Everyone knows about oregano in the kitchen; it is a wonderfully aromatic weed that is suitable for a wide range of dishes, from lamb to pizza to vegetable. However, the oil of the aromatic kitchen herb is also a strong natural antibiotic, which can be quite effective against a number of infections. It can fight viruses, bacteria, and inflammation.

Oregano oil against infections

Oregano extract has always been used to treat the numerous symptoms of flu or cold. Respiratory infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. According to multiple studies, essential oregano oil has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Two active substances in the oregano oil – the antioxidants thymol and carvacrol – inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, the main causes of respiratory infections and pneumonia. Oregano oil acts like a broad-spectrum antibiotic: it kills both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial species. Oregano capsules have even been successful in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

What infections does oregano oil protect against?

·         Flu and cold

If you already have a flu or respiratory infection, the oil can be extremely useful because it has a sweaty and fever-lowering effect. Mix the essential oil with a base oil. If you heat this mixture and massage it on the chest, it cleanses the airways. Steam inhalation with the oil also relieves breathing difficulties. Rubbing on the skin helps against muscle pain.

·         Urinary tract infection

A known pathogen of urinary tract infections is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The carvacrol in the oregano dispels these bacteria. The oil of wild oregano contains the most carvacrol (75-80 percent). The bacterium Proteus mirabilis, which is also often responsible for infections in the urinary tract, can also be combated with oregano oil.

·         Mold infections

Oregano also effectively fights against mold infections. It is even more antifungal than most conventional agents on the market. The oil is extremely helpful for mold infections of the nails, commonly referred to as lime nails. Another common problem is Candida infection. If you have contracted a Candida yest infection, it makes sense to use oregano oil, because it even works better than usual agents such as diflucan with the active ingredient fluconazole.

·         Infection by parasites

Parasite infections often occur in exotic countries. However, they can also happen in domestic areas. But such infections can be often overlooked. People affected usually suffer from digestive problems, extreme fatigue, and skin problems: all signs of a parasite infestation. A common parasite is Giardia, a small intestine parasite that is wonderfully beaten by oregano. In fact, the herbal oil itself acts more strongly than tinidazole, a medicine against bacteria and parasites. The oil protects from the inside against the infestation of parasites such as ringworms and flatworms, but also against external bloodsuckers such as lice, fleas, and mosquitoes.

·         Food intolerances and digestive problems

Laboratory studies have shown the antibacterial activity of essential oils against pathogens such as listeria, salmonella, e. coli and shigella, the pathogen of bacterial dysentery that leads to severe breakdowns. A mixture of oregano and cranberry can also fight the stomach germ Helicobacter pylori, which often causes recurring stomach ulcers. Eggs, meat, fish, salad, but also leftover food can be sprinkled with oregano oil to prevent food poisoning. Carvacrol and thymol also soothe a detuned stomach and promote digestion by stimulating the production of bile. All discomforts that occur after eating bad foods can relieved by the oregano oil. In case of constipation, diarrhea, bloating and digestive problems, the oil is also a good choice.

How to use oregano oil?

Oregano extract is available in liquid form (oil) or capsule. Wild oregano has the strongest effect. Before use, you should seek advice from a doctor or naturopath.

For skin problems and lime nails, dilute oregano oil with pure olive oil; For this, one teaspoon of olive oil per drop of oregano oil is taken and applied to the skin or nails.

In case of sinusitis, cold and allergies, put one or two drops of the oil in a small pot of hot water and inhale the steam, preferably under a towel. This should be repeated a few times. Make sure you do not take too much oil, because essential oil is very strong. You should therefore keep your eyes closed when inhaling. You can also use a diffuser.

For acute infections, about 500 milligrams of oregano extract is needed, four times daily. This helps fight against unwelcome intruders. But beware: the composition is different depending on the manufacturer, so follow the instructions on the label.

If you use essential oil, you should first ask a trained aroma therapist. In case of serious illnesses, you must first consult a doctor.

Elena Mars

Elena writes part-time for the Scientific Origin, focusing mostly on health-related issues.