Essential Oil Spotlight – Oregano
Have you ever wondered what all those amazing smelling essential oils are good for and how they can be used? I will be highlighting a few of them here on my blog. I have been hearing a lot lately about the powerful healing and antimicrobial benefits of oregano. Here are a few of the ways this oil can be used.
Oregano is a well known antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral. As such, it has a wide range of applications including regular household cleaning. You can add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with half white vinegar and half water. Shake well and then use it to sanitize surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.
Oregano can also be taken internally by putting a few drops in a capsule. It works as an anti-inflammatory and therefore can be helpful to alleviate many types of aches and pains associated with inflammation such as arthritis pain. Oregano has also been known to alleviate the symptoms of food poisoning. Its constituents are useful in killing off the various pathogens involved. Oregano acts like an antioxidant in the body scouring out free radicals within, therefor slowing the aging process. Oregano oil also boosts the immune system by increasing the body’s production of white blood cells. It helps regulate hormones in the body as well. As such, it can be used to help regulate the symptoms of menopause and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Oregano oil can be used to treat various skin infections since it is known to kill bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. It has been used to treat psoriasis, eczema, candida, athletes foot and even toenail fungus. However, oregano is a ‘hot’ oil which means it can burn the skin if applied full strength so be sure to dilute it in a carrier oil such as almond, coconut, sunflower, olive or another high quality oil. Use 1 drop essential oil to 1 drop of carrier oil or dilute further if desired for more sensitive skin. You can also add 5-6 drops into a bath with 1 cup Epsom salts and 1 cup baking soda and soak for 10-20 minutes.
Putting a few drops in your diffuser, either alone or in combination with other oils, can help fight the spread of colds and flus during the winter months. And if you’re sick already the oil acts as an expectorant which means that it will help clear congestion in the lungs. Since the oil supports the lungs and sinuses it is helpful for other respiratory ailments as well. It can be diffused during allergy season along with cyprus and eucalyptus to help open, sooth and support the airways. It’s moderate sedative and anti-inflammatory actions further lend this oil to treat allergic reactions of all types, not just seasonal allergies or pollen sensitivities.
Be sure you are using a high quality oregano oil from a good source. And as always, consult your doctor or naturopath before using any herbal remedies. Oregano or any other supplement should never be a substitute for medical care. And it’s best to avoid oregano altogether if you are pregnant or breastfeeding due to its effect of regulating the hormones.