by Dr. David K. Hill Oregano

More than Just a Spice, Oregano Essential Oil and its Therapeutic Benefits by Dr. David K. Hill
An ever growing body of research is positive and suggestive of additional study and inquisition into the powerful healing attributes of essential oils. There is growing interest for personal use to improve health and modern medical science is validating its therapeutic benefit. The medicinal use of essential oils is well documented and has been readily considered to be one of the most potent forms of natural medicine. The need for more cost effective and intuitive approaches to healthcare along with public demand has increased the popularity of essential oils exponentially. They are readily available as key components in a variety of health and beauty products and as individual commodities.
For those who utilize essential oils personally along with a growing number of Health Care providers who are incorporating more holistic therapies, there has been greater acceptance and openness regarding the benefit and simplicity with which they can be
incorporated into models of health. Various maladies and a host of ailments along with an almost endless list of practical uses are all within the scope of the medicinal value of pure essential oils. Oregano essential oil is certainly no exception.
Within the plant family of Lamiaceae is the genus Origanum consisting of more than 44 specific species and at least 6 different subspecies. In addition there are 18 or more naturally occurring hybrids and 3 botanical varieties. Included within this host of plants are several types of the unmistakably herbaceous and potent oregano. Revered for its traditional role as a cooking herb many are now discovering the vast health benefits associated with the essential oil of oregano. Although many differing species and subspecies exist, most oregano available is considered non-therapeutic and best suited for cooking. Generally only two species are revered for their medicinal potential. Thymus capitatus, (Spanish oregano) primarily found
in Spain and Origanum vulgare which is predominant throughout the rest of the Mediterranean. In a process known as chemical polymorphism these two distinct oregano plants develop specific and potent chemistry.
Wild crafted Origanium vulgare L. within the subspecies of hirtum seems to be especially potent. Carvacrol is a phenolic monoterpene present in many essential oils of the family Lamiaceae. As a primary compound comprising of 60% or more of the chemical profile of the subspecies hirtum, oregano has proven to be invaluable for many differing health circumstances. Typically most users of oregano for health practices give great value to its strong antimicrobial benefit. Indeed origanum vulgare due primarily to its phenolic compounds of carvicrol and thymol, it is far superior to many other essential oils in this regard. As is the circumstance with many essential oils its antimicrobial benefit is not limited to one strain of bacterium

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