Probably best known as a workaholic in the kitchen, oregano (Origanum vulgare) also has many valuable therapeutic uses. In fact, it may well have first been used for its curative properties before its seasoning properties were discovered. Ancient Egyptians prized oregano for its ability to disinfect wounds and speed up the healing process. It’s also believed that they used it in mummification. Throughout the centuries, oregano has been used to sooth coughs, calm digestive disorders, relax tension, and relieve insomnia. As far as kitchen use, it was the Roman gourmet Apicius who loudly proclaimed oregano to be an important part of his culinary creations, leading it to play an important part in Mediterranean cuisine. When GIs returned from overseas after World War II, they demanded to have Mediterranean herb staple in their dishes back home. Their insistence on enjoying this herb is what helped to make it popular in the United States. Today, oregano not only reigns in the kitchen, but also rules in the world of aromatherapy.

Therapeutic uses: Allergies, antiseptic, antiviral, appetite, arthritis, asthma, backache, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, cellulite, colds, congestion, flu, fungal infections, headaches, immune booster, indigestion, insomnia, lymphatic circulation, menstruation, menstrual cramps, migraines, muscular pain, nervous tension, rheumatism, sprains, swelling.

Essential Oil Applications:

For allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and congestion, use 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil and rub on chest and throat. Can also use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation.

For arthritis, backache, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscular pain, and rheumatism, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage on affected area.

For chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, and nervous tension, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser, or add 8-10 drops in bath water before bedtime.

For cellulite, use 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage on affected area regularly.

For fungal infections, mix 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil, and massage into affected area. Repeat as needed.

For headaches and migraines, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage on temples and neck. Can also be used in a hot or cold compress.

For indigestion, use 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil and rub on chest and abdomen.

To encourage menstruation or to alleviate premenstrual syndrome, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage on lower abdomen and lower back. Can also be used as a hot compress, or use 8-10 drops in bath water.

To boost lymphatic circulation, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage into body.

For sprains and swelling, use 2-3 drops in a cold compress. To boost immunity after sickness, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser.

Mixes well with: Atlas cedar, basil, bergamot, citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, orange, rosemary, tea tree, thyme, and wintergreen.

Extraction method: Steam distillation.
Parts used: Dried, herb and leaves.
Safety Information: Avoid if pregnant.

Fun Fact
The Greek philosopher Aristotle noticed that
tortoises who ate snakes, then ate oregano. This
appeared to prevent them from being poisoned, so he
began to recommend it as an antidote for poison.

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Written by Mary Shipley

Explore Wellness in 2021