Studies have shown a wide range of benefits of oregano oil related to health. One such benefit is its ability to help fight a variety of infections, including parasitic, viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Other benefits of oregano oil include high antioxidant levels, which may slow or prevent negative age-related changes in the body, as well as anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, which helps with swelling, pain and allergies. Depending on the benefits looking to be taken advantage of, oregano oil is typically either used topically or taken orally.
When used as a health aid, oregano oil is generally derived from the wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare, plant. This strain of oregano contains high amounts carvacrol and thymol, compounds that deliver one of the key benefits of oregano oil: germ-fighting properties. These compounds have been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic effects. Based on this, oregano oil may be used to help prevent and treat a wide range of infections, including intestinal infections caused by salmonella, E. coli and certain parasites, as well as vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections and athlete’s foot. In some studies, the benefits of oregano oil on fighting germs have been shown to be equal to those of certain more traditionally used treatments, such as penicillin.
Another one of the key benefits of oregano oil is its high antioxidant levels. In general, antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause damage to the body’s cells, which over long periods of time, may lead to problems such as cancer, heart disease and eye-sight deterioration. Some studies have shown that certain antioxidant compounds found in oregano oil, including vitamin E and rosmarinic acid, may help slow or prevent the development of these chronic, often age-related health problems.
Two more key benefits of oregano oil include its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. The anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful in treating swollen gums and certain joint conditions, such as arthritis, where they can help reduce inflammation and thereby act as a pain reliever. As an antihistamine, the oil can help alleviate allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Working in concert, the anti-inflammatory and antihistamine benefits of oregano oil may be used to help treat sinus pain and congestion by reducing swelling in the soft tissues of the nasal passages, as well as reducing the allergic response that causes the body to produce more mucus.
The method in which oregano oil is taken usually depends on which benefits a person is looking to take advantage of. For example, to treat skin infections or swollen gums, diluted oil is often applied directly to the affected area. To help treat digestive or respiratory infections, or to take advantage of antioxidant effects, diluted oil or oil capsules are usually taken. In general, it’s recommended that consumers consult with a health-care provider to determine how to take oregano oil and how much is needed to get the desired benefits.