A potent antibacterial substance
Research conducted by the USDA has shown oregano oil’s strong ability to kill of bacteria. The researchers showed that oregano restricted the growth of dangerous disease causing bacteria such E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella.
The main constituent of oregano oil responsible for its germ killing properties is carvacrol. A research has demonstrated that oregano oil can fight against 10 pathogens that cause illness among humans and of all essential oil extracts from different herbs that were tested, oregano oil ranked highest and widest germicidal properties. In fact, the carvacrol proved to be the most potent antibacterial to be tested. Another study tested oregano oil on the bacteria known as Staphylococcus by exposing it to the oil and studying the effects using an electron microscope. It was seen that the cell was noticeably disturbed pointing to oregano oil’s property to harm bacteria while limiting their ability to create toxic substance that could affect our health.
Most antibiotics are unable to deal satisfactorily with yeasts or fungi e.g. Candida albicans which means they cannot inhibit their growth among those infected. Oregano oil is not one of these antibiotics since it has the ability to kill these yeasts / fungi. A study has compounded this by showing that oregano oil limited the growth of all varieties of the Candida fungi. Yet another study under an electron microscope also demonstrated how oregano oil prevented the formation of groups of Candida fungi. Better yet, there have been no reports to show that the Candida has become resistant to oregano!
A researcher from Georgetown tested oregano oil to see how its bacteria fighting abilities fared against conventional antibiotics such as penicillin, vancomycin and streptomycin. Even a rather low dosage of the oil showed bacteria limiting ability comparable to the standard drugs!
A study conducted on mice infected by staph was performed to show whether carvacrol was the only constituent of oregano oil that could fight bacteria. Among the total of eighteen mice, six were given no drug to treat the infection and died within seventy two hours; six others received only carvacrol mixed in olive oil and survived for more than three weeks. The remaining six were given oregano oil – fifty percent of this last group survived past a month. After repeating this study to confirm the results it was seen that oregano oil has bacteria fighting abilities that do not depend solely on carvacrol.
Strengthens the immune system
Oil of oregano also has a surprisingly positive effect on the immune system. Since most of us do not have time to take special medicines for boosting our immunity, nor the discipline to follow a proper diet program, consumption of oregano as part of our natural diet may help improve our body’s defenses against various infectious diseases by boosting our immunity.
A study was conducted on nursing sows who were fed oregano oil as part of their diet. The study was a placebo controlled affair in which of the sows were giving oil of oregano while the other half, that formed the control group, were not. The effects on the sow’s milk were analyzed and it was seen that the number of white blood cells present in the sows who were given the oil was significantly larger than the group that wasn’t. White blood cells have a strong correlation with immunity so the study suggested that intake of oregano oil could boost your immune system.
There have been several testimonials in which people previously skeptical about oregano oil’s healing properties came to respect it as a natural disease fighter. Many people use it to ward of colds and alleviate its symptoms. Needless to say, the immune boosting benefits of oregano can only be availed from its oil or by consuming fresh oregano. Dried oregano used ordinarily for cooking won’t do the trick since it has long been bereft of its essential oil and hence any healing virtues possessed by the same.
Fights prostate cancer
What you thought as a tasty dish may now be the anticancer agent we were all waiting for. That’s right – pizza may be high on calories but its oregano seasoning could be a major cancer killer. Once again the active ingredient in oregano oil responsible for killing cancer cells is carvacrol.
Although some research had been conducted previously on oregano’s medicinal abilities, the study present in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s publication is the first to highlight oregano oil’s cancer fighting abilities. The lead investigator for the study Supriya Bavadekar, who happens to be an assistant professor of Pharmacology at Long Island University says that although there are some studies present on oregano’s interaction with breast and other forms of cancers, there wasn’t a previous study on prostate cancer.
The study is by no means final, but from what has been seen up until now, carvacrol, found in oregano, has the been extremely effective against the cancer cells. In fact, it eliminated almost completely, the prostate cancer cells that were exposed to it.
The effects of different concentrations of a drug containing carvacrol on prostate cancer cells were examined for periods of one, two and three days. The results showed that the drug completely stopped the growth of the cancer cells. It was most effective when allowed to act for a period of three days. The early research indicates the substance carvacrol encourages the cancerous prostate cells to commit what is known as “cell suicide” or apoptosis. These results are sufficient to show that oregano is a tenacious cancer fighter but the team is still trying to figure out the exact mechanism by which the compound initiates the cell’s death sequence.
Once the team is able to find all the links between the carvacrol and the killing off of cancer cells, they will be able to make significant contribution to future anticancer medications and studies.
Prostate cancer is ranked second among the causes of death in men in the US and its treatments are painful and seriously affect the patient’s life. Chemotherapy and surgery are the only hope for the patients as of yet but once the research by Bavadekar and her team is completed, a safer, easier and less painful treatment may be developed for the ailment.
Oregano oil is quite safe as a part of regular diet which means it will be easier for patients to manage its consumption than say, deal with the extreme side effects of chemotherapy.
Delays menopause in women
For those teenagers and middle aged women suffering from unpredictable menstrual cycles, oil of oregano is a natural savior. It regulates the menstrual cycles for these women suffering from significant hormonal imbalance.
It is an effective emmenagogue meaning it encourages blood flow to the pelvic and uterine regions. This resolves the issue of insufficient menstrual discharge or unpredictability of menstruation periods. In spite of this property of improving blood flow, it does not cause any menstruation during the trimesters. This same property also enables oregano oil to take care of other conditions associated with menstruation.
Sometimes, you might have to consume oil of oregano in conjunction with hormone therapy medication if the imbalance is too great. If the oil proves to be to bitter for your taste, feel free to mix it with a fruit juice of your choice without fear of losing any of its effectiveness. You will see results from your intake of oil of oregano within a month’s period.
In these modern times, women are more career oriented and do not want to get married until their late twenties or even mid-thirties. These women obviously want to raise a family, albeit at a later stage of life – for these working women, oil of oregano can be used to allay menopause and let them enjoy family life like the ones who get married early.
Menopause has several irritating symptoms associated with it including swings in mood, decreased libido, lack of sleep and incontinence. By extending the menstruation cycles and hence improving the fertility of women, the oil of oregano can delay the onset of these symptoms.
Of course, as mentioned several times before, oil of oregano should not be consumed directly, rather it should be mixed with a glass of milk or fruit juice. Typically, around two or three drops per glass are ideal for middle-aged women to extend their fertility. It should not be used by those who are using blood thinning medication as it does not combine with these drugs and its function becomes ineffective.
All in all, it provides a bright ray of hope for those women who are afraid of the onset of menopause and associated effects.