Herpes is a is a highly contagious skin infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus comes in two types: HSV1 which causes cold sores and blisters, and HSV2 which causes genital herpes. While this infection can occur in any area of the body, the most common parts they affect are the mouth and genitals. Herpes can be quickly transferred from one person to another. It can be spread through sex, direct contact with an infected person, using items belonging to an infected individual, or even by an infected mother to her newborn child. No clear cure is yet available for herpes. As a way to deal with the discomforts of this disease, sufferers have undergone different therapies and turned to various unproven treatments out of sheer desperation. Some treatments involve chemicals that are synthetic, unpleasant and expensive. A few are fortunate enough to find some relief, while most will have to look elsewhere for other treatments that are gentler, less expensive and more effective.
While waiting for a real cure to come along, herpes sufferers have tried other forms of treatment to manage symptoms and outbreaks of the disease. One alternative treatment is the use of oregano oil. For people who have tried costly yet ineffective pharmaceutical solutions to fight herpes, turning to natural treatments like oil of oregano is a welcome prospect.
What is Oil of Oregano?
Before you dismiss oregano oil treatment as a mystical folk cure, you should understand that it is a tried and proven natural treatment backed by science and years of research. Oregano oil is not just your regular condiment in your kitchen’s spice rack. It is a powerful essential oil derived from the oregano plant and is known to treat various fungal and viral diseases, which include herpes. The components found in this plant-based essential oil are natural antibiotics. The herb’s oil has been used for ages as a traditional cure for many forms of infection. It was just after the second world war that oregano oil became popular in the United States for medicinal use. Medicinal oregano oil is derived from the wild oregano plant (Origanum vulgare) which grows in abundance in the Mediterranean area, as well as the European and Asian highlands. The oregano shrub which possesses antibiotic properties is different from the kitchen variety, Origanum majoricum, that’s popular in Italian cooking which is. We take a more in-depth look at oregano oil in What is Oregano Oil?
How Oil of Oregano Fights Herpes
Oil of oregano is comprised of different active compounds, the primary of which is carvacrol. This component gives oregano oil its powerful antiviral properties that fight harmful microbes, even those that have developed some resistance to antibiotics. The herpes virus is capable of penetrating the body cells’ membrane and binding to it, especially if the immune system is weak. Traditional antibiotics often fail to effectively break through the membrane to fight the herpes virus where they are most vulnerable. Oregano oil succeeds where conventional antibiotics fail. It effectively breaks down and dissolves the lipid layer of the cell membrane, and inhibits the spread of the herpes virus before more breakouts occur. The oil can subdue the virus no matter what stage of maturity it is in, and inhibit its development. Once this is accomplished, it strengthens the immune system to discourage further viral replication and infection of another host. The reason most commercial antibiotics fall short in herpes treatment is that they only go after the symptoms but not getting rid of the fundamental cause itself. Most studies have shown that oil of oregano has a distinct advantage over regular antiviral medications. Herpes treatment by oregano oil has not only become conventional, but it has also proved to be superior.
Two Forms of Oregano Oil
Oil of oregano is manufactured in two forms, the capsule, and liquid form. You can choose the form that is most suitable for you. However you take it, oregano oil will be just as effective.
A tincture is the most popular way for users to take oregano oil as it offers more variable options. The liquid form generally comes diluted with a carrier oil to facilitate topical application. Carrier oils are often made of almond, olive, grapeseed, or other types of suitable oil. It is also available in pure undiluted form. Use some caution when using pure oregano oil. In its undiluted form, it can cause prickling or burning sensation on the skin if directions are not followed properly.
If you need to take oregano oil orally and quickly, then the capsule form is a more convenient choice. They generally come in bottles of 30, 60, and 90 soft gel capsules, with doses ranging from as low as 25 mg to as high as 600 mg. Softgel capsules are made from either plant or animal sources.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Oregano Oil
Since it is a natural essential oil, it is important that you choose the product with the best quality. Here are some things you need to consider when looking for high-quality oregano oil.
Not all oregano-based oils are of the same quality. Quality of the oils depends on the country of origin, the type of plant used, the time of harvest, how it was processed, and whether it was organically raised. Plant sources include the wild oregano found in the Mediterranean, the Spanish oregano, and the Mexican variety. Although the Mediterranean oregano (Origanum vulgare) is known to be the most potent, various comparative studies have shown that other sources are effective as well.
Purity and Quality
Oregano oil that has high purity will likewise be of higher quality. Higher quality means more nutrients are retained after the oil has been processed. Be aware of the product contains unnecessary solvents or fillers. Rather, look for oregano oil that is raw and unprocessed, undiluted and steam-distilled.
Amount of Carvacrol Present
You might fall into the conclusion that carvacrol can solve all your problems. While it is indeed essential, it is also important to know that other active components like thymol and eugenol are retained during the steam-distillation process. These components combined with carvacrol work synergistically to fight herpes. There is around 50 to 85 percent of carvacrol in most brands of oregano oil. Expect it to be more expensive as carvacrol potency is increased.
The Benefits of Treating Herpes with Oregano Oil
Integrating the use of oregano oil into your diet and lifestyle regimen can reap you a lot of health benefits. As far as treating herpes is concerned, the benefits include:
- Clear out lesions
- Longer outbreak prevention
- Decreased severity of symptoms
- Ideal for oral, topical and aromatic application
- Superior to conventional antiviral drugs
- Has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties
- Get rid of parasites naturally
- More affordable than commercially-sold drugs
- The prescription formulation is very powerful
- Minimal to zero side effects if used according to direction
- Contains beneficial and potent antioxidants
- Can be used in combination with home remedies
How to Use Oregano Oil To Treat Herpes
Oil of oregano accomplishes its work in two stages during the treatment of herpes. In the first stage, carvacrol leads the way and attacks the tough cell membrane that shields the herpes virus. The strong membrane where the virus hides behind makes them resistant to commercial drugs which are practically useless in treating herpes. Oregano oil breaks down and penetrates this tough protective barrier and delivers potent natural antibiotics that fight the herpes virus.
The second step in herpes treatment involves the destruction of the herpes virus. Commercial antibiotics find it hard to fight herpes because herpes virus has the ability to cling and hide behind cells. This makes them undetectable to the body’s immune system and allows them to reside inside the cells virtually forever. Once the cell membrane is broken down, it is easy to reach the offensive virus and destroy it. Oregano oil can be taken orally in capsules or applied topically to the affected areas. You can also use it orally and topically for faster healing inside and outside. Here are some simple directions to follow.
- Dilute 2 drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil. Apply directly to the lesions.
- Put 4-6 drops of oregano oil to 4 oz glass of water or juice. Before drinking, apply some coconut oil on your lips. As a treatment, use this mixture up to ten times a day.
- For treatment, thin down 2 to 3 drops oregano oil with a small quantity of carrier oil. Apply it right under your tongue for about 10 minutes. Do this several times during the day.
- Take soft gel capsules as prescribed.
- As prevention, apply 1 to 4 drops directly under the tongue for a minute. Drink a glass of water afterward.
- In the morning, thin out 3 drops of oregano oil in some carrier oil. Rub it on the buttocks, focusing on the lower spine area and covering a 2 to 4-inch span. Repeat at night.
Potential Side Effects of Oregano Oil
At the moment, there is no set limit as to what maximum amount of oregano oil is safe to ingest daily. It is recommended to give the body ample time to adjust, especially when using oregano oil for the first time. The improper use of this oil can bring about some unwanted side effects like:
- Hot or prickling sensation
- Breakout of rashes
- Itching skin
- Skin inflammation
If you are pregnant, scheduled for a surgery, taking blood thinners, or simply allergic to oregano and similar plants, you should stay clear of oregano oil. For more information on oregano oil side effects, read “Possible Side Effects Of Oregano Oil”.