Some of the better known herbal antibiotics include garlic, thyme, clove, grapefruit seed, golden thread and morinda and I utilise them all, but for a potent broad-spectrum approach that is both effective and well-tolerated oregano oil is one of my favourites.
Oregano is a perennial of the mint family has aromatic leaves. The name Oregano comes from the Greek word meaning "Joy of the Mountain". There are over 40 varieties of oregano but Origanum vulgare is the species that is particularly high in the phytochemicals substances that fight infections.
There are four main chemical substances in oregano account for its tremendous healing qualities: alcohols, esters, phenols, and terpenes. The natural synergistic effects of these potent substances are what really makes Oil of Oregano such a powerful anti-pathogen.
Phenols, such as carvacrol and thymol, act as antiseptics and antioxidants, while terpenes, which include pinene and terpinene, exhibit antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties. Linalool and borneol are two long-chain alcohols found in oregano oil, which add to the antiviral and antiseptic qualities. Esters are potent antifungal agents. Two that are found in abundance in oregano oil are linalyl acetate and geranyl acetate.
Oregano oil is one of the few herbs that contain therapeutic amounts of rosmarinic acid, one of nature’s most powerful free-radical scavengers that offers potent antioxidant properties.
I have found the terpenes in the oil to provide anti-spasmodic actions that can prove invaluable in patients with chronic diarrhoea.
The vast complexity of oregano oils phytochemistry offers a distinct and fundamental advantage over pharmaceutical agents as this prevents highly adaptable infections developing resistance to its anti-microbial properties.
Countless studies have scientifically validated oregano oil’s fine reputation as a powerful immuno-supportive substance. Of particular interest is an Australian study which tested 52 plant oils for their antibacterial and antifungal activity. Only oregano oil was identified to have properties considered to be “pharmacologic actions” against a wide variety of bacteria and fungi including; E Coli, salmonella enterica, pseudomonas aeruginosa, candida albicans, acinetobacter baumanii, enterococcus faecalis and klebsiella pneumonia.
Another study found that oregano oil killed the MRSA superbug more effective than 18 antibiotics in clinical trials.
Jini Patel Thompson a renown practitioner in the field of gastroenterology is an avid proponent of Wild Oregano Oil, particularly in her Crohn’s patients. In her book, “What You Need to Know About Wild Oregano Oil” she mentions the essential oil’s applications as an alternative to antibiotics in treating mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP), a particularly hardy organism that has been isolated in 92 to 100% of patients tested with Crohn’s disease.
Jini’s less well-known applications for wild oregano oil include mouth ulcers, bedsores, burns, cuts and scrapes, food poisoning, antivenom and tooth and gum infections.
I have tried and tested a wide variety of oregano products but have found a dilution of 1:3 to be ideal in a base of olive oil, the unadulterated naturally occurring active ingredient carvacrol should be no lower than 75 per cent.
For guidance on dosing and the wide variety of conditions, oregano oil can successfully treat I highly recommend the book Your Guide to Oil of Oregano by Tracy K Gibbs, PhD which was a reference source for this blog and is available to purchase in our books section on this website.