Pure oregano is a very potent spice that was used medicinally in ancient Greece. When properly extracted from the leaves of the herb, oil of oregano has antiseptic properties that make it an excellent natural remedy for fighting bacteria and viruses, including staphylococcus and the flu virus.
The oil also has analgesic properties. All of the therapeutic effects of oil of oregano are due to the presence of the active ingredient carvacrol. In order to benefit from a particular preparation of oregano oil, it must have a sufficient amount of the active ingredient.
Oil of oregano is one of many essential oils – that is, oils that are naturally extracted from a plant.
Like all essential oils, there are a variety of ways to use oil of oregano in order to get therapeutic effects from it.
To prevent or fight infections, it can be taken internally by adding a few drops to a glass of water or other beverage or putting a few drops on a piece of bread.
A few drops of oregano oil in water can also be used as a gargle to treat throat infections. People who do not like the taste of oregano can take the oil in capsule form (you can buy an encapsulated version of Oregano oil from BodyBuilding.com, one of our recommended online retailers).
Oil of oregano also be applied topically to treat skin conditions such as fungal infections and insect bites as well as to relieve pain.
It is very important that oil used topically is properly diluted since pure oil of oregano can burn the skin. If the oil does not come in a diluted preparation, it can be mixed with vegetable oil before applying it to the skin. One part oil of oregano to four parts vegetable oil is often recommended.
Another way to use oil of oregano therapeutically is to simply inhale it. This method may be particularly effective in cases of sinus congestion from colds and flu. The oil can be placed in a diffuser made specifically for dispersing essential oils. Be sure to follow the directions that come with the diffuser to avoid burns or injury.