What is Oregano Oil?
Oregano oil comes in a glass vial as a tincture or as an Oregano Oil Softgel. The herb is fragrant and native to dry, warm climates. A profusion of sunshine helps the plant grow and mature into potent, aromatic essential oils. You’ll see the herb blooming with displays of pink and purple edible flowers. Manufacturers extract oregano oil from dried leaves and flowering stems of the oregano plant. The herb goes through a steam distillation process (x).
Oregano is common in many savory dishes. Although most kitchens carry this culinary herb, the oil is also one of the most potent natural antibiotics and antimicrobial in the plant world. Since time immemorial, oregano health-boosting properties have helped improve many lives worldwide. Today, those who use traditional and alternative healing methods will probably have oregano oil as a staple in medicine cabinets.
Why Softgel Capsules?
Softgel capsules are particularly beneficial to those uncomfortable taking pills because softgels are tasteless and go down smoothly. People who find taking tablets challenging do not have similar issues with softgel capsules. They quickly dissolve and digest when taken orally, providing better absorption in the stomach. Softgels are perfect for oils because the airtight seal of the capsule increases the pumpkin oil’s shelf life (x). You can also prick the capsule with a sterilized needle and the supplement becomes a topical oil when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba. That way, you reduce the chances of irritating the treated area. (x)
There are many varieties of oregano. Some are particularly useful for cooking, and some are simply valuable for their ornamental beauty. Oregano is often divided into two main categories — Mexican and Mediterranean. Though they have similar flavors and uses, they are two completely different species of plant:
- Mexican oregano is connected with lemon verbena and is native to Mexico, Central and South America. Mexican oregano has a hint citrus, combined with notes of licorice. It’s present in Latin American dishes like chilli and salsa.
- Mediterranean oregano, a member of the mint family, grows in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Egypt. Also called wild marjoram, you’ll find it in pizza, tomato sauce and similar foods.
Oregano’s Power Ingredients
What makes oregano so good for your health? The plant phenols and esters in the plant offer positive effects. Phenols play a vital part in any plant’s development, and they act like antioxidants (x). They give plants structure and support and protect them from harmful organisms, disease and wounds. Phenols repel harmful organisms and pathogens (x). Esters are compounds in the plant membranes. In the plant, they function like good cholesterol functions for the human body (x).
Carvacrol is a natural phenol and a rockstar within oregano. It’s the most abundant component of oregano oil. As a potent antioxidant that also contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties, it inhibits cancer cell growth and more (x). The compound is in a variety of oregano plants. The highest concentration is in the Greek plant (x).
Alternative medicine uses carvacrol for a variety of conditions, including:
Additionally, carvacrol is artificially manufactured for disinfectants and food additives. Some have concerns about carvacrol toxicity. Natural carvacrol is moderately toxic in excessive amounts. Synthetic carvacrol is potentially hazardous (x). Talk with your healthcare provider about taking oregano oil softgel capsules.
Oregano contains hundreds of compounds yet identified. One such compound is rosmarinic acid, an ester present in oregano and other plants. It’s an active antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation plays a huge part in many diseases, and studies show anti-inflammatory properties of rosmarinic acid are helpful with various health conditions (x). Esters may help improve your body’s blood flow, which helps relax your body (x).
Thymol is another dominant plant phenol present in oregano used in HIV therapeutics along with carvacrol (x). Native Americans use thymol for its antiseptic properties, treating wounds, dental problems and skin infections. Thymol has antibacterial and antifungal assets, effective against food spoilage and fungal infections. You can find thymol in many plants, giving the herb thyme its characteristic scent (x). Some even use it as a helpful disinfectant and pesticide.
Benefits of Oregano Extract
Oregano contains a high concentration of nutrients and other helpful compounds, including vitamin K, iron, calcium, manganese and fiber. Taken internally or applied topically, it offers a broad spectrum of advantages. Not only can it stimulate your circulation, but it can ease a toothache. Some organic chicken farmers use oregano essential oil instead of commercial antibiotics.
A clinical study took extracts of certain types of oregano that can inhibit cancer cell growth and discovered there are anticancer activities in oregano (x). The National Cancer Institute has conducted studies that show antioxidants like those in oregano prevent free radical damage connected with cancer development (x). Another shows a distinct suppression of cancer tumors concerning breast cancer (x).
Defends Body Against Pathogens
Oregano can also protect your body against several bacteria strains that affect the skin, gut and other areas in the body. The oil can stimulate the circulatory system, increasing the production of white blood cells, resulting in more efficient recovery of common ailments based on a study performed on piglets (x).
Oregano may serve as an alternative remedy for intestinal problems. More research is necessary to confirm this, though. Its therapeutic properties are effective — and come without nasty side effects.
The oil showed compatibility in treating colitis and fighting intestinal bacteria (x, x). Oregano oil’s high content of carvacrol and thymol can help digestion by stimulating bile flow. In fact, It kills Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that cause gastric ulcers. Moreover, it may even combat bowel issues such as diarrhea and constipation (x).
Helps Balance Hormones
Research indicates that taking oregano may increase the release of progesterone as well. Progesterone is helpful to the body because it promotes good sleep patterns, normalizes blood sugar levels, and stimulates bone formation (x, x).
Antioxidant and Body Detox
Researchers report research results about oregano’s antioxidant properties. The rosmarinic acid (RA) and carvacrol (CA) in oregano contribute to its antioxidant activity, which may also prevent certain degenerative diseases (x). Another report shows that the oil can assist the liver, accelerating the process of detoxing your body (x).
Supports Lung Health
The natural decongestants and antihistamines in oregano can help improve lung function in conditions such as bronchiectasis, asthma, bronchitis and cough (x). Reports support carvacrol antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities as a treatment for respiratory infections (x).
Potent Antifungal Herb
Oregano is a potent antifungal herb, rivaling many commercial products. People have successfully used it to treat skin and nails fungal infections (x). Its oil can also inhibit the growth of Candida or yeast infection (x). When you apply oregano oil to your skin by sticking the softgel with a needle to capture it, mix about three drops with about a tablespoon of carrier oil like coconut. That way, you reduce the chances of irritating the area (x).
Giardia, an amoebic parasite, infects more than 200 million people worldwide. Research confirms that oregano is effective against parasites like giardia (x). It can also inhibit worms, bed bugs, lice and fleas (x).
Supports the Heart
One study with cardiotoxicity in rats found that oregano oil works against oxidative stress and heart injury (x).
Blood Sugar Stabilizer
Oregano may help boost energy and normalize blood sugar levels. One study suggests that the use of oregano oil not only demonstrated blood sugar moderation but reversed the diabetic symptoms in laboratory rats (x).
Research also shows oregano oil is an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, thanks to one of its components—carvacrol. Using carrier oil, individuals also use oregano oil on painful muscles and joints for inflammation relief. It may help conditions such as arthritis, neck pain and sports-related injuries (x).
Oregano oil has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for people who struggle with mood-related conditions. Research has found that depressed patients who eat omega 3-rich fish two to three times a week experience decreased depression symptoms (x).
However, if you are suffering from depression or are taking prescription medications, seek the advice of a health practitioner regarding the use of supplements or essential oils.
Oregano Extract Side Effects
Though oregano offers many benefits, there are also some potential side effects to keep in mind:
- Oregano may cause stomach upset in some individuals. Thus, this gives good reason to take moderate amounts.
- Applying it directly to the skin may cause a rash unless you use a carrier oil.
- Avoid it if you are allergic to other related plants in Lamiaceae, such as basil, lavender, sage and mint.
- If you are pregnant, avoid taking oregano since it could cause miscarriage.
- Avoid if you are breastfeeding.
- It may interact with diabetic drugs and anticoagulants.
- Do not ingest before surgery since it could increase the risk of bleeding.
Oregano Oil Softgel Capsules Dosage
Oregano Oil Softgels
Supplementing with oregano oil softgel capsules, take 250 to 500 mg capsules two times a day, depending on your body’s size. Take it with a meal for a maximum of two to four weeks. Unquestionably, follow your doctor’s recommendation and instructions.
The Bottom Line
A versatile powerhouse, oregano is chock-full of essential oils to help the body and ward off infections. The plant compounds (carvacrol, rosmarinic acid and thymol) make the oregano oil a mighty warrior against many common and chronic health issues. However, do remember it may cause a few potential side effects.
From taking it for respiratory support to fighting pathogens, this herb continues its long history of making life easier for those who take oregano oil softgel capsules.