Oregano Essential Oil <br/><em>Origanum vulgare</em>
The Greeks named oregano the “joy of the mountain”, admiring the light purple blooms that adorn the green stalks of the plant. When the plant is in bloom amid a sea of its brethren, it truly is a purple field of joy.
Greece is believed to the the origin of the plant, dating back to ancient times. Having this plant in your fields was greatly desired because ancient Greeks believed that cows were tastier when they had fed on oregano. Hundreds of years later, we would learn that oregano and cows do have a link, but it’s not in creating better tasting beef. Researchers had been trying to solve the problem of the extreme amount of methane emitted by cows. Then one researcher stumbled on the solution: oregano. It turns out that, if you feed a cow oregano, it produces less methane. Researchers think this is due to oregano’s anti-microbial agent, carvacrol.
Flavour from the Joy of the Mountain
Oregano has been a prized food flavouring and medicinal agent for hundreds of years, especially in Spain, Italy and Mexico. Perhaps it receives most of its attention though through its inclusion in Italian cuisine. From pizzas and pastas to calzones and soups, oregano might even be classified as a staple herb in Italian cooking. Oregano is equally popular in many other cultures, incorporating it into their lives in both traditional and inventive ways.
The Endless Benefits of Oregano
Not many people know that oregano is also a special plant outside of the delicious world of cooking. Oregano has countless health, wellness, cosmetic and spiritual applications. It can be used to rid the human body of parasites. It’s a natural insect repellent. It can help with respiratory issues, allergies, acne, dandruff and athlete’s foot. With its endless culinary and medicinal applications, oregano is truly an amazing gift from Mother Earth.
Just how beneficial is oregano essential oil? Oregano is antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and a light tonic. Below, are just a few of oregano’s most helpful uses:
- Aids Respiratory System. Oregano oil can help calm coughing, but many of its respiratory benefits come from the oil’s anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Some can find relief for bronchitis and asthma. Its antibacterial agents are particularly helpful in preventing the flu.
- Relieves Yeast Infections. Oregano has some anti-fungal properties and it helps to reduce the candida fungus. Candida is a common cause of oral infections such as thrush. The oil can help alleviate other yeast infections, too, such as toenail fungus.
- Dental Health. The oil is commonly used to calm the pain of a toothache and relieve bad breath. The antiseptic nature of oregano makes it a an excellent mouthwash too.
- Antioxidant. Oregano is rich in flavonoids such as zeaxanthin, carotenoids lutein and cryptoxanthin that are excellent fighters of damaging free radicals.
- Anti-ageing. We already know that oregano has incredible antioxidant power. You can put this antioxidant power to use on your skin too. Antioxidants are known to remove the free radicals from your skin’s surface. That’s important because allowing those harmful free radicals to stay on your sensitive facial skin exposes it to potential damage and can escalate your experience with fine lines, wrinkles and sagging, loose skin.
- Scented Soaps. The lovely, earthy smell of oregano is featured in a variety of soaps and perfumes, and you can make your own personal scent, soap or lotion with a few drops of oregano oil.
- Solar Plexus Chakra. Oregano oil aromatherapy during meditation or yoga encourages you to open the solar plexus chakra, letting go of insecurities, fears and lack of confidence.
- Love and Protection. Oregano oil grounds you and is a good oil to use for attracting love and to provide safety from negative energy.
Pregnant women should not use oregano medicinally. Oregano oil should be diluted in carrier oil before using on skin to avoid potential skin irritations. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to test your tolerance of the oil on a small patch of skin before you use the oil more extensively. Keep the oil out of reach of children and pets.
- Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
- Plant Part Typically Used: Leaves, flowers, and buds
- Colour: Pastel yellow
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Medium
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
- Aromatic Description: A sharp, earthy scent