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In its native form, oregano is a herbaceous plant with small purple flowers. These blooms are so delicious and attractive to bees that it is recommended to plant them in pollinator gardens to attract bees and butterflies. In addition, the dried leaves of the plant have many culinary uses, especially in Mediterranean cuisines. The Greeks and the Turks both use it in various ways to flavor food. Probably the most well-known culinary use is in Italian food. It is one of the main herbs used on many pizzas and in pasta sauce. It has also been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years. Clearly, the dried herb itself offers substantial benefits, but the oil concentrates both the health benefits and the flavor profile. This means that a very small amount is extremely potent and can yield incredible results. Best of all, it smells like pizza!
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What Is Oregano Essential Oil?
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- Provides antioxidant support and boosts a healthy immune system
- Relaxing to the nervous system and brightens mood
- Cleans and purifies, reducing the appearance of blemishes
How To Use Oregano Essential Oil
This oil can be used in multiple ways. Its chemical compounds offer benefits when inhaled or taken internally. To achieve the best results it can be used in several ways at once.
Oregano Essential Oil Uses
- Aromatic Use: It can be diffused on its own, but due to its strong herbaceous scent it is often recommended to pair it with other oils. It works best in a blend.
- Topical Use: Mix with a carrier oil for a soothing massage, or place a few drops in your moisturizer and apply to the skin.
- Internal Use: Take a drop or two directly in a veggie cap or use in place of the dried herb in your cooking.
Directions for Use:
When diffusing, three or four drops will do the trick. Reduce this amount when blending with other oils. For topical use, one or two drops in the carrier oil are all that you need. When taking internally use a drop in a veggie cap or dilute it in four ounces of water.
Oregano Essential Oil Health Benefits
- It is a purifying agent with impressive cleansing properties. You can dilute with fractionated coconut oil or simply add to a moisturizer. Apply this to the skin or dab directly on a blemish to soothe skin and reduce the appearance of the imperfection. In addition, it can also be used to promote a clean and fresh mouth.
- Support your immune system and maintain proper immune function. Take a few drops internally during times that you suspect your system will be facing challenges. This encourages regular function when you realize everybody else in your office has the sniffles.
- Use as a flavoring for all of your favorite Italian inspired dishes. Replace your dusty bottle of the dried herb. One drop of oil can replace one tablespoon of the ground stuff. In the fall when you have dozens of ripe tomatoes use it to spice up tomato sauce, or add a few drops to some olive oil before you coat your pizza crust.
- Create an inexpensive cleaner. Add about ten drops to a sixteen-ounce spray bottle of water for a quick and easy surface cleaner. The purifying properties and the tangy scent will help your kitchen look and smell cleaner.
- Boost your mood and soothe your nervous system. When diffused the sharp, tangy scent can promote a positive outlook. In addition, it can help calm nerves, which can be especially beneficial during times of added stress. It also provides robust antioxidant support.
- Take internally to assist healthy digestion. Either when taken directly or when used in food it can support digestive function and also has been shown to reinforce liver function.
Oregano Essential Oil Research
The two main chemical compounds of oregano are carvacrol and thymol. Studies of carvacrol and thymol have shown them to have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some have suggested that there may even be a way to harness these qualities and reduce reliance on antibiotics. In fact, one study claimed that it was effective in combating E. Coli which is a common culprit ofdigestive discomfort. Another study asserted that it was beneficial in relieving the digestive side effects inherent in oral iron therapy which can be necessary to combat severe anemia. At this time, however, the FDA has not evaluated these results and has not approved oregano for any of these uses.
Oregano Essential Oil Nutrition
You can always use this as an additive when cooking. It adds depth of flavor, as well as, digestive support. Internal use has also been shown to offer cardiovascular benefits which can be enhanced with regular use. The antioxidant support offered by this oil is crucial to help protect you from the free radicals that are constantly part of our modern environment. It also supports immune system function and can be taken daily during times of potential increased need. The purifying benefits derived from topical use are best achieved with ongoing use. Adding it to your daily moisturizer will have the most impact in reducing the appearances of skin blemishes. Also, when using for oral health a steady regimen of use will produce more substantial results. This contributes to a clean and fresh feeling mouth. You can diffuse this oil at any time and as frequently as needed to calm your nerves and help promote a positive outlook.
Oregano Essential Oil Safety
Like the dried herb, you can use whatever amount suits your palate when cooking. For regular use, however, the oil is extremely potent and therefore caution is recommended when using it. When taken internally, directly in a veggie cap it is not recommended for extended use beyond a week or two. When using topically be aware that excessive use can lead to possible skin sensitivity. Always test in a small area before using to determine if you are prone to a reaction. Keep away from children. If you are pregnant or nursing always consult a doctor before use.
Oregano Essential Oil Substitutes
Because it supports and maintains digestive health, it can reduce the need for over-the-counter remedies for typical digestive upsets. When applied topically, its ability to soothe and clear the skin could mean less reliance on expensive skin care products that are often very harsh and irritating. Its cleansing properties make it an inexpensive and safe surface cleaner, avoiding costly, chemical laden alternatives. By keeping your immune system healthy in the first place, it can potentially reduce the need for medicine to combat the sniffles. In addition, when used as a replacement for the dried variety, it offers the benefit of more flavor for less product.
Oregano Essential Oil Blends Well With
When cooking, oregano blends well with basil essential oil to create classic Italian dishes like a zesty tomato sauce for pasta. When diffusing, many different combinations are possible. For a fresh, Mediterranean scent combine with lemon. Lemon also cleans and purifies so the two oils together pack a powerful punch. They are both also uplifting aromas, so when combined they can have a substantial effect on mood, increasing feelings of happiness and positivity. Another good combination is with rosemary and thyme. While this mix of herby friends could be used to season a pot roast, it also has major benefits when diffused. The oregano promotes a positive outlook, the rosemary maintains concentration and the thyme keeps you alert. This might be a good combination when you need to study for a test or really concentrate on a task. In addition, both the thyme and rosemary are naturally repellant to insects, so you can do your studying on the patio without worrying about pesky little helpers.
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Versatility is the key when it comes to this essential oil. Its antioxidant power and its support of the immune system help ensure that your body has the tools it needs to fight against the stressors in your environment and keep you healthy. When diffused, it’s ability to brighten your mood and relax feelings of nervousness makes it a beneficial tool when you are faced with challenging circumstances. The purifying power shines through in its ability to improve the appearance of blemishes on your skin. In addition, it can also be used to clean your mouth and when diluted with water it can even help make your kitchen counter more hygienic!
Oregano certainly is a tasty condiment to improve the flavor of your cooking. People have known that for hundreds of years. Beyond that, however, many people have found that it was beneficial to both their immune and digestive system, offering support and increased function. Although some studies have supported these claims, they were not comprehensive. More research needs to be done before the benefits can be proven scientifically. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it for use as a medicine and it should not be used in lieu of pharmaceutical options.