(Isabelle Z.) Oregano has an uncanny ability to salvage even the dullest-tasting pasta sauces, but did you know that it can also save your life? Studies have shown that oil of oregano has the power to kill pathogens effectively and safely.
by Isabelle Z., July 12th, 2018
Researchers from the Georgetown University Medical Center set out to determine what effects the oil would have on the fungal yeast overgrowth Candida albicans, which is behind digestive problems, joint pain, and exhaustion, among other maladies.
They administered a mixture of oregano oil and olive oil, which was used as a carrier oil, to mice who were infected with the fungus. Four-fifths of those mice who were given the oregano oil survived, while all those who were given olive oil on its own passed away within ten days. Concentrations of just .25 mg/ml were enough to inhibit the germination and mycelial growth of the fungus
It’s not just Candida albicans that oil of oregano is effective against; a 2012 study found that it could inhibit the growth of 20 different bacterial E. coli strains, potentially saving people from anemia, serious gastrointestinal problems, and kidney failure. It was also found to be effective against 20 strains of P. aeruginosa, which causes skin rashes, pneumonia and ear infections.
In addition, it can kill the factor behind nine out of ten duodenal ulcers and eight out of ten gastric ulcers, the H. pylori bacterium. Other studies have shown it can kill 30 other strains of bacteria that cause diseases, including the top cause of skin infections, staphylococcus aureus, as well as the top cause of the common cold, coronavirus, which can also cause respiratory infections like pneumonia.
Solving the superbug problem?
Superbugs are one of the biggest health crises of our time, and it looks like oil of oregano could be a valuable tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance. For example, researchers have found that the oil of Himalayan oregano is effective at fighting the MRSA pathogen, which is behind the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus that kills 11,000 people each year. Better yet, it accomplishes this impressive feat at a dilution level of just 1 to 1,000 and works as a liquid or a vapor. Even heating it up in boiling water isn’t enough to stop its antimicrobial powers.
It gets its ability from the volatile oils carvacrol and thymol. Carvacrol has been shown in studies to protect rats from methotrexate toxicity. It also boasts the antibacterial and antioxidant ursolic acid. In addition, it contains essential vitamins and minerals and an assortment of flavonoids.
It’s an impressive resume, but you should not stock up on oil of oregano and start taking it indiscriminately. A naturopath can advise you on doses and dilution; it’s not something you want to take straight. Experts advise that you take it for no longer than two weeks internally because its antibacterial effect is so strong that it can kill off friendly gut bacteria. This is why you should also eat probiotic foods like sauerkraut or miso soup when you’re taking oil of oregano. You can also use it topically to treat problems like ringworm and athlete’s foot.
Oregano oil is also great to have on hand for emergencies once you’ve come to terms with the proper way to use it. It’s handy for travel, and it’s essential for prepping. Some of the first aid situations where it can prove useful include food poisoning and insect bites.
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