Oil of Oregano: Placebo or Panacea

As of Jan 16th, 2012 it will have been a year since my last *illness*. No colds, no flu, nothing worse than a headache has darkened my door in a year. Sure, I can have a evening of pre-cold - you know the feeling, throat scratchy, eyes not up to par, body is cold; but the next morning, I’m right as rain again.

The source to this health: Oil of Oregano. Religious and liberal usage. 

When in doubt, OoO.

 

Numerous university studies have shown that Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. It is a natural substance that is extracted from wild oregano plants, and two key compounds found in it are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds have significant effects on harmful micro-organisms that cause many illnesses in humans. 

The ancient Greeks were one of the first people to recognize this oil for its health benefits and medicinal qualities. It is known to be a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can reduce pain and inflammation and effectively fight off infections. 

Some of the specific benefits of Oil of Oregano are:

  • Destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Increasing joint and muscle flexibility.
  • Improving respiratory health.

—- Excerpt from Home Remedies Web

 

Or course, there are various sites scattered throughout the internet espousing both criticism and praise for the oil, and neither camp really seems to have a definitive answer as to the medicinal effects. Science Based Pharmacy is a fairly right-wing site with a bend towards anything anti-homeopathy.

Unfortunately there are many more sites that praise the effects of Oil of Oregano, and suggest it can cure everything from colitis to warts. I’m not even going to suggest that it’s the magical cure-all for everything, but I *have* been cold free for a year now, and I *have* been taking OoO regularly. Maybe there’s a relationship, maybe there’s not. Maybe it *is* a placebo for me. And if that’s the case, I’m still thrilled. It’s tricky to find scientific, non-biased research on the actual effectiveness of the oil, but there are a few citations below:

The Toronto Star has a fairly non-biased account, but it’s from 2007.

Positive *trials* have been documented by Science Daily, but those published results were from 2001.

Livestrong.com has reasonable research citations of both positive and negative, with an emphasis on more research being required.

Reading through the swathes of internet documentation, with an eye towards critical thought, one thought ocurred to me. Oil of Oregano (or some sites that are praising the properties) has be heralded as a cure for virtually anything, and improves your overall health, well being, weight and happiness. Huh, that sort of sounds like something else. All that for only $25 a bottle, and no multi-level marketing pyramid scheme attached.

Are you an Oil of Oregano convert? I am :-D