Oregano is part of the mint family that botanists call the Lamiaceae, or Labiatae, a huge aggregation of some 7,000 species. Also included in this family are marjoram, lavender, summer savory, basil, perilla, sage, rosemary, anise hyssop, thyme and lemon balm. (Therefore if you are allergic to anything in this family you may want to stay away from Oregano)
The health benefits of this herb are antioxidant (Antioxidants help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals and improve your ability to fight infection.) As well as Antibacterial and antimicrobial (courtesy of http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266259.php)
Even WebMD has a listing about the medicinal properties of the plant, though there are some warnings to take heed of:
- "Lithium interacts with OREGANO
Oregano might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking oregano might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed."
- Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy: Oregano is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. There is concern that oregano in amounts larger than food amounts might cause miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of oregano when used in medicinal amounts while nursing.
Bleeding disorders: Oregano might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Allergies: Oregano can cause reactions in people allergic to Lamiaceae family plants, including basil, hyssop, lavender, marjoram, mint, and sage.
Diabetes: Oregano might lower blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should use oregano cautiously.
Surgery: Oregano might increase the risk of bleeding. People who use oregano should stop 2 weeks before surgery.
This herb can be taken in medicinal form by purchasing capsules of medicinal quality at a health food store, using oil of oregano, or using Oregano essential oil (my favorite).
When I first began learning about the health benefits associated with Oregano, and specifically Oregano Essential Oil I admit I was skeptical. I had heard that warts and skin tags could be removed, that it was a powerful antifungal agent for finger and toenail issues as well as athlete's foot. I had also heard as well as that Oregano could be used as a natural antibiotic.
I smelled the Oregano Essential oil and it smelled like pizza to me. But I also learned that in Essential oil form this herb is one that can feel like it is burning (think getting hot pepper juice on your hands) if it gets in mucous membranes, in eyes, or on very sensitive skin. I was curious though as I have never liked some of the wart removal medicines and I have a child who has been to the pediatrician twice to have a wart "frozen off" (it didn't work). So I decided to give the Essential oil a try.
I also used Oregano orally when treating myself for a clogged milk duct that was moving towards mastitis. Hubby allowed me a small window of opportunity to try a natural solution before he said he was going to insist that I see a doctor (he is much more medically minded than I am). I had not yet developed a fever but had the telltale signs of my clogged milk duct moving towards mastitits with heat and reddening of the area as well as severe pain.
I did a lot of research and took 1 drop of Oregano Essential Oil and 1 drop of Frankincense Essential oil orally twice a day for 48 hours. I am not kidding when I say it worked. 24 hours later I was at 75% better and by day 2 all signs of infection were gone.
Therefore, I am a believer in the power of Oregano. I am planning on stocking up on some of the capsules from the health food store, and I already have the Oregano essential oil I mentioned.
If you are interested in trying the essential oil I use just comment below so we can chat. But, if you are not interested in the oil there are still a number of options for the use of this amazing herb...just please do not ingest oregano essential oil that you purchase from a health food store as it is not marketed as food grade or safe to ingest. (Though the capsules of the dried herb would be a safer option and are marketed as such).
I have to say I love finding information that allows me to be more in control of my own health and the health of my family.