What is Oregano Oil?
Oregano oil is a type of oil that is prepared from the herb oregano. Also known as Origanum vulgare, this perennial plant is a part of the mint family.
The plant has oval leaves and clusters of flowers, ranging from pure white to pink or violet.
Oregano can be cultivated as ornamental (for its attractive flowers) or culinary variety. The culinary varieties are grown for their flavorful leaves.
Ornamental types of oregano tend to taste blander, and are not recommended for use in cooking. (Source)
The History of Oregano
The name oregano translates from Greek as “joy of the mountains”. The Greeks were among the first to use the tasty herb as seasoning.
This ancient society also used oregano as an antidote for certain types of poisons. Infections, skin ailments and convulsions were thought to be alleviated by oregano.
From there onward, oregano spread throughout Europe and eventually Northern Africa. At some point during the Middle Ages, it was also brought to China.
The United States only received oregano after World War II had ended. American soldiers brought the herb back from Europe with them.
Oregano also garnered a reputation for its medicinal properties. Indigestion, respiratory illnesses and toothaches were all treated by chewing oregano leaves.
Oregano was believed to have magical as well as healing abilities. The plant was believed to promote health, tranquility and happiness. (Source)
A mild concentration of oregano oil can be prepared at home. However, essential oregano oil sold in shops is subjected to a specialized distillation process. Just a single pound worth of essential oregano oil requires roughly 1,000 pounds worth of origanum vulgare! (Source)
Oregano, in all its forms including oil, has a rich history in traditional medicine. Research has confirmed that oil distilled from this herb has a multitude of health advantages.
The oil that is distilled from oregano leaves has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. Oregano oil contains an abundance of carvacrol, a type of phenol.
Phenols are healthful substances that are found in most plants. They have a range of beneficial properties. (Source)
Carvacrol has potent abilities against harmful organisms. It has been shown to be effective against even drug resistant bacteria and fungi. (Source)
This phenol has shown potential as a natural remedy for earaches due to Haemophilus Influenzae, a common bacterium.
Animal trials revealed that administering carvacrol healed between 56 to 81 percent of subjects. (Source)
Bacteria species like E. coli and salmonella can cause food to spoil and make you ill. The antioxidants in oregano oil help kill off these dangerous microorganisms. (Source)
Oregano oil can serve as a treatment for Trichophyton mentagrophytes, a type of fungus. It is the main cause of Athlete’s foot, a common fungal infection.
Medical trials revealed that oregano oil was highly successful at destroying this fungus when combined with heat.
This essential oil is also potent against T. rubrum and similar fungi. (Source)
Oregano oil can be applied externally to wounds, rashes, and eczema. It lowers the risk of infection and soothes irritated skin. (Source)
This oil is also useful for relieving congestion due to respiratory illnesses. A spray containing oregano oil can alleviate coughing and a sore throat. (Source)
Is Oregano Oil Paleo-Friendly?
On the Paleo diet, you will be eating exclusively wholesome, nutritious foods. This diet is all about going back – way back – to basics!
The Paleolithic era lasted from approximately three million years ago up until 12,000 years ago.
This may seem like the distant past, but historically speaking it is relatively recent. During this period of time, human beings were hunter gatherers.
This means they consumed only foods that could be collected or hunted in the wild. The ability to manufacture food, agriculture, and animal husbandry were nonexistent.
Our ancestors tended to be athletic, lean and adaptable. The average person today is overweight, with obesity rates rising around the world.
Stick to one rule when planning your Paleo-friendly diet. If the food or beverage wouldn’t be available to our Paleolithic predecessors, don’t eat it!
Your diet will consist of fresh meats, vegetables, and seafood. Nuts, seeds, eggs, fruits and natural sweeteners (e.g. honey) are all acceptable. (Source)
Natural herbs such as oregano are allowed on the Paleo diet. Make sure your oregano oil is from a reliable producer and is as natural as possible. (Source)
Is Oregano Oil Keto-Friendly?
The ketogenic diet is also known as the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. The bulk of your meals will consist of healthy fats.
The main goal of the keto diet is to get your body into a ketosis. This is a natural metabolic state we enter when food sources are low.
The keto lifestyle has nothing to do with starvation. Our bodies are adaptable organisms, meaning you can achieve ketosis by changing the way you eat.
Most of us consume too many carbohydrate-rich foods, which the body then breaks down into glucose.
This means your body’s primary source of energy is glucose rather than fat. When you abruptly stop eating carbohydrates, your body will enter ketosis and burn fat instead.
Simultaneously, you will be eating plenty of healthy fats. These include coconut and olive oil, butter, saturated fats, hard cheeses, etc.
Aside from carbohydrates (e.g. pasta, bread, etc) you should also avoid fruits, sugar, and tubers. Processed and manufactured foods are also off the table.
Proteins like meat and fish, vegetables that grow above ground, and nuts and seeds are all keto-friendly!
Ideally, your diet should consist of 70 percent healthy fats and 25 percent proteins. Carbohydrates should make up no more than five percent of what you eat. (Source)
Oregano oil is a perfectly fine supplement to the keto diet. It is free of carbohydrates and has numerous health advantages! (Source)
Is Oregano Oil AIP-Friendly?
The autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet aims to soothe inflammation in the gut. It is targeted at people who suffer from autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Your gut plays an important role in your overall health. The main goal of the AIP diet is to promote a healthy gut, thus lowering inflammation in the rest of your body.
Certain foods can worsen the symptoms of autoimmune disorders by irritating the gut. These are known as irritants, and can vary from person to person.
For this reason, the AIP diet has a comprehensive elimination phase. For six to eight weeks, the vast majority of food items, seasonings and beverages are to be avoided.
During the reintroduction phase, you can gradually introduce eliminated items one by one. This will enable you to identify what foods provoke gut irritation and should be cut out permanently.
During the elimination phase of the AIP diet, you will be eating coconut products, grass-fed meats, and seafood.
Vegetables (exempting nightshades) are also allowed, as is fruit in limited portions. You can also add vinegar to your diet.
Oregano is a non-seed herb, meaning it is AIP-friendly. Enjoy it as a seasoning or an essential oil! (Source)
How to Use Oregano Oil
There are two main types of oregano oil. Oregano essential oil must be diluted with water or carrier (e.g. vegetable) oil before use.
Alternatively, oil of oregano comes already diluted and ready for use. Always test any oil you will use on a small patch of skin prior to heavy use.
When you are purchasing oregano oil, always check the ingredients. Firstly, make sure the oregano oil is prepared from Thymus capitatus or Origanum vulgare.
This is because there are more than 40 different varieties of oregano. These two species of oregano are known for their healing properties
Secondly, make sure you are not allergic to any additional ingredients, for example certain carrier oils or added fragrances. (Source)
You can apply oregano oil externally or consume it for internal ailments. If you will be consuming it, ensure it is pure therapeutic-grade oil.
Use no more than three drops of oregano oil mixed with a food or beverage. This dosage can be taken up to twice per day.
The oil’s powerful antioxidants can be taken advantage of to help fight infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria.
Intestinal troubles such as indigestion and diarrhea can also be relieved by oregano oil.
To apply oregano oil externally, ensure it is diluted or dilute it yourself. Pure jojoba or coconut oil can serve as ideal carrier oils.
Simply add up to three drops of essential oregano oil to your preferred carrier oil. You can now apply the mixture to skin irritations or fungal infections.
Oregano oil can also be added to a powder of your choosing to treat toenail fungus. Add two to three drops of oregano oil to the powder, and apply to the affected toenails.
If you are consuming oregano oil, do not take it for more than two weeks at a time. This oil should not be taken by pregnant women.
If you are taking other medications, consult your doctor before adding the oil to your healthcare routine. (Source)
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