Oregano (Origanum compactum)is in the mint family (Lamiaceae or Labiatae) and the oil comes from the U. S. Turkey and France. Hildegard of Bingen referred to it in the 12th century. This is the true oregano we grow in our herb gardens but it has a very ancient medical reputation. Traditionally it has been used as a home remedy for digestive upsets, respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, coughs, etc, colds and flu as well as for inflammations of the mouth and throat. In China it was also used to treat fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and itchy skin conditions. It has been used externally in herbal medicine for headaches, rheumatism, general aches and pains and applied to stings and bites. Hildegard used a mixture of oregano to treat leprous sores. (Ouch!) According to her writing,
"If they did it often he or she would be cured without a doubt, unless the person dies, or unless God does not want the person cured!"Today we find that oregano has proven to be anti-aging, a powerful antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant. It is used in arthritis and rheumatism, respiratory infectious diseases, infections like tuberculosis and for digestive problems. Its primary effect is antibacterial and stimulating. Oregano is primarily used today in Mediterranean cooking and in dental preparations.
To use oregano essential oil, dilute one part essential oil with four parts mixing oil or use it neat (undiluted) in the Raindrop Technique. This is considered a “hot" oil and caution must be taken when applying undiluted since it can burn the skin of sensitive people. Chemically, oregano is high in carvacrol a phenol and can be toxic to the liver if used over a long period of time. It can be diffused or taken as a dietary supplement as well.
As for safety, British model of aromatherapy says this oil should not be used on the skin. The French model uses it diluted as well as neat (undiluted). It may irritate the nasal membranes if inhaled directly from a diffuser or bottle. It is a skin irritant and mucous membrane irritant. Want to learn more about the healing properties of oregano and other essential oils and how to safely use oils like oregano that are high in phenols? Consider becoming a certified aromatherapist. Educational courses in healing energy and aromatherapy can help you understand how essential oils heal the body/mind/spirit.
Check this out for more information on learning to heal through the art of aromatherapy as a clinical aromatherapist. http://www.ISHAaromatherapy.com For educational courses on healing energy and the laying-on of hands, you can go to http://www.HTSpiritualMinistry.com You can also read more about aromatherapy and oregano essential oil in Linda Smith's books: Called into Healing, Reclaiming our Judeo-Christian Legacy of Healing Touch, and Healing Oils Healing Hands, Discovering the Power of Prayer, Hands On Healing and Anointing. You can find these books and much more on my web site at http://www.ISHAhealing.com/HealingStore/tabid/348/Default.aspx