If you’ve ever taken a whiff of oregano essential oil before, chances are you have an idea about its abilities as a potent natural medicine. Oregano grows in countless different locations, but is perhaps best known for its “truest” form growing wild in Mediterranean regions such as Greece.
The famous medicinal plant was originally given the Greek name “origanos,” meaning “delight of the mountains,” and today it is used by naturopathic doctors and holistic healers to combat some of the most harsh bacteria and pathogens. In terms of its ability as a medicinal plant, the possibilities are almost endless — making oregano a prime addition to any natural medicine cabinet.
Oregano and its Beauty Benefits
In Mediterranean cultures, oregano is widely consumed as a culinary spice, and it could be one of these cultures’ biggest beauty secrets. One of the key properties of oregano is the healing substance carvacrol, which promotes the synthesis of collagen by activating the genes involved in its production.
Considering that collagen is a first-rate building block for skin elasticity, the reduction of visible wrinkles, and the increase of blood flow to the skin, it’s no surprise that oregano is an excellent supplement for beauty. Oregano also helps to prevent premature aging by preventing cellular damage, as it is a potent source of antioxidants protecting skin from free radical damage.
On the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, oregano ranks third among spices, behind only cloves and cinnamon, and ahead of superfoods like turmeric and thyme.
Oregano and the Lymphatic System
Absorbed directly into the lymphatic system from the digestive tract, oregano oil goes to work immediately, clearing up intestinal lymph capillaries while dissolving fatty sludge in the lymph system and gall bladder. The dissolving properties occur due to the presence of terpenes in oregano, which are classified as “highly aromatic compounds” that provide a strong protective effect against insects, bacteria and other foreign invaders, according to Medical News Today.
Oregano for Stress Relief
With its ability to eliminate and vaporize invaders from the lymphatic system for draining and removal, oregano can help support a healthier and more stress-free body.
Aromatherapy-wise, the oil is strong and bitter, which can help in its own unique way.
One of the best ways to use oregano for stress relief is to simply boil a pot of water and to add 4-5 drops of the essential oil to the mixture, before breathing in. Oregano oil can also be applied to the feet in a measure of a few drops applied to your soles at bedtime, and is said to reduce the fear associated with extreme anxiety. Oregano helps to reduce gas formation in the stomach and soothe digestive ills, helping all who take it to feel more comfortable and less stressed in their everyday lives.
Altogether, over 800 studies found in PubMed reference the key ingredient in oregano, carvacrol, for its ability to boost human health.
Oregano for Immunity — A Silver Bullet Against Foreign Invaders?
While oregano shines in each of the above areas, its best use may be its ability to rev up the immune system in powerful ways when taken internally. According to a March 2020 study published by Science Direct, oregano essential oil increases digestive enzyme activity, allowing your body to synthesize nutrients for fortification against stress and potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.
The study found that these effects were most likely due to oregano’s ability to alter the structure of our gut microbiota, which are found in the area where the vast majority of our immune system lies. Oregano’s high antioxidant activity also directly enhances non-specific immunity and disease resistance.
Additional studies suggest oregano may help in recognizing and eliminating pathogens within the body as well. According to a 2018 study in the journal Front Microbiol, oregano oil showed “significant antibacterial activity” against 11 major microbes that do not otherwise respond to drug-based therapies.
In summation, oregano oil is one of the best natural defensive mechanisms for positively supporting your immune system available in the natural world. When taken consistently, it can provide a level of defense almost unmatched by other herbs, something that everyone from ancient physicians to natural health enthusiasts in Greece and Europe have known for centuries, and have continued to enjoy to this day.
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