a strong immune system. In addition to oregano oil’s ability to encourage better gut health, it supplies the body with powerful antioxidants. Eating a healthy diet rich in plants, like oregano, encourages a balanced, healthy environment within your body.
Choosing the Right Oregano Oil
If you are looking for the best oregano oil, remember the importance of carvacrol. Global Healing Center has pioneered a new industry standard of high-quality oregano oil with Oregatrex. It’s a liquid herbal extract that has a minimum carvacrol content of 80% and includes organic peppermint, cayenne, and olive oil. This potent blend supports digestive health and supports the body’s response to harmful organisms.
What About Fresh or Dried Oregano?
Like oregano oil, fresh or dried oregano is packed full of nutritional benefits. Oregano leaf is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, iron, calcium, and potassium. Fresh oregano is loaded with beneficial antioxidants. Oregano blended with other herbs can contain as many or more antioxidants as fruit, berries, and vegetables.
Tips for Growing Your Own Oregano
Can’t find the right organic, non-GMO oregano? Then maybe it’s time to grow your own. Like many herbs, it’s easy. With a little bit of work, you’ll be harvesting home-grown oregano in no time.
To start growing oregano, you need some oregano seeds (if you are using cuttings or container plants you can skip these first steps). The variety you should choose depends on your intended use. For a high carvacrol content, Mediterranean varieties are your best bet. Search for the Origanum vulgare variety, which is sometimes referred to as “Greek” oregano. Shop around for a trusted seed supplier who can provide organic, non-GMO seeds. The designation of “heirloom seeds” may assure that the seeds are non-GMO.
Once you have found your seeds, plant this perennial herb in early spring following the last frost of the year. Oregano does best in full sunlight. Check your soil and make sure it’s well drained and has a good mixture of sand, clay, and decaying organic material. If you are not sure if your soil is right, ask a local greenery for compost and fertilizer suggestions.
When your planting location is prepared, it’s time to plant. Place small groups of seeds approximately ¼ inch down and 10 inches apart. Next, cover the seeds with soil and water. Check your plants often. When the soil is dry to the touch, it’s time to water thoroughly.
You may see sprouting after just five days, but exact timing may vary. Oregano leaves will be ready to harvest once the plant reaches about four inches in height, but you may want to wait until they are around eight inches high before taking the leaves. Don’t wait too long to harvest. The best flavors for culinary use come from the leaves before the plant flowers, usually sometime in early July (in the northern hemisphere.) Instead of taking off individual leaves, harvesting may be done by cutting off whole stems with the leaves still attached.
After harvesting, tie the stems together and hang upside down in a cool, dry environment — preferably indoors — to dry. After 5-7 days, the oregano leaves should be ready. Remove the leaves and store them in an airtight, glass container for up to one year.
For more information, check out the article, 25 Ways to Use Oregano Essential Oil for Health and Wellness.
References: see below.
Recommended articles by Dr. Edward Group:
- The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
- The 9 Best Fermented Foods for Your Gut
- 14 Foods that Cleanse the Liver
- Top 5 Foods for the Pineal Gland
- 6 Things You Must Know About Colloidal Silver
- The Importance of a Kidney Cleansing Diet
- The 9 Best Herbs for Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support
- 7 Best Foods to Support Kidney Function
- Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Oil
- How Fluoride Damages Pineal Gland Health
- The Top 20 GMO Foods and Ingredients to Avoid – and Why
- How Does the Alkaline Diet Affect Gut Health?
- 15 Best Essential Oils and Their Health Benefits
About the author:
Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.
Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.
For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.
- Baser KH. Biological and pharmacological activities of carvacrol and carvacrol bearing essential oils. Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(29):3106-19.
- Lai WL, Chuang HS, Lee MH, Wei CL, Lin CF, Tsai YC. Inhibition of herpes simplex virus type 1 by thymol-related monoterpenoids. Planta Medica. October 2012. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1315208.
- Picone G, Laghi L, Gardini F, Lanciotti R, Siroli L, Capozzi F. Evaluation of the effect of carvacrol on the Escherichia coli 555 metabolome by using (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. Food Chemistry. December 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.07.004.
- Helal GA, Sarhan MM, Abu Shahla ANK, Abou El-Khair EK. Antimicrobial Activity of Some Essential Oils Against Microorganisms Deteriorating Fruit Juices. Mycobiology. 2006;34(4):219-229. doi:10.4489/MYCO.2006.34.4.219.
- Cenci AM, Ugalde ML, Steffens J, Valduga E, Cansian RL, Toniazzo G. Control of Penicillium sp. on the Surface of Italian Salami Using Essential Oils. Food Technology and Biotechnology. 2015;53(3):342-347.
- Cavalcante Melo FH, Rios ER, Rocha NF, Citó Mdo C, Fernandes ML, de Sousa DP, de Vasconcelos SM, de Sousa FC. Antinociceptive activity of carvacrol (5-isopropyl-2-methylphenol) in mice. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. December 2012. Doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.2012.01552.x.
- Michiels J, Missotten J, Van Hoorick A, Ovyn A, Fremaut D, De Smet S, Dierick N. Effects of dose and formulation of carvacrol and thymol on bacteria and some functional traits of the gut in piglets after weaning. Archives of Animal Nutrition. April 2010. doi: 10.1080/17450390903499915.
- Lima Mda S, Quintans-Júnior LJ, de Santana WA, Martins Kaneto C, Pereira Soares MB, Villarreal CF. Anti-inflammatory effects of carvacrol: evidence for a key role of interleukin-10. European Journal of Pharmacology. January 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2012.11.040.
- Rachel Spiering, Ruurd van der Zee, Josée Wagenaar, Dimos Kapetis, Francesca Zolezzi, Willem van Eden, Femke Broere. Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells That Inhibit Autoimmune Arthritis Can Be Induced by a Combination of Carvacrol and Thermal Stress. PLoS. September 25, 2012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046336.
- de Moraes J, Carvalho AA, Nakano E, de Almeida AA, Marques TH, Andrade LN, de Freitas RM, de Sousa DP. Anthelmintic activity of carvacryl acetate against Schistosoma mansoni. Parasitology Research. February 2013. doi: 10.1007/s00436-012-3172-7.
- Zabka M, Pavela R. Antifungal efficacy of some natural phenolic compounds against significant pathogenic and toxinogenic filamentous fungi. Chemosphere. June 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.05.076.
- Azimi H, Fallah-Tafti M, Karimi-Darmiyan M, Abdollahi M. A comprehensive review of vaginitis phytotherapy. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. November 2011. PMID: 22514885.
- Nafees S, Ahmad S, Arjumand W, Rashid S, Ali N, Sultana S. Carvacrol ameliorates thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity by abrogation of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in liver of Wistar rats. Human and Experimental Toxocology. August 2013. PMID: 23925945.
- Sökmen M, Serkedjieva J, Daferera D, et al. In vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities of the essential oil and various extracts from herbal parts and callus cultures of Origanum acutidens. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52(11):3309-12.
- Assaf AM, Amro BI, Mashallah S, Haddadin RN. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory potential therapy for opportunistic microorganisms. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2016;10(5):494-505.