Plants are medicine! From herbs and spices and roots come powerful plant compounds and constituents that have the power to heal and balance when used correctly. In my practice, I use herbs to relieve stress, balance hormones, improve digestion, and fight parasites and bacterial overgrowth.
Oregano is one of my very favorite therapeutic herbs. It is anti-inflammatory and has high antioxidant power. The ancient Greeks used it as a compress for sore muscles and the Chinese used it for its ability to calm digestive maladies. I use it primarily as an oil of oregano tincture (the oil has been extracted from the plant and is stronger) which contains the extracted oregano in a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil. You can use a dropper to place about 4-5 drops in water (it can be irritating to use directly on the tongue), or you can take the oil in capsule form. Its key healing compound is carvacrol, so always choose oil of oregano extracts that have at least 70 percent standardized carvacrol.
Now to the good stuff: look at all its benefits! Oil of Oregano has anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-bacteria properties. It can be used for the following:
* Kills bacteria, parasites, and organisms that contribute to digestive problems
* Strengthens the immune system
* Can be used topically for skin infections (athletes foot or nail fungus, for example)
* Improves respiratory health
* Relieves gas and bloating
* Relieves diarrhea
* Can be used when traveling to prevent food poisoning
Many practitioners use oil of oregano to strengthen immune health during cold/flu season and to help with respiratory problems such as cough or bronchitis or even allergies. I use is as part of my anti-candida and anti-parasite protocols. With its anti-microbial powers, oregano oil is a natural for knocking out yeast or parasite infections. For a candida protocol, use it with caprylic acid or as part of an herbal compound with berberine and pau d’arco. For parasites, use it with artemesia, black walnut hulls, and/or cloves. You can find tinctures or herbals supplements for both on the market. I recommend taking an herbal compound product and using it alongside the oregano oil for about 8 weeks. Take both 3 times daily, and use about 4-6 drops of the oregano oil per use. Follow up with probiotics to restore gut health and correct dysbiosis.
My favorite use is for acute gas and bloating. It works almost immediately. If you’ve eaten something that’s causing gas or uncomfortable bloating, use 4 or 5 drops in liquid for near-instant relief. Repeat as necessary. It’s quite remarkable. If you are experiencing digestive symptoms regularly, you may have bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis, or parasites, so it’s a good idea to undergo digestive testing to assess. I offer a simple take-home digestive assessment in my practice.
Oregano oil can also be used topically for skin infections. Place a few drops directly on affected area 3 times daily. It may also help toothaches or insect bites, and while I don’t have experience using it for that, it wouldn’t hurt to try! Oregano oil is side-effect free (aside from a slight burning that may occur if taken undiluted – it’s very strong), so don’t be shy to give it a go before reaching for over the counter drugs or meds.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
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