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    Brianna Shaw, MSP
  • on Aug 16, 2019 |

The Greek root of the word oregano means “joy of the mountain.” Oregano has been bringing joy since ancient times with its sweet scent, warm flavour and healing properties. Today, oregano is best known as an herb used in pasta sauce and pizza. It is commonly used as a flavoring in other dishes, and also as a preservative due to its very powerful antimicrobial qualities. In fact, that is how it is used medicinally. 

Traditionally, oregano was used to treat respiratory, gastrointestinal, and menstrual problems. Oil of oregano was also applied to the skin for the treatment of infection. Today, it is commonly used for oral and upper respiratory infections and gastrointestinal issues, including parasites. 

The leaves, stems and flowers of oregano all contain medicinal properties, the most important of which has been identified as the volatile oil carvacrol. It also contains thymol (the main ingredient in thyme). Together, these are potent antimicrobial oils, even at low doses. The research demonstrates oregano has antiparasitic, antifungal, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. 

Oregano oil kills germs in three important places: in the gut, in the mouth and on the skin. But be cautious: it isn’t intended for long term use, as it is very strong and can upset the essential friendly bacteria in your digestive system. 

Bad bacteria in the gut are powerful. When they lurk in the grooves and crevasses of your intestines, they can be difficult for your immune cells to locate and destroy. But carvacrol helps break down the bad bacteria’s defenses, making them vulnerable against your immune army. 

There is also a ton of bacteria in your mouth. The good news is that carvacrol and thymol works as an antiseptic—indeed, thymol is the active ingredient in most brands of mouthwash. 

Research reveals oregano oil’s antibiotic ability can help eliminate the bacteria that may be responsible for a skin condition called rosacea. And unlike a prescription antibiotic, oil of oregano will fight a yeast infection instead of causing one.