When we say oregano, we usually think of the fragrant Italian cuisine, but this plant is much more than a fragrant spice, especially its wild variety, the one that grows on the cliffs throughout the wider Mediterranean region, which Hippocrates used to treat his patients a long time ago. Origanum vulgare has also always thrived in the mountainous areas of the Balkans. Today, it is known as wild oregano and is sought after all over the world because its healing properties have been rediscovered. In our country this plant has been known since ancient times and has been used both in popular medicine and at home.
Wild oregano leaves are green and its beautiful flowers are purple. Its scientific name origanum originates from the Greek oros – mountain and ganos – joy. Its name mountain joy is not accidental, because it has been helping many people over at least four millennia.
SHIELD AGAINST VIRUSES
Wild oregano was used at the time when there were no antibiotics. Our ancestors could not define exactly what it was that made it so therapeutic, but today we know with certainty that those are the following active ingredients: carvacrol, the strongest natural antiseptic, against which viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi stand no chance of survival; latest research has shown that it also kills cancer cells. In addition to carvacrol, oregano also contains thymol, a powerful antibacterial agent.
Together these two phenols have a long list of effects:
- antiseptic (they fight germs and are used for disinfection),
- bactericidal (they fight bacteria),
- anthelmintic (they fight worms),
- anti-fungal (they fight fungi),
- antiparasitic (they fight parasites),
- antioxidant (they fight free radicals),
- anti-inflammatory (they fight inflammation),
- anxiolytic (they fight anxiety),
- cytostatic (they fight cancer cells),
- anti-tumour (they are used against tumours),
- immunomodulatory (they strengthen immunity),
- antiallergic (they soothes allergies and hay fever),
- hypoglycemic (they are used against diabetes),
- spasmolytic (they are used against cramps).
So, wild oregano resolutely fights everything that has no place in our body. And the list of disorders that wild oregano helps with is long: decreased immunity, multiplied candida, Escherichia coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, Helicobacter pylori, diseases of digestive organs, liver, bile, kidneys and the urinary tract, inflammation of mucous membranes, sinuses and the throat, flu, colds and coughs, headaches and toothaches, bronchitis and asthma, menstrual problems, vaginitis, inflammation of the gums, bad breath, cramps, joint and muscle aches, weak nerves, as well as skin diseases – psoriasis, eczema, herpes, acne…
WILD OREGANO OIL – PROTECTION AGAINST AN INVISIBLE ENEMY
Today, when more and more microbes are resistant to antibiotics, scientists have realised that we need a new and natural solution and this has prompted numerous clinical studies. What has been proven is that wild oregano oil, or carvacrol in it, is very powerful against Staphylococcus aureus strains that are otherwise treated with streptomycin and penicillin.
One of the problems that medicine has always faced is how to treat the wounded in armed conflicts, and how to fight microbes that attack and infect wounds and which may become resistant to many modern drugs. If a wound infection is not treated on time, it will most likely cause an inflammation and lead to sepsis. A study concluded that oregano oil is extremely potent against multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDRs) and that it does not cause their resistance, which means that it could be a permanent solution, unlike antibiotics, to which bacteria can develop resistance.
Anyone who has fought candida fungus knows how persistent it can be. Fortunately, a research paper has shown that phenols in oregano oil affect proteins in the cell membrane of this fungus and thus prevent cellular respiration. Another study concluded that carvacrol alone is not enough to achieve a satisfactory effect, which means that this effect is achieved by the synergy of several components in wild oregano oil.
As the coronavirus epidemic has recently shown us, humanity’s greatest enemies are invisible. One such virus is norovirus, which leads to acute gastroenteritis; statistic data shows that it causes about 267 million cases of this disorder in the world every year. There are many types of norovirus and one person can be infected more than once in their lifetime. They are a scourge of institutions, such as nursing homes, kindergartens and schools, and to make matters worse, they are very resistant to disinfectants, even alcohol. Fortunately, a study has found a solution: carvacrol in wild oregano oil effectively kills the norovirus within one hour of exposure, by dissolving the virus’s protein coat and then the RNA of the virus cell.
For the same reason, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, wild oregano oil immediately drew the attention of scientists, because it not only has the ability to destroy viruses, but it also has an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect, so it can be used for prevention, as well as for treating the consequences of infections caused by this virus. Wild oregano not only relieves cough and eliminates throat infections and sinusitis, but is very effective even in pneumonia, and is ideal for boosting immunity. But that is not all. This oil can cope with even the most serious diseases.
WILD OREGANO AGAINST MOST SERIOUS DISEASES
The strong antitumor and antioxidant properties of wild oregano in one study of cervical cancer showed its ability to induce apoptosis of cancer cells. Carvacrol and thymol, in addition to killing cancer, have been proven to change the membrane of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), thus blocking its entry into target cells.
But even when viruses are not life-threatening, when they are just unpleasant and annoying, wild oregano is there to help: its antiviral properties are particularly effective in treating skin changes caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infections – viral warts. When the virus penetrates the skin, it infects epithelial cells, which is manifested in the appearance of warts. There are about 100 subtypes of human papilloma virus and they all choose a spot on the skin or mucous membranes to grow into warts. These are usually the most inconvenient places that are easily irritated, so they itch and often hurt. Warts can spread through auto-inoculation – the transmission of the disease from one part of the body to another: this usually happens when we scratch ourselves on the infected area and then rub another uninfected part of the skin. The virus is happiest when it reaches under our nails, because then we spread it not only to ourselves, but also to others. It is usually impossible to determine when we caught it, because the incubation period can last several months.
Unfortunately, removing the warts mechanically does not mean that the virus has left our body and that it will not reappear – to the contrary. Therefore, it is best to treat them with natural preparations based on wild oregano oil, which has been proven to effectively destroy viral warts, as well as fungal infections on the feet, including athlete’s foot, and also helps with eczema and psoriasis.
Oil of this wonderful plant can be taken orally for gastrointestinal disorders, it can be prepared as inhalation for respiratory problems, it can be diluted and used on the skin against fungal and bacterial infections, dried plant can be consumed in an infusion or added to food as a spice… wild oregano oil does not cause side effects when used as recommended. It should be used with caution and with doctor’s advice in combination with anti-diabetic drugs, as it naturally lowers insulin levels, with anticoagulants, but one needs to be mindful that it can reduce the absorption of iron, copper and zinc. It should never be applied undiluted to the skin, as this can cause irritation. It is best to add a few drops of it to olive oil.
As we can see, from the time of Hippocrates, when he treated his patients with it, up to the modern times, this beneficial plant has always healed our ailments – wild oregano, our mountain joy, definitely has to be part of every home pharmacy.