Health Benefits of Oregano Oil

Top 4 Health Benefits of Oregano Oil

On average, adults suffer from 2–5 colds every year, and if you have a child in daycare or school, chances are that your house is already shaking with sneezes.1 With more than 200 viruses responsible for the common cold, it’s practically impossible to avoid exposure – but there are ways to support immune function year-round. Step up oregano oil. A source of natural antimicrobial compounds, that help maintain a healthy immune system, is just one of the top 4 health benefits of oregano oil.

  1. Natural Antioxidant Activity

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is no average herb. It contains active compounds called carvacrol, thymol and rosmarinic acid and has considerably more antioxidant potential than blueberries, gram for gram. Indeed, oregano has one of the highest antioxidant activities of the aromatic and culinary herbs.2 It scavenges free radicals to help fight oxidative damage to cells throughout the body.2,3

Culinary oregano contains very little of these active compounds, however, so don’t count on pizza to cure your cold.     

  1. Oregano Oil as an Antimicrobial

Oil of oregano has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and has been traditionally used in Western Herbal medicine to relieve cold and flu symptoms. It provides natural support for the immune system and defends against infectious bacteria.

Rosmarinic acid is the key compound in oregano oil thought to contribute to the maintenance of overall health and immune support.3,4  A clinical study found that after 21 days of supplementation with rosmarinic acid, the number of defending white blood cells (called neutrophils and eosinophils) in volunteers’ nasal fluid had significantly decreased.3

What this means is that a standardised oil of oregano offers key active compounds to support the immune system’s efforts in reducing the serverity of the common cold.

  1. Used for Centuries      

The traditional medicinal use of oregano can be traced back to ancient Greece. Herbalists and traditional doctors began recommending the herb for relief of respiratory ailments, sinus conditions, and digestive complaints long before it was supported by modern medicine.5 In addition, oregano’s characteristic flavour and aroma come courtesy of certain aromatic elements, largely the antibacterial compounds carvacrol and thymol.6    

  1. Oregano Oil for Digestive Complaints

Herbal remedies that contain high levels of both carvacrol and thymol, including oregano oil, may be helpful in supporting digestive health.7,8      

How to Choose a High-Quality Oregano Oil

Not all oil of oregano is the same. When choosing products, be sure to check whether they are standardised to contain      the active ingredients, namely carvacrol.

Fresh oregano leaves contain only 1–2% of carvacrol on a weight-by-weight basis, meaning you would need to consume unreasonable amounts of the herb to achieve the same health benefits as a concentrated product.9

June and July are peak times for catching the flu, but some of you may already be feeling that familiar scratch in the throat. Continue frequent hand washing, a nutritious diet and plenty of rest to reduce your risk of exposure..Organic Oil of Oregano is made from wild-crafted Origanum vulgare using gentle steam distillation to ensure purity and a guaranteed minimum of 80% carvacrol. Take as directed, always read the label.      

References:

[1] Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Common Colds. Available from: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/common_cold.html

[2] Daferera DJ, Ziogas BN, Polissiou MG. GC-MS analysis of essential oils from some Greek aromatic plants and their fungitoxicity on Penicillium digitatum. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 June;48(6):2576-2581.

[3] Chrpova D, Kourimska L, Gordon M, et al. Antioxidant activity of selected phenols and herbs used in diets for medical conditions. Czech J Food Sci. 2010;28(4):317-325.

[4] Osakabe N, Takano H, Sanbongi C, et al. Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects of rosmarinic acid (RA); inhibition of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR) and its mechanism. BioFactors. 2004;21(1-4):127-131.

[5] Gutierrez-Grijalva EP, Picos-Salas MA, Leyva-Lopez N, et al. Flavonoids and phenolic acids from oregano: Occurrence, biological activity and health benefits. Plants. 2017 Dec 26;7(1):piiE2.

[6] Mancini E, Camele I, Elshafie HS, et al. Chemical composition and biological activity of the essential oil of Origanum vulgaressp. hirtumfrom different areas in the Southern Apennines (Italy). Chem Biodivers. 2014 Apr;11(4):639-651.

[7] Arcila-Lozano CC, Loarca-Pina G, Lecona-Uribe S, et al. [Oregano: properties, composition and biological activity]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004;54(1):100–111.

[8] Leyva-López N, Gutiérrez-Grijalva EP, Vazquez-Olivo G, et al. Essential oils of oregano: biological activity beyond their antimicrobial properties. Molecules. 2017;22(6):989.

[9] Bejaouo A, Chaabane H, Jemli M, et al. Essential oil composition and antibacterial activity of Origanum vulgaresubsp. glandulosum Desf. at different phenological stages. J Med Food. 2013 Dec;16(12):1115-1120.

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