Who said that?
- a) Shakespeare
- b) Sponge Bob
- c) Edgar Allen Poe
- d) Mahatma Ghandi
- e) Batman
- f) Hippocrates
- g) Van Gogh
- h) Lady Gaga
- i) Lord Voldemort
- j) Mother Teresa
- k) The Good Food Fighter
That’s right, The Good Food Fighter. Although Hippocrates probably said it first. And look—Voldemort is trying to heal his face…
I woke up last week with a scratchy throat—always my first symptom of the cold or flu. So I ran for the oregano juice!
Where do you get oregano juice?
Nowhere, actually. You make it.
Does it take a long time?
Yes, it’s a brutal recipe and you will be slaving in the kitchen for hours:
- one tall glass of water
- 1-3 drops of oregano oil
- repeat in a few hours
I took some zinc and elderberry and umcka, too and doubled my dose of vitamin D, and by the next day I was back on a flying trapeze. Or at least at my desk.
Then, yesterday, I went to the doctor to investigate a deep-throated, hacking-up-a-lung, unable-to-sleep-at-night cough. I was diagnosed with rhinovirus. That’s a virus that you pick up from rolling around in rhino dung.
kidding. It’s another name for the common cold. Which is a virus.
So what will I do? I will guzzle some more oregano oil.
I will also heat up an inch of water in a pot, add a few drops of oregano oil, lean over with a towel draped around my head to trap in steam, and breathe in deeply.
The doc also detected white specks on my humongous tonsils called tonsil stones. They are relatively harmless but you still want to dislodge them. She recommended gargling with salt water. But I am going to up the ante and gargle with oregano water.
Why do I love oregano oil so?
Oregano is possibly the most powerful of all the essential oils. It is an antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti allergenic. It’s also an antioxidant. And it has shown promise as an anti-cancer drug . You might as well just call it the “anti-oil”!
What can oregano oil treat?
All kinds of ailments. Here are just a few:
Allergies/Asthma: It contains rosmarinic acid, a natural antihistamine which can treat asthma and reactive airway diseases, allergic rhinitis, multiple allergen reactivity, and seasonal allergies. It also contains a compound called carvacrol, which is anti-inflammatory and can relieve sneezing and congestion.
Bacteria: It inhibits the growth of multiple strains of bacteria like Listeria, E. Coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. It is also an effective sanitation tool against the norovirus, the most common cause of illnesses from contaminated food in the United States, affecting 20 million people every year.
Colds and respiratory tract infections. Studies show that, in combination with several other oils, oregano oil produces immediate relief of upper respiratory ailments. It is an expectorant, so it thins mucus which helps relieve coughing.
Cold sores and other viruses: It inhibits viruses in different stages of infection and replication. It can actually destroy the virus that causes cold sores, shingles, and genital herpes. It may be more effective than the common anti-viral drug Acyclovir in treating some forms of Herpes virus.
Cancer: It exhibits the anti-inflammatory effect of destroying free radicals in the body. It seems to interfere with tumor growth and proliferation. The extract has been linked to cancer cell death in multiple studies. Incidentally, colon cancer rates are very low in the Mediterranean region where oregano is commonly used in cooking.
Candida and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth): It inhibits the growth of candida. It reduces gas and bloating.
Diabetes. It can help lower blood sugar and control diabetes.
Wounds: Oregano extract ointment is effective for healing wounds by decreasing bacterial contamination. Experimental wounds in rodents have shown faster closure rate and regeneration of connective tissue when using oregano oil dressings.
Where to get it.
Not at your corner grocery store or a big chain. It’s most effective if it’s pure, undiluted, and 100% therapeutic grade. The bottle should say Origanum Vulgare, which is the Latin name. Three trustworthy companies are: Rocky Mountain Oil, Do Terra, and Young Living. Some companies require a membership or other commitment to purchase products, but if you’re not ready to dive into essential oils, just buy one at a time from a reputable source. Natural grocers stock some brands.
I don’t like the taste of the oil. How else can I take it?
- Swallow it: Take it in capsule form. Consult a holistic practitioner to determine the dose that’s right for you.
- Disguise it: Buy tea bags or make your own herbal infusion. The latter is more potent.
- Rub it in: Mix with coconut oil (5 drops to 1 teaspoon) and rub on chest or on bottoms of feet. Great for coughs.
- Breathe it in: Add a few drops to a diffuser and inhale deeply. Great for coughs and colds.
- Swish it: Mix with coconut oil (5 drops to 1/2 teaspoon coconut or olive), put under your tongue, and then swish around for a minute and spit out. This is called pulling, which is a popular method of getting bacteria out of your mouth. Great for colds.
A little history.
Where’d this great stuff come from?
So, I was doing a genetic engineering exercise for fun and I took some DNA from the ear of an elephant and injected it into a poison ivy leaf. To my amazement, I created oregano!
Actually, the plant is native to the Mediterranean region where it’s been used for thousands of years. It was first applied to wounds and topical infections. There are over 40 species of the plant but only a few contain medicinal properties. Oregano is part of a family tree that includes mint, lavender, thyme, and sage.
What’s the dose?
General guidelines: Put 2 to 3 drops in a glass of water 3-4 times daily when fighting a cold, or once a day to prevent one. Or take 100 to 150 mg capsules. Gargling several times a day with 5 to 6 drops of oregano oil in a warm glass of water will help a sore throat. Only take for about a week at a time. Every individual is different so you’ll need to figure out what works for you. Don’t quote me!
What should you NOT use oregano oil for?
- polishing your shoes
- slicking back your hair
- making french fries
- lubricating your car engine
- feeding your cats
Are there any contradictions—meaning reasons you shouldn’t take it?
- Oregano oil interferes with some medications. Your conventionally trained doctor may or may not know which ones. A naturopath, integrative medical doctor or other natural health expert is more likely to be of help. You can also do your own research.
- Don’t use if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.
- Herbs and essential oils affect everyone differently. If you experience nausea, dizziness, or any kind of allergic reaction, stop taking it.
- Oregano oil can cause skin irritation if used straight. Always dilute with a “carrier oil” like coconut and jojoba and test on a small area of skin before using a lot of it.
- One of the compounds—thymol—can be toxic in high doses, so consult an expert before taking oregano oil regularly or giving to children.
- Never consume pure oil. Always mix with water.
- Oregano oil may impede the absorption of iron. So if you are taking it regularly, you may need a supplement.
I’ve got a bush growing wildly in my garden. Great for chopping and adding to omelettes and chicken and fish dishes. But I don’t make my own oils. It’s an intricate steam distillation process best left to the experts. Even a tiny bottle can go a long way, so it’s worth the purchase!
Isn’t it easier to just fill a prescription?
Yes, but there’s red tape attached, The red tape comes in the form of antibiotic resistance (you’ve had so many antibiotics that they don’t work for you anymore) and damage to your gut. Most medications for colds and infections have unwanted side effects. And antibiotics carry the additional danger of killing off the beneficial bacteria in your gut that keeps you healthy. Leaky gut is the gateway to a huge array of health issues.
Instead, heal your body while strengthening it with nature’s anti-everything cure!