26 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin
Oregano Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Oregano essential oil is known mostly for its powerful antibacterial effects.
A powerful natural antibiotic, oregano has been used in folk medicine for over two thousand years.
The oregano herb grows all over the world and has a rich history of use, praised by some of the earliest and most famous practitioners of medicine. Aristotle used oregano to treat snake bites, noticing that after tortoises ate snakes they would immediately eat oregano leaves, and Hippocrates used the herb to treat a wide range of chest and stomach issues. These days oregano essential oil is still used for its antibacterial and antifungal properties and can play an important role in guarding our health.
Oregano essential oil is highly antibacterial.
The most famous use of the oil is in the protection of the body from harmful bacteria. A study in 2011 found that oregano showed significant antibacterial effects against five species of bacteria, including very high activity against E.coli, and a further study in 2013 found that the oil showed high activity against seven different species. It is clear that oregano offers comprehensive protection.
Oregano’s antibacterial effects are often put down to the components carvacrol and thymol, which are both shown to have strong antibacterial properties. These properties make oregano a great oil to include in homemade cleaning sprays.
It’s an antioxidant.
Oregano has also been found to have strong antioxidant effects. A study in 2016 found that the oil showed significant activity against the oxidising effects of free radicals. This allows the oil to reduce the effects of toxins in the body and protect our cells and organs from oxidative damage.
It’s a great skin cleanser.
Oregano’s antibacterial effects make it an effective skin cleanser, able to deeply clean pores and remove harmful bacteria. Oregano is also an antifungal oil, able to get rid of fungal infections on the skin. A study in 2007 tested the effects of several essential oils on athlete’s foot and found that of all the oils tested oregano was the most effective at clearing up the infection. Combining a few drops of oregano essential oil with a carrier oil can make a great natural facewash.
It can be good for digestion.
Hippocrates often used oregano oil to benefit the gut, and many years later the oil is still used by many for the same purpose. Oregano oil is said to relax muscles in the GI tract and improve the ratio of good to bad bacteria in the digestive system, leading to healthy digestion and a decrease in symptoms of irritation, inflammation or intolerance. You can experience these gut-boosting benefits by massaging diluted oregano oil onto the stomach region. We don’t recommend taking oregano oil internally unless it is food-grade, or you have sought the advice of a medical professional first.
Healing and protective, oregano oil is a great agent against all kinds of bacterial and fungal infections. It doesn’t just heal on the surface of the skin where we can see the evidence of its work, however, but also fights for our health internally, invisibly protecting us from harm.
Shop our oregano essential oil here.