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That way the 1 percent [of bacteria] that wasn’t susceptible to the oregano oil will be susceptible to perhaps the next agent that you try.” Like conventional antibiotics, oil of oregano may also kill off healthy bacteria in the body, which leaves the immune system vulnerable.
“You always, always, always want to get probiotics,” Dazey said. You can have some die off of that bacteria, but actually you’ll feel worse before you feel better.” .
The most abundant volatile compound found in different species of oregano is carvacrol — a fragrant phenol that gives oregano its signature smell and many of its medicinal properties, according to .
This far more potent substance has a broad range of medicinal uses.
According to a 2011 study published in the , oregano essential oil distilled from a Moroccan species of oregano demonstrated antimalarial activity in addition to being a powerful antioxidant.
The researchers also found oregano essential oil may act against human breast cancer cells.
The most common medicinal species of oregano used in modern times, Origanum vulgare, originally grew wildly on Greek mountainsides. Using oil of oregano distilled from local oregano may have certain benefits, Morris said.
Its name supposedly derives from the Greek term “oros ganos,” which translates to “joy of the mountain,” according to the popular story. Oregano seeds made it over to North America about 200 years ago, where the species continues to flourish, Dazey said. Dazey, for example, grows oregano in her garden in the Pacific Northwest while Artemis Morris, N. She hypothesizes that herbs and plants develop specific resistance mechanisms to bacteria, insects and fungi in their environment — when we eat these plants, we benefit from the defense mechanisms plants have been developing for thousands of years.