There are numerous ways to temporarily soothe a sore throat. Ibuprofen, throat lozenges, and lemon and honey all ease the pain of a sore throat for a short while. But none of these remedies work to actually speed the healing process, they only alleviate the pain. Oil of Oregano, on the other hand, effectively combats viruses, bacteria and yeast, the three main causes of sore throats. Also a powerful pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, oregano oil offers effective, non-narcotic pain relief as well as healing benefits.
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Finding True Oil of Oregano
True medicinal oregano differs greatly from the spice found on supermarket shelves. According to Dr. Cass Ingram's "The Cure is in the Cupboard: How to Use Oregano for Better Health," medicinal oregano essential oils are derived from Origanum vulgare, plants that grow wild in countries like Turkey and Greece. Dr. Ingram warns that much of what is packaged and sold as oregano and oregano oil in the United States is actually thyme or marjoram, which do not offer oregano’s medicinal benefits.
When shopping for oil of oregano for medicinal purposes, it’s important to choose one with at least 70% carvacrol, a natural phenol which inhibits bacterial growth. Oils with lesser carvacrol concentration will not be as effective.Before you buy, check the ingredient list. If olive oil is listed higher than oregano oil, the product is too diluted to be truly beneficial.
It’s also important that the oil of oregano is derived from wild rather than farmed plants. The mineral-rich soil in which wild oregano grows offers great health benefits not found in farmed oregano. Wild oregano is also grown free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers that can be harmful to the body.
Administering Oil of Oregano
Begin taking oil of oregano at the first signs of a sore throat. After all, a sore throat is often the first symptom of an impending viral infection such as a cold or the flu. Dr. Ingram recommends mixing “a few” drops with salt water and gargling several times per day. Because the concentration varies from product to product, you may want to start with just two drops then increase your dosage gradually. He also recommends applying two drops beneath the tongue twice daily until your sore throat and any other cold or flu symptoms have subsided.
Because oil of oregano has a very strong taste, even when diluted, putting a few drops inside a gelatin capsule is another option, especially for children. Mixing the oil with honey or juice will also make it more palatable.
Results from treatment are often noticeable within the first few hours.