From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:
Oil of Oregano: An herb for all seasons
by Ingri Cassel
Ever since oil of oregano came out as being a miracle cure for a variety of ailments, I began to hear personal testimonies from close friends and subscribers to The IO. After waiting over six months for one gentleman to write up his story using oil of oregano to resolve literally all of his health problems (a huge list being in his 80s), I decided to write an article on the benefits of this natural product myself. And since I actually have my own testimony with a persistent ear infection that quite literally disappeared after 24 hours of treatment, I am more motivated than ever to incorporate oil of oregano into my daily regimen. Oregano oil has been touted as a remedy for everything from athlete's foot to eczema and arthritis. Most of us think of oregano as a culinary herb used primarily in Italian, Greek and Mediterranean cooking. Actually, there are many varieties of oregano. The oil extracted from the culinary herb is considered similar to the oil extracted from marjoram and basil, all belonging to the Labietea (mint) family of plants. The miraculous virtues of oregano oil are attributed to the amount of carvacrol and thymol the oil actually contains. Carvacrol and thymol are the active ingredients giving the oil its reputable antiseptic properties. The culinary form of oregano, Origanum Compactum, contains about 45 - 65 percent carvacrol and thymol combined, depending on the location of the harvest and distillation methods used. However, it is the wild oregano, Origanum Vulgare, native to the south coast of Turkey and Greece on the Mediterranean Sea that is used for its miraculous medicinal properties, typically having combined carvacrol and thymol levels as high as 90 percent in some plants.
True oil of oregano offers many exciting remedies to a variety of ailments. In Steven Foster's book Herbal Renaissance, oregano oil has been employed to treat indigestion, diarrhea, nervous tension, insect bites, toothache, earache rheumatism, and coughs due to whooping cough and bronchitis (primarily for it's antispasmodic effects).
In Cass Ingram's book The Cure is in the Cupboard, he notes that wild oregano is a veritable natural mineral treasure-house, containing a density of minerals that would rival virtually any food.
The wild oregano is rich in a long list of minerals that includes calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, and manganese. Vitamins C and A (beta carotene) and niacin also are contained in oregano. Judging from its mineral content alone, it isn't hard to figure out why oregano is such a valuable commodity.
In another of Cass Ingram's books, Supermarket Remedies, he states that oregano is one of Nature's finest preservatives. He also suggests that if oregano is used with foods such as meat, eggs, milk, or salad, you will greatly halt the growth of microbes and, thus, reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Steven Foster attributes the fungicidal and worm-expellant properties of oil of oregano to carvacrol and thymol. Cass Ingram adds that these two phenols work synergistically and that is the reason oil of oregano packs a double punch in antiseptic power and explains why it is infinitely more potent than commercial phenol in microbial killing power.
All of this helps make oregano oil a significant factor in treating internal and external fungi including athletes foot. Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can be improved with the application of oregano oil as well. Ingram explains that oil of oregano outright destroys all variety of fungi and yeasts, regardless of where they reside.
In addition to fighting various fungi, oil of oregano is useful against bacteria and parasites. As Ingram asserts, oil of oregano's antiseptic powers are immense...it inhibits the growth of the majority of bacteria, something that prescription antibiotics fail to accomplish. In the case of parasites, oil of oregano has had success neutralizing worms, amoebae and protozoans.
Oregano may help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Of all the plants in the mint family, Oregano is the richest in antioxidants. Free radical reactions are most likely involved in inflammation, degenerative arthritis and the aging process in general. Oregano contains four anti-asthmatic compounds; six compounds that are expectorants; seven that lower blood pressure; and nineteen antibacterial compounds.
Additional uses for oil of oregano are unlimited even being used to relieve diarrhea, intestinal gas, and digestive problems, as well as sore throat and breathing difficulties. Oregano oil should be in everyone's first aid kit to help neutralize bee stings and many venomous bites until medical attention can be reached. Oil of oregano has even been used as a treatment for dandruff, diaper rash, and other skin disorders.
The name Oregano is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy). Although the medicinal oil is not used in cooking, it is used both internally and externally. Since 100 percent pure oregano oil is extremely strong, it is recommended that it be diluted with 100 percent pure extra virgin olive oil -- one part oregano oil to ten parts olive oil. However one can use the straight oil when putting it into gel capsules for internal use.
Our friend who began using oregano oil internally found relief from his arthritis and chronic constipation. His skin is clearer and he feels 20 years younger. He hasn't been plagued by the cold and flu season since incorporating oregano oil into his daily regimen.
Angie at Survival Enterprises told me that she used to have so many problems with her lungs and chronic colds during the winter months until she began using oregano oil. She has never felt better and has used it quite literally as a cure all ever since.
Although I could fill this entire column with the multitude of testimonies from people using oregano oil, I felt it was more important to stress the versatility of this oil for many conditions that plague us today.
The premier features of this product are: 1. Relief from inflammations, internal or external; 2. can neutralize a wide range of spiders, scorpions, bees, ants and snake bites and stings; 3. natural antiseptic, can treat various painful lesions and pain disorders; 4. mucolytic, helps to mobilize and thin mucous, useful in lung disorders; 5. anti-tussive, halts cough and eases spasticity of the lung tubules; 6. anti-spasmodic, obliterates tightness and spasms of muscles; 7. its greatest attributes are its anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-microbial properties.
Many chronic diseases are also complicated by persistent infections. Diseases including arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, gastritis, and Crohn's disease are often treated with pharmaceutical drugs that suppress symptoms rather than treat the cause of the problem. Since antibiotics will not work for these conditions, it is natural antiseptics and nutritional therapies that are the answer.
Survival Enterprises owners Kurt and Angie Wilson have spent hours searching for the finest oregano oil at the most reasonable price. Since it takes 200 pounds of wild oregano to make two pounds of oil, I expected to pay much more for the finest oregano oil available. I paid $17 for a one ounce bottle of oregano oil (30 ml.) and after using it for two weeks, the bottle still looks full. This is one potent oil and should be in everyone's survival kit if they care to survive whatever our government is planning for us. (See ad page on page 17)
Much of the material used in this article was taken from the website at http://www.se1.us/health/oregano
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