Health Benefits of Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano is produced from the oregano herb, a wild-growing plant that’s part of the mint family. Native to many Mediterranean countries, it’s an especially prevalent part of Spanish, Greek, and Italian cuisine. People use it as a garnish or a spice in many different dishes.

Oregano is also highly prized for its medicinal value. Its leaves are crushed and blended with oil to create oil of oregano. The essence extracted from the herb can be taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or even inhaled depending on the condition you’re targeting.

Health Benefits

A rich source of antioxidants, oil of oregano can help to repair the body’s cells and reduce the rate of aging and the risk of some diseases. Oregano contains pyridoxine, also known as vitamin B6, which is necessary for healthy blood vessels and skin. 

In addition to these nutrients, oregano is also a good source of magnesium, a necessary nutrient that many people have a deficiency in. Getting enough magnesium is important for maintaining strong bones, and low magnesium levels is one of the main causes of osteoporosis.

Oil of oregano is also known for a number of other health benefits, such as: 

Cholesterol Management

Oregano oil has been found to support healthy cholesterol levels. A study of 48 people who took a small amount of oregano oil after each meal showed a significant reduction in their LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol), which is one of the main causes of the clogged arteries that can lead to heart disease.

Promotes Digestive Health

Oil of oregano is commonly used to treat digestive problems like abdominal cramps, bloating, irrita ble bowel syndrome, among others. While more research continues, experts have found that oregano is high in carvacrol. This is known to be effective against types of bacteria that cause digestive discomfort.

Treat Fungal Infections

Oil of oregano is very high in thymol, an organic compound also found in thyme and other herbs. Researchers have linked thymol with treatments for various kinds of fungal conditions affecting the skin, including toenail fungus, yeast infections, athlete’s foot, and others. 

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Nutrition

Oil of oregano is a rich source of vitamin C, one of the most important vitamins for supporting the immune system’s fight against infection. Making sure you’re getting enough vitamin C is an excellent way of lowering the risk of influenza, seasonal colds, and other common illnesses. 

Oil of oregano also contains: 

Nutrients Per Serving

Oil of oregano typically won’t be used in large enough quantities to affect your daily calorie intake. The leaves, on the other hand, do have a modest amount of calories. For example, 100 grams of dried oregano leaves has:  

Portion Sizes

Pay attention to the dosage recommended by the oil’s manufacturer. Research has shown that people can take as much as 600 mg of oregano oil per day without negative effects. However, most manufacturers recommend a smaller dosage than that.  

How to Prepare Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano can be purchased at just about any grocery or health food store. It’s also common for people to make it at home by blending oregano leaves with olive oil or another oil of your choice. 

To prepare your own oil of oregano at home, follow these steps:

  1. Wash and chop your oregano leaves.
  2. Place them in a clear jar, then add warmed oil and stir it all together.
  3. Seal the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks, giving the jar a shake every day or so. 

After two weeks, strain the oil and discard the leaves. Seal and refrigerate the now-infused oil of oregano and use it as desired. As you can see, making your own oil of oregano is a quick and easy process.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 13, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Antifungal Activity and Mode of Action of Thymol and Its Synergism with Nystatin Against Candida Species Involved with Infections in the Oral Cavity: An in Vitro Study.”

Economic Botany: “Botanical aspects of oregano.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “What You Should Know About Magnesium.”

Journal of International Medical Research: “Effects of Origanum Onites on Endothelial Function and Serum Biochemical Markers in Hyperlipidaemic Patients.”

Nutrition Value: “Spices, Dried, Oregano.”

Phytotherapy Research: “Inhibition of Enteric Parasites by Emulsified Oil of Oregano in Vivo.”

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