Oregano or origanum as some prefer to say, is a favorite herb in cooking and natural medicine. The name means ‘joy or delight of the mountains’ in Greek and is so named because oregano grows at higher altitudes and in the mountains. The ancient Greeks used oregano as a disinfectant and antibacterial ointment on wounds and to ward off bacteria on food. The oil is derived from steam distillation of fresh oregano leaves and is popular in aromatherapy and for medicinal purposes. Oregano oil is a powerhouse when it comes to healthful properties, and has multiple uses. Read on for all the info and recipes!
Respiratory: Oregano oil helps loosen up phlegm and mucus buildup, and is good to rub onto the chest for respiratory ailments and coughs. Add a few drops to your chest balm or homemade balm and rub in for easier breathing.
Anti-inflammatory: Oregano is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is useful for all kinds of injuries. Combine a few drops with a carrier oil and massage into the affected area. For joint, muscle and arthritic pain, oregano oil is a natural alternative to anti-inflammatory and pain drugs. Research has shown that oregano oil can penetrate deeply, all the way to the synovial fluid in the joints, to relieve pain and inflammation. Mix 5 - 7 drops oregano oil with a teaspoon of moringa oil and 2 - 3 drops peppermint oil (optional, but beneficial!) and massage into the affected area.
Viral and bacterial infection protection: oregano protects againsts infection, whether viral, bacterial or fungal. Steam inhale or use in a diffuser to open up your chest, destroy viruses and bacteria and fight off colds. For sore throats, add a few drops to warm water and gargle.
Oregano is excellent for all kinds of skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, skin infections, acne and rosacea. Make a healing skin rub by mixing 10 - 15 drops oregano oil with 2 - 3 tablespoons of a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba or olive oil and apply.
Free radicals are the main causes of aging, lacklustre, wrinkly skin and the big one, cancer. Antioxidants fight free radicals, and happily oregano is packed to the brim with them. Phenols and in particular for cancer, naringin, are powerful antioxidants that neutralise free radicals and help slow the aging process and inhibit cancer cell growth. Some people take oregano internally by drinking a drop or two in water daily, but I would caution this by first consulting with your medical practitioner.
Below is a sweet and simple recipe for an anti-aging serum that will have your skin fresh and dewy again in no time:
20 drops oregano essential oil
¼ c coconut oil, melted
¼ c moringa oil
Blend together, and apply to your face and body daily. Moringa oil is a fabulous carrier oil that naturally rejuvenates dull and aging skin and prevents sagging facial muscles.
Oregano, similar to rosemary, is a wonderful addition to your homemade shampoo. It helps banish dandruff and dry scalp. Add 5 - 6 drops oregano oil to 1 tablespoon of shampoo and and wash as normal. Or make a nourishing hair oil:
10 - 15 drops oregano essential oil
8 - 10 drops tea tree oil
Combine all ingredients together and massage into hair and scalp. For best results, sleep with a towel wrapped around your head and leave it in overnight, then wash out.
Oregano is excellent for oral health. It naturally contains thymol, an active ingredient in store-bought mouthwashes, which counters bad breath, plaque and bacteria, and is an antiseptic. Make this easy, chemical-free mouthwash:
5 drops oregano essential oil
5 drops peppermint oil
2 cups water
Pour everything into a glass bottle, shake up and use daily.
Oregano oil is a highly effective insect repellent, and is much safer to use than typical poisonous repellents. Make an antiseptic repellent by combining 20 drops oregano oil and 15 drops lime or lemon oil in a spray bottle with water. Or make the specialised mosquito repellent below for effective protection against the mossies:
10 drops oregano essential oil
10 drops citronella oil
10 drops peppermint oil
Fill a spray bottle half-way up with boiled, cooled water. Fill the rest of the bottle up with the witch hazel. Add the essential oils. Shake up and spray.
Oregano is the perfect winter essential oil to fight off colds, ease congestion, fight those sports injuries or arthritic pains, and keep your hair and oral health in check! It truly is a multipurpose oil and that’s why it's our essential oil Wonder of the Week.
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