Oregano Oil For Cold Relief: How To Use It And Contraindications

Oregano essential oil is related to respiratory health, which is why it is used in folk medicine for the treatment of colds and flu . We show you how to do it and its possible benefits.

Oregano is an aromatic plant that belongs to the mint family. Its oil is popular thanks to its antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. By tradition, many people use oregano oil for respiratory health and to treat colds and flu.

The oil is obtained from various parts of the plant and is consumed in different presentations. Most of these are found in health food stores as supplements, tincture, or aromatic essential oil. The latter for external use and aromatherapy.

Find out how to use it, as well as the benefits and contraindications of oregano oil to treat cold and flu symptoms.

Oil of oregano benefits

Oregano contains several compounds with properties on human health, such as rosmarinic acid, thymol and carvacrol. This composition is the base that provides the effects, among which the following stand out.

Oregano in a bowl.

1. Antibiotic

According to an ongoing study, oregano can fight bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus , one of the most common causes of food poisoning and skin infections. Additionally, the oil may help fight some antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

2. Lowering cholesterol

Oil of oregano could lower cholesterol, according to a scientific study. Those who received the treatment increased their level of good cholesterol, while the bad one decreased compared to those who only practiced diet advice.

3. Antioxidant

A study with other similar herbs found that oregano contains 3 to 30 times higher levels of antioxidants when compared to thyme, St. John’s wort, and marjoram. The antioxidant content of oregano oil is higher than in some fruits and vegetables.

4. Improves intestinal health

Oregano can improve intestinal symptoms caused by parasites, such as bloating, pain, and diarrhea. According to one study, all participants experienced a reduction in the presence of invading organisms and a high percentage were cured. Likewise, it would be useful against the condition known as leaky gut .

5. Anti-inflammatory properties

A study in progress reveals that oregano essential oil can reduce inflammation  thanks to one of its components, carvacrol. Despite the advances, more research in humans is still required.

6. Could treat yeast infections

Test tube studies have established the idea that oregano oil is effective against five different types of Candida, a fungus that affects the mouth and intimate area. It is considered even more effective than other proven oils. The Candida is in the form of yeast and cause infections when its growth is excessive.

7. Relieves pain

An ongoing study found that oregano oil had similar effects to commonly used pain relievers like morphine. This property is due to one of its substances called carvacrol , however, human studies are still needed to verify its total effectiveness.

8. Could help you lose weight

According to research, oregano oil could help you lose weight, since carvacrol would reverse the chain of events that form fat cells. However, there is still no conclusive evidence in humans.

How to use oregano oil to treat a cold?

Thanks to the properties of oregano oil, it can help fight bacteria, relieve congestion in the respiratory tract, and also serve as an anti-inflammatory. In the case of the cold, the two most common ways to use it are inhalation and gargle.

Inhaling steam with oil of oregano

  1. Place a pot of water on the heat, bring it to a boil, lower the pot from the heat, add two to three drops of oregano oil and cover the pot.
  2. You should have some towels prepared in advance to cover the shoulders, back, head and, finally, the pot. This way you can keep the heat in the container for longer.
  3. Once you have steps 1 and 2 ready, place the pot still covered on a table just below the nose.
  4. Make sure you are warm and carefully uncover the container. Breathe the steam in through your nose for about 6 to 12 minutes. This will help to release the mucus in your nostrils.
  5. Avoid drafts and feeling cold during and after decongestant mist.

For cases with a sore throat

  1. In a glass of warm water, pour one to two drops of oregano oil.
  2. Now with small sips, gargle for about half a minute.
  3. Repeat until the water is finished. This will help you reduce inflammation in the area.

How to use it to treat bronchitis and cough?

Another of the properties of oregano oil is its potential as an expectorant. It thins mucus, relieving symptoms of bronchitis. There are two ways to treat it.

How to do a steam inhalation

  1. Put a pot of water on the fire, when it reaches the boiling point, lower it off the heat, add two to three drops of oregano oil and cover the pot.
  2. While the water is boiling, place towels to cover the back, shoulders, and head. Also, have a towel for the pot. This way you can keep the heat in the container for longer.
  3. On a stool or table, place the pot still covered just under the nose.
  4. Carefully uncover the pot and breathe in the steam for about 6 to 12 minutes. This will help loosen the mucus.
  5. Avoid drafts during and after inhalation.

How to apply oregano oil on the chest

  1. In a small bowl, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil with 5 to 8 drops of oregano oil and stir for a few seconds.
  2. Using warm hands, smear the fingertips with the mixed oil and rub it gently on the chest.
  3. It is important that you stay warm during and after treatment.
Oregano essential oil.

Oregano oil contraindications

Be careful not to use an excessive dose of oregano oil. You should know that it is made with a high concentration. If you exaggerate in taking too much or using it for a long enough period, effects can be generated by its portion of thymol.

Among the most common side reactions are skin and eye allergies, nausea and vomiting, dyspepsia, and skin rashes. Scientific research to support its use in pregnant women and children is still lacking, so it is recommended not to apply oregano oil in both cases.

Use oregano oil for colds with care

The benefits of oregano oil are helpful. It even has antioxidants in higher amounts than some fruits and vegetables. However, remember that more extensive studies are still required to fully understand its function.

Oil of oregano can be used to alleviate some common health problems (cold and flu), but you must ingest or apply the proper doses. Read the recommendations established by the manufacturer.

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