Oil of oregano is a powerful natural antibiotic and has many other health benefits and uses. The oil is pressed from the leaves of the oregano plant (origanum vulgare) — not to be confused with common oregano used as a culinary spice (origanum majorana).
Although oil of oregano has long been prized for its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, as well as a remedy for stomach aches and coughs, recent studies have shown that its active ingredient, carvacrol, may be an effective treatment against bacterial infections that are resistant to drugs.
When used in low doses, oil of oregano has been favorably compared to the efficacy of antibiotics such as streptomycin, penicillin and vancomycin when it comes to fighting Staphylococcus bacteria.
Dr. Harry G. Preuss of Georgetown University presented his study’s findings, which confirm that oil of oregano reduces infection “as effectively as traditional antibiotics.” (Published in Science Daily)
The Journal of Applied Microbiology reported that among 52 plant oils tested, oregano was considered to have “pharmacologic” action against common bugs such as Candida albicans (yeast), E. coli, Salmonella enterica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The issue of growing resistance to pharmaceutical antibiotics has been troubling to medical practitioners. Various germs have shown resistance to a number of these antibiotics, including vancomycin, which is considered the most potent antibiotic. Resistance does not appear to develop against a naturally-occurring antibiotic such as oil of oregano. Price-wise, vancomycin costs approximately $16.00 per pill compared to approximately $1.00 for therapeutic strength oil of oregano.
Thymol, a chemical also found in oil of oregano, has been shown to be a powerful antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral agent.
Oil of oregano is available in either capsule or liquid form at most health food and natural food stores, as well as online retailers. Many swear by oregano oil’s benefits such as, the ability to stop colds, sore throats or headaches dead in their tracks. Still others use the oil to get rid of nail fungi or athlete’s foot. For best results, follow dosage directions on the package.