Oregano has been used to flavor dishes and for centuries Preserving food with its antimicrobial properties. Medical applications come from the Greek and Roman timesif the herb was used as an antiseptic. Oregano, actually contains the antioxidants carvacrol and thymolStudies have shown that they have anti-inflammatory effects, so Yalda Shokoohinia, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry at Southwest College of Naturopathy in Tempe, Arizona.
You might be surprised to learn that there are actually 60 plants known as oregano, but the most common is Origanum vulgare, which is in the same family as mint. Native to the Mediterranean, it is now grown all over the world. It is perennial and drought tolerant in most climates once established, and is inherently resistant to disease and pests. Oregano is usually easy to use for home gardeners grow in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight) in containers or in the ground and it’s easy to use too dry fresh oregano For future use.
In terms of health benefits, research has shown oregano may play a role in treating drug-resistant pathogens. For example, one study showed that thymol antifungal activity against species of candida found in the mouth in vitro while another In vitro study in dogs showed that oregano oil has antibacterial and antifungal effects against drug-resistant ear infections. The herb was also in. examined Inhibition of skin inflammation and Relieving symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection such as a sore throat. See for yourself by trying some of the following home treatments from Dr. Shokoohinia and Narges Kiyani, Pharm.D., A research assistant. try out Southwest College of Naturopathy.
Prepare this oil to soothe sore joints or muscles, or to use as a base for other remedies (such as the teas and massage oils below). Add 2 tablespoons of dried oregano or 4 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves to 1½ cups of olive or almond oil. Make sure the oregano is submerged and let the mixture soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Put on top of a water bath and simmer for 2 hours. with a gentle boil; stir and occasionally check the water level. Let cool a little, then strain into a jar with a lid. Massage about 1 tablespoon of oil onto sore joints as needed. Lasts about 2 months. Note: This oil can be used externally or internally, but does not replace oregano essential oil, which is much stronger and not safe to ingest.
Relieve menstrual pain, gas or gastrointestinal discomfort with this pain reliever drink. Boil 2 cups of water, then add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flower buds and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain, then add 1 to 2 drops of oregano oil (recipe above) and 1 teaspoon of honey. Optional: add an orange peel for flavor. Drink up to 3 times a day.
Use this decoction (a concentrated herbal preparation) to soothe irritated skin. Combine 2 tablespoons of dried oregano or 4 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves and 2½ cups of water. Let it cook for 10 minutes, then let it rest for 10 minutes on a low heat. Strain and add 2 to 3 drops of rose essential oil. Soak a cotton cloth with the tincture and press on an itchy, irritated area for 20 minutes; do not rinse. Use several times a day if necessary. (If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first to check for a side effect.)
Anti-inflammatory face compress
Soothe rosacea or an overheated face with this compress, which contains rosemary and caffeic acids and is anti-inflammatory. Add 2 tablespoons of dried oregano to 2 ½ cups of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool down, then chill for 15 minutes. Soak a soft cloth, then pat the face for 5 minutes. (Often moisten the cloth again), wait 5 minutes, then wash your face. Store leftovers in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Use every day for several weeks. (If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first to check for a side effect.)
Use this to massage sore muscles or on your chest to relieve an upper airway blockage. Put in a jar with a lid and mix 12 drops of oregano oil (recipe above) and 2 tablespoons of carrier oil such as almond, olive or coconut oil. Massage a small amount into the muscle or chest until absorbed. Use 2 to 3 times a day for up to 3 days. (If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first to check for a side effect.)
Cough suppressant tea
Soothe a slight cough or tickle with this tea. Add 2 tablespoons of dried or ½ cup fresh oregano and 1 to 2 peeled cloves of garlic to 2 cups of boiling water. Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes. and burden. Add 2 teaspoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon, stir and sip slowly, ready in about 5 minutes. If your cough is productive, add 2 drops of oregano oil (recipe above) to boost the active ingredients.
A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2021 prevention issue.
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