Oregano essential oil
The essential oil of oregano is extracted through a steam distillation process from the wild oregano plant (Origanum Vulgaris) and in particular from its dried or fresh flowered parts. During this practice, the steam must be hot enough to cause the plant material to release the essential oils, but not so hot as to burn the plant. At the end of the vaporization we pass to the cooling and to the consequent condensation which produces a liquid from which the water is subsequently eliminated. What remains is the essential oil.
Scientific research has shown that this essential oil has numerous properties and applications in the medical and therapeutic field, so much so that it is used in the phytotherapic and homeopathic field as a powerful antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal, as well as medicine and traditional chemical pharmacology.
The oregano is a perennial herbaceous aromatic plant, with spontaneous growth, belonging to the Lamiaceae family, typical of Europe and in particular in the Mediterranean basin regions, but cultivated today all over the world.
The wild oregano plant can reach, in its balsamic period, that is in summer, a height of 30 centimeters and is characterized by a sublegnoso, erect and climbing stem, by small, oval and opposite leaves and by small pink flowers. purple, enclosed in terminal panicles. It is precisely the flowers that give the name to the oregano plant that derives from the Greek "oros gamos", or "splendid mountain", in reference to the beauty of the oregano flowers that covered the slopes of mountains and hills of the areas of origin (Greece and regions washed by the Mediterranean Sea).
The value and therapeutic use of this essential oil has been known since ancient times not only in the classical Greek world but also in China and where, for centuries, they are much more careful, compared to western countries, to the active and biological properties of the products natural. In the East (but not only) it was used over the centuries as a cure for diseases of the respiratory system, fevers and various infections.
It is important not to confuse wild oregano, from which the essential oil is extracted, with the spice commonly used in the kitchen to flavor numerous meat-based dishes, fish, various vegetables, as well as pizza, called marjoram oregano (Origanum majorana) with the more delicate taste and smell of the first.
The production of essential oil of oregano today it is particularly prosperous in Italy, France, Russia and Bulgaria.
CHARACTERISTICS AND PROPERTIES
The essential oil of oregano is characterized by a liquid and oily consistency and a color ranging from light yellow to amber. It has a strong, almost burning taste and a pungent, herbaceous and spicy smell.
Among the main properties found in medical research we find the anti-fungal action able to fight in particular fungi of the species Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger which attack particularly the repiratory pathways of man and of the species Candida albicans, Candida dubliniensis and Candida non-albicans .
Antibiotic action is able to suppress bacteria such as staphylococci, micrococci and bacilli as well as chemical antibiotics such as penicillin, stremptomycin and vancomycin.
Thanks to carvacrol and thymol, two of its components, it is able to fight four species of salmonella and the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, better known as "bug".
The antiseptic action of the essential oil of oregano is accompanied by an anti-inflammatory and analgesic action which researchers equate to that of opium. In fact it is able to activate, through certain types of lymphocytes, the natural anti-inflammatory system, already present in our body, making it particularly suitable for fighting joint inflammation.
Also important is its analgesic, warming and soothing value that can cure different painful conditions.
It has sedative and calming properties and is therefore capable of calming the symptoms of hyper-sensitivity, allergy, nervousness and stress.
Promotes digestion as it facilitates the secretion of gastric juices.
It regularizes the menstrual cycle and removes menopause.
Finally, being rich in antioxidants, it prevents cell aging and free radicals.
Internal use: diluted in water, mixed with drinks or herbal teas, it can be taken orally and treat inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, deficiency of the immune system, disorders of the liver and spleen, loss of appetite, diarrhea, meteorism, flu , salmonellosis.
Used in small doses in fumigations or rinses it can cure colds, bronchitis, asthma, cough, sore throat, toothache, mycosis, vaginitis, cystitis.
External use: topically, it can be used on pimples and blackheads, to facilitate absorption.
By dabbing a few drops on wounds, fissures, psoriasis, eczema, inflamed areas, bites and insect bites it promotes healing and alleviates any itching and redness.
Some drops of essential oil diluted in a lukewarm bath help relax muscles, fight cramps and menstrual spasms and ease the flow, treat rheumatic pains and soothe cutaneous infections.
Poured pure (but in small quantities: 2-3 drops) on a handkerchief and inhaled deeply it helps to fight headaches, stress and fatigue.
Massaged on fatigued limbs and muscles (duly diluted), it helps restore tissue tone and soothe pain and cramps.
Used inside a warm compress and placed on the liver during fasting practices, it helps the purification of the organism.
Rubbed on the scalp it helps the elimination of lice and slows hair loss, protecting from infections and unwanted guests.
Repeatedly massaged on cutaneous areas affected by cellulite, it produces a slight irritant effect on the epidermis able to eliminate the blemish.
The typical fresh and spicy fragrance also makes it particularly suitable for cosmetic products, perfumes and soaps, especially those for men, such as aftershaves and lotions for the care and beauty of the body which, in addition to the typical smell often mixed with woody fragrances, they also know how to exploit their antibacterial properties.
Oregano essential oil: CURIOSITY
Some drops of essential oil of oregano in some parts of the house, in addition to giving the room a good scent, they are repellent for ants and other pests.
It is not recommended during pregnancy as oral intake can cause fetal harm.
In high doses it can be irritating and stinging or even toxic to the skin, for this reason it is good to rely on the advice of a doctor and / or homeopet for dosages and practical applications.
The essential oil of oregano blends well with the essential oils of lavender, rosemary, bergamot, chamomile, cypress, cedar wood, malaleuca (tea tree), eucalyptus.
The oregano plant symbolizes eternal happiness and is, for this reason, often used in wedding bouquets.