With cold and flu season on its way, it’s time to think about ways to boost immunity and combat infection. If you’ve been following the blog, you will have read up recently on ways to boost your immune system throughout your day (read article here). There are many herbs that are known to have antimicrobial and immune-stimulating effects. Oregano oil is a highly concentrated extract of the wild oregano plant, which is slightly different than what you have in your kitchen. The oil contains several medically active substances including carvacrol and thymol, which are known to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other germs. Because of these properties, oregano oil can be helpful for preventing, slowing, and treating various infections including respiratory ones such as bronchitis, sinusitis, nasal congestion, coughs and sore throats. In addition to these, oregano oil can also be used to address certain infections of the digestive tract, including common food poisoning and parasitic infections such as giardia and pinworm. Also, the oil can have an effect on different types of fungal infections, ranging from yeast infections to athlete’s foot.
Together with its powerful antimicrobial properties, oregano oil also helps to support immune function to combat infections such as the common cold and flu. It has also been found to help reduce pain, inflammation and spasms which make it worth considering for managing conditions like menstrual cramps, muscle and joint pain. Oregano oil may also act as a diuretic and may be considered to help reduce blood pressure and edema (swelling due to water retention).
With all these benefits, you may be tempted to run out and stock up on oregano oil, but wait! As with other medicines, the proper dosing and administration are very important in order to prevent interactions and side effects. You also want to choose a good quality oil, preferably organic, with the proper concentration of active ingredients. A naturopathic doctor can help you determine if oregano oil is the right treatment for you and can advise you on how to use it safely and effectively.