Oregano is a plant that has been used to treat several health conditions over the years. The oil is extracted from the plant leaves, used in cooking to add a particular flavour to the dishes. Oregano existed in human culture from the Mediterranean time.
Greeks and Romans used to use oregano in their food preparation. Nowadays, most people use oregano oil as dietary supplements. The name ‘Oregano’ derives from the Greek words’ Oros,’ which means mountain or hill, and ‘Ganos,’ meaning joy or happiness. Both fresh and dried leaves are used to satisfy human needs.
Oregano belongs to the herb category among the plants in the Lamiaceae family. The plant has small leaves that give a pungent odour and a powerful flavour. The pink flowers that bloom in this plant are also edible. There are multiple varieties of oregano plants worldwide, but Spanish Thyme most commonly found one ( Origanum vulgare).
The presence of various antioxidants like carvacrol, terpinene, limonene, thymol, and few others gives the aroma and flavour present in oregano oil. Few ingredients are required to make oil from oregano leaves.
As mentioned earlier, oregano oil is a herbal supplement mostly used for its antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Few ingredients are needed to prepare oregano oil at home. One type of oil is necessary. It is better to use olive oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil. Oregano leaves are required. It is better not to use oregano leaves that are too dry. A jar with a lid is required. Sunlight is necessary for the process. You need to have some patience as the whole process is a little time-consuming. The following are the instructions that one needs to follow to prepare oregano oil.
- At the first, take some water in a saucepan. Then boil the water in the pan. Once the water starts rolling boil, remove the pan from the oven and turn the heat off.
- Chopped the oregano leaves. The chopping should be excellent as it needs to mix well in the oil.
- After that, the sanitized jar is taken, and any of the oil mentioned above and finely chopped oregano leaves are placed in it. Then the lid is closed.
- After that, the jar should be placed into the hot water and left in hot water for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, the oil will heat up, and the oregano leaves will also start to release their oils.
- The next process is the key to make oregano oil. Remove the jar from the hot water and then let it cool for a few minutes. Then place the jar near a window and ensure that the jar is getting proper sunlight. Keep the jar there for at least 10 days. If necessary, keep it there for some more days.
- While the jar is there, the jar needs to be shaken well after every 2 or 3 days.
- Once the said period is over, remove the leaves’ oil stains and place them well in a jar. Remember, the jar needs to be sanitized before.
- Finally, keep the oil in a dark, cool place away from the sunlight.
- Preservation of the oil is essential. To do that, two or three drops of grapefruit seed oil need to be added to the oregano oil.
There are several health benefits of oregano oil. Here are some of the benefits and the uses of oregano oil.
- As mentioned earlier, oregano contains Carvacrol that works as an antibiotic and helps fight the bad bacteria inside the human body. Oregano oil can show its antibiotic effect on some bacteria, which is known to be resistant to an antibiotic like E. coli.
- The main compound in oregano oil, Csrvacrol, lowers the bad cholesterol level inside the human body. It also increases the amount of good cholesterol in bile juice. Another compound, Thymol, is also responsible for lowering the cholesterol amount.
- As oregano oil controls the cholesterol amount, it helps in weight reduction also. Consuming a certain amount of oregano oil as part of a diet can help someone to reduce weight.
- Free radicals inside the human body can damage many organs, leading to heart diseases and even cancer. This mostly happens due to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may lead to damage to DNA, which results in cell death. Studies have found that oregano contains 5 to 30 per cent more antioxidants compared to the other herbs. Some of the fruits like apples and berries do not have an antioxidant level. Oregano oil can neutralize the free radicals in the body due to its high Rosamarinic acid content.
- Due to the presence of Carvacrol, oregano oil also has pain-reducing properties.
- Inside the body, the gut sometimes gets damaged because of bacteria and harmful toxins that flow with the blood and reach the gut. It may lead to conditions like bloating, diarrhoea, and severe pain. Oregano oil can reduce the pain due to its painkilling abilities and can also cure the symptoms related to chronic bacterial issues. Oregano oil reduces the parasite microorganisms living on the gut wall. A study report says that 77 per cent of humans saw significant improvement by using oregano oil.
- Carvacrol in the oregano oil also helps to fight the cancer cells inside the body and prevents cancer cells’ growth.
- Swelling in any part of the body is an indication that the health is not in good condition. Oregano oil components can reduce any inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammation effect is tested on animals, and human research still has not happened. Oregano oil potentially also has antifungal properties, and it can cure infections like athlete’s foot, infection in the toes, oral thrush, and some others. The presence of Thymol is responsible for the antifungal property.
- All of the above are the health benefits of oregano oil. Except for that presence of carvacrol and thymol makes oregano oil insect repellents. By using oregano oil, one can get rid of mosquitos and even ticks.
Oregano oil can be directly applied on the screen, and there are no scientifically proven side effects. Before rubbing oregano oil, one needs to make sure that he or she is not allergic to oregano oil. Oregano oil is also available in the market in two forms – liquid and capsules. If someone does not like the taste of oregano oil, he or she can go for the capsule version.