With possible side effects of prescription antibiotics currently in the news, many people are wondering what other options they have to treat what ails them. As more and more people begin turning to holistic alternatives, researchers have pointed to oil of oregano as one of the most effective options.
Oil of oregano is extracted from the leaves of the Origanum Vulgare oregano plant, which can be found in the remote regions of the Mediterranean (Editors Note: There is a difference between the common oregano you use for cooking and what you would define as oil of oregano. Common oregano is typically Origanum Marjoram, while Oil of Oregano is derived from Origanum Vulgare). Studies have shown the people of this region who have a constant flow of oil of oregano in their diet live overall healthier lives compared to other regions of Europe. Some of this could obviously be contributed to the Mediterranean diet as a whole, but there is no denying the positive contributions of oregano.
The ancient Greeks actually referred to oil of oregano as the "joy of the mountain" and used it to treat everything from infections to the common cold. What exactly can oil of oregano do for your health?
Many doctors cite oil of oregano as being one of the most effective and versatile antibiotics nature offers. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Arizona actually showed oil of oregano presented antimicrobial qualities when tested against the likes of salmonella and E. coli. Oregano has also shown to be potent in protecting against bacterial infection. In a study published in Science Daily, oil of oregano was shown to be as effective at killing Staphylococcus bacteria as a common prescription antibiotic.
Although studies are still ongoing as to the general effectiveness, many people have taken after the ancient Greeks and are using oil of oregano to treat colds and sore throats. The simplest use is to add three drops of oil to a drink once a day for five days.
High concentrations of thymol and carvacrol are found in oil of oregano. These agents help soothe upset stomachs. Oil of oregano has also been known to stimulate the flow of bile to the digestive organs. This helps maintain the digestive process, so you get the nutrients you need from the food you consume and expel waste regularly.
Due to it's ability to reduce inflammation, oil of oregano has been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, backaches and carpal tunnel. When applied topically, oil of oregano penetrates the skin and acts as an analgesic.
Oil of oregano is actually used by some athletes as a holistic alternative to common pain medications.
Oil of oregano has already established a reputation as boosting immunity and metabolism, but recent studies have shed new light on just how powerful it can be. The active ingredient in oil of oregano, carvacrol, has the ability to modulate genes and reduce inflammation.
A study conducted in Portugal fed two sets of mice a fattening diet. The mice not given oil of oregano became obese quite quickly while those fed oregano oil gained much less weight and actually had lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood.
Those who are allergic to thyme, basil, mint, sage or other herbs should first consult their doctor to see if it's advisable to consume oil of oregano. Pregnant or lactating women should also avoid oil of oregano until more research has been done to determine its safety.
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