I’ve started infusing some almond oil with oregano. This jar just sits on my kitchen counter for several weeks, I occasionally walk by and shake it up, then let it sit again. Not sure what I’m going to make with it when it’s finished. I just wanted an oregano infusion to play with.
I’ve been taking oregano supplements on and off for years. Like any herbal, I have to throw a word of caution out there- you CAN overdose on oregano, just as you could a medication from your pharmacist. Plant medicine IS medicine, so if you’re going to treat conditions at home with herbals, know what you’re taking, how much and recommended safe doses. More is not necessarily better. Herbals are not miracles either, some of them take time to build up a level in your system to work optimally. What I love about my herbal medicines is that many of them lack the nasty side effects that I often get with prescription meds. If there is a side effect listed on a drug, it seems I will have it. I’m one of those people that will go into a 16 hour coma from taking two Percocet and thanks to having Hashimoto’s, I metabolize drugs VERY slowly, so they often hang in my system much longer than I’d like.
That being said, I still work with my doctor to find appropriate treatments and if a prescription is called for, I get a prescription. Modern medicine is around for a reason and it’s not just entirely for profit (although I’ll agree there is plenty of profiting from people’s medical misery). If I need an antibiotic, I get the antibiotic. But I might also supplement that antibiotic with extra zinc, maybe some bone broth and some mullein if my lungs are suffering. A woman in 2013 let her son die because he had strep (which is VERY treatable by modern medicine) and she refused to take him to the doctor- instead opting to keep him in bed for 10 days while she gave him only dandelion tea and oregano oil.
So if you’re going to use herbal remedies, a little common sense goes a long way. You need to know when your condition might benefit from herbals as an adjunct to medication or if it’s treatable by natural methods alone. Do some research, get your herbal remedies from reputable sources, don’t expect them to be a magic bullet and remember that herbal medicine is medicine and comes with it’s dangers and limitations.
I am not making an ingestible oil, otherwise I would have used a different base than sweet almond. I will likely be using this is some type of salve preparation. Oral use, they recommend only 2-3 drops a day which works out to about 50-80 milligrams a dose.
Although- your skin is very good at absorbing chemicals, herbals, medications, etc. that you put on it (this is why I’m careful about what I spray on or put on my skin!) I was having issues with my Vitamin D in winter, even while taking an oral supplement. I started using a skin cream about 6 months ago that had Vitamin D in it- my last lab came back in the normal range for the first time in years. I spend enough time outside in the sun in summer, it’s not usually an issue.
By the way, Vitamin D is fat soluble (as are A, E and K), which means that your body stores it in fat cells instead of the excess being excreted through your kidneys. It’s one of those supplements you need to be careful with, since it can build up to toxic levels in your body. I get a blood test every 6 months to monitor my level. Oregano oil should not be used by people that are on prescription blood thinners like Coumadin, as it can lower your clotting ability over time. You shouldn’t take it several weeks before having surgery either, for the same reason.
Ok, so all the scary warnings are out of the way. Is it weird that I lead with that? I feel like people on social media are a bit too casual with their use of herbal medicine. I wonder if part of that comes from some medical professional’s denial that there is any benefit at all to taking supplements like oregano or certain vitamins/minerals. I’ve had several doctors that absolutely bristled at the mention of my taking herbals and/or supplements. My current doctor is thankfully on board and even recommends them when appropriate. I once had a nurse look at my list of herbals and say, “And what is it you THINK these do?”
All I can tell the naysayers is that plant medicine was around long before you could go to your local pharmacy and pick up a bottle of aspirin. In fact, that bottle of aspirin… which is salicylic acid… is also present in willow bark.
My first use of oral oregano oil was to treat a recurring stomach ulcer. I’d been on prescription medications that helped for a while and then had nasty side effects. I ate Tums like candy, I tried over the counter meds like Zantac and Pepcid. They’d help to abate the symptoms for a bit, but it would always come back. I did some research and found out that often stomach ulcers are caused by the bacteria H Pylori, which can damage the lining of the small intestine and stomach, resulting in an ulcer. Oregano oil will kill H Pylori bacteria. In fact, it was found in recent studies to be potent enough to destroy MRSA (Methicillin resistant staphylococcus) when used topically on wounds. I took Oregano Oil, Slippery Elm Bark and Marshmallow (the herb, not the things you make Smores with) for about 2 weeks. No more ulcer. No more gut pain, no more swollen, gassy stomach. It went away and has stayed away for months. If I start to feel like I’m having a lot of indigestion, I use those herbs again for about a week and it goes away.
Oregano is pretty easy to grow (it’s in the mint family) and to work into your diet, especially if you’re a fan of Spanish, Greek or Italian food. Some of the science backed health benefits include: rich in antioxidants which fight free radicals in your body (those nasty little things that cause things like aging skin and cancer), they are doing studies now regarding it’s potential benefit in fighting certain existing cancers.
It is antiviral, antibacterial and kills fungus. It is an anti-inflammatory. It may help to protect kidneys from calcium oxalate crystal formation. It is rich in magnesium (many people are magnesium deficient). It may help to lower LDL cholesterol, calm irritable bowel syndrome and digestive discomfort because of it’s high levels of carvacrol. It is also being studied for it’s use in heart health to lower blood pressure and keep calcium from forming plaques in the arteries and as a blood sugar regulator.
As a skin treatment it can kill all kinds of yeast, it is highly effective at repelling mosquitos and can kill bacteria as well or better than Neosporin. It’s anti-inflammatory properties might make it useful for localized surface swelling from arthritis (like in hands or feet, knees). It may be especially useful for those with cystic type acne, eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, rosacea and varicose veins. My interest in the topical oil is for rosacea and localized swelling between the knuckle joints on my hands. I’ll likely test it out for a bit first before making it available on the Etsy shop so I can give my personal experience with it.
That’s all I have for today. Later gator! –=<