Oil of oregano is no average herb. Before modern science could point the finger at bacteria, herbalists and traditional doctors used oregano to effectively treat infections of all kinds, both topically and internally. As an antimicrobial it has the power to directly kill bacteria, viruses, intestinal parasites, and fungal infections. As excessive use renders many antibiotics ineffective against resistant strains, natural remedies become increasingly valuable. Oil of oregano is one of the few remedies that can fight superbugs, including the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Oil of oregano is also a powerful antioxidant capable of scavenging free radicals and preventing cellular damage. It is a more potent antioxidant than vitamin E, and is four times higher in antioxidants than blueberries, and 12 times higher than oranges. Oil of oregano has anti-inflammatory qualities as well as demonstrated anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Natural Factors Organic Oil of Oregano is wild-crafted Mediterranean oregano, hand harvested from the Origanum vulgare plant, and is available in both liquid and convenient softgel formats. To maintain the purity and concentration of the active ingredients the whole herb is gently steam-distilled without the use of chemicals. It is then blended in a 1:4 ratio with organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to enhance absorption. Hundreds of studies have proven the synergistic power of the plant’s volatile oils and phenols, especially carvacrol, thymol, and rosmarinic acid. Natural Factors Oil of oregano is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 80% carvacrol.
Lab studies have proven oil of oregano’s capacity to inhibit the growth of, and kill, harmful pathogens. It has the ability to penetrate cell membranes and disrupt their integrity. The increased permeability, or “leaky” quality of the bacterial cell wall causes fluid to seep out, leading to cellular death. This ability to damage bacteria is common to the whole plant, as well as its active constituents, carvacrol and thymol. Oil of oregano also lowers the pH inside the bacteria, creating acidic conditions that inhibit metabolism and reproduction. Oil of oregano also works by boosting levels of white blood cells that fight off infection, such as cytotoxic and helper T-cells.
The anti-inflammatory effects of oil of oregano are due to rosmarinic acid, an active constituent that decreases the number of neutrophils (white blood cells that rush to a site and cause an inflammatory reaction) and eosinophils (white blood cells that produce harmful oxidative substances such as free radicals).
As an antioxidant, oil of oregano increases the activity and concentration of other antioxidants, and protects against cancer by preventing the growth of cancer cells at the DNA level. One of the main causes of coronary heart disease is oxidative damage; oil of oregano helps prevent heart disease by regulating the inappropriate oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.