The Natural Antibiotic: Oregano


Scientific data
  “Oil pressed from oregano leaves that contain the active ingredient carvacrol may be an effective treatment against sometimes drug-resistant bacterial infection.” Georgetown University researchers have found that oil of oregano apperars to reduce infection “as effectively as traditional antibiotics.” Oil of oregano at relatively low doses was found to be efficacious against Staphylococcus bacteria and was comparable in its germ-killing properties to antibiotic drugs such as streptomycin, penicillin and vancomycin.” [Science Daily 10/11/2001]
  “The body of positive evidence for oregano oil as a major antibiotic is growing. 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.” [Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 86, June 1999]
“Pseudomonas is a type of germ that is getting more difficult to treat as it has developed strains that are resistant against antibiotic drugs. Of recent inrerest are reports showing that carvacrol from oil of oregano kills spores, such as Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).” [Archives Microbiology, Volume 174, October 2000; Quarterly Review Biology, Volume 73, March 1998]

  “Oil of oregano is not to be confused with common oregano in the kitchen spice cupboard, which is usually marjoram(Origanum majorana or O. vulgare) rather than true oregano(Origanum compactum). The growing problem of antibiotic resistance has health authorities concerned. Already various germs are showing resistance to vancomycin, particularly to intestinal bacteria.
  “Vancomycin is considered to be the most potent antibioticavailable and is withheld from use as a drug of last resort.” [Southern Medical Journal, Volume 94, August 2001]
Note: Drug resistance does not develop against naturally-occurring antibiotics such as garlic and oil of oregano.”

  Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of pneumonia in all ages(particularly the young and old), often after “damage” to the upper respiratory tract(e.g., following viral infection). It also causes middle ear infections(otitis media). The organism often spreads causing bacteremia and meningitis. The New England Journal of Medicine, April 7, 2005 cities the growing prevalence of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) in cities across the US.
  There is an ever-increasing need for us to fortify our immune systems, as well as look to natural methods to support and protect our bodies and maintain the balance of nature. The bugs are outsmarting the drugs!
  Dr. Diane Horne(of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, a clinical microbiologist who has worked in hospital settings for the past 25yrs) chose to investigate the affect of therapeutic grade[essential oils]…These oils are steam distilled at low pressure and temperature. This preserves the complex chemical constituents of the oils. The plans harvested have been grown on organic farms without pesticide, herbicides or fungicides and are free of any synthetic chemicals. The oils she tested are thyme(Thymus vulgaris), oregano(Origanum compactum), geranium(Pelargonium graveolens), tea tree(Melaleuca alternifolia) and thieves(a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary).
  She tested these oils with these 3 bacteria: Methicillin-resistant Stapylococcus aureus(MRSA), Escherichia coli(the most common cause of urinary tract infections), Acinetobacter calcoaceticus(cause of many nosocomial, hospital aquired infections).

   These were Dr. Horne’s results:
Olive Oil, Oregano, Thyme
   Area of inhibition: MRSA
   Thyme = 100%; Oregano = 100%
   Area of inhibition: E. Coli
   Thyme = 100%; Oregano = 100%
   Area of inhibition: Acinetobacter
   Thyme = 100%; Oregano = 95%

  Thyme and oregano are consistently the most effective in inhibiting the growth of all 3 bacteria; MRSA, Escherichia coli, and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus.
  These findingsconfirm what is already in the literature. Essential oils, the life-blood of the plant, are antibacterial.

Plant and essential oil background
  Oregano(Origanum compactum)
  Botanical family: Lamiaceae or Labiatae(mint)
  Origin: U.S., France, Germany, Turkey
  Extraction method: Steam distilled from leaves
  Key constituents: Carvacrol

  Medical Properties: Anti-aging, powerful antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant, antiseptic to the respiratory system.
  Uses: Arthritis/rheumatism(chronic), digestive problems, whooping cough, balance metabolism, strengthen vital centers.
  Body systems affected: Immune and Respiratory systams, Muscles and Bones.
  Fragrant influences: Creates a feeling of security.
  Application: Dilute 1 part EO with 4 parts vegetable oil: (1) apply 1-2 drops on location, (2) chakras/Vita Flex points, (3) diffuse, or (4) take as diatary supplement.
  Oral use as diatary supplement: Generally regarded as safe(GRAS) (therapeutic-grade essential oil only) for internal consumption by the FDA. Dilute one drop oil in 1 teaspoon honey or 4 oz. of beverage(i.e., rice milk). Not for children under six yrs old; use with caution and in greater dilution for children six years and over.
  Caution: High in phenols, oregano may irritate the nasal membranes or skin if inhaled directly from diffuser or bottle, or applied neat.


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