My significant other works at a small professional office and not long after she started working there she found that her officemates were big boosters of ‘Oil of Oregano’ as a cure for, well, basically anything. Your child has a cold? Use Oil of Oregano. You have a headache? Oil of Oregano. Severed limb? Oil of Oregano!
Not being terribly familiar with Oil of Oregano I took to my books and the venerable but often misleading Internet to bone up on the subject. My previous experience with this told me that as a topical anti-bacterial, oil of oregano does indeed have some legitimate qualities that would probably be useful in a pinch if you had no other way to treat an external infection.
Giardia is on the run
from Oil of Oregano?
The web, as it turns out, is chock full of interesting articles about this miracle cure, but unfortunately most of the articles are chock full of nothing more than anecdotes about how wonderful this oil is. In a brief search I found that oil of oregano is supposedly good for treatment of colds, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, bladder infections, kidney infections, peptic ulcers, fatigue, headaches, allergies, bad breath, indigestion, parasites such as Giardia Lambia, cold sores, puncture wounds, dandruff, warts, athlete’s foot, boils, nail fungus, bed sores, head lice, ringworm, psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, back pain, and a whole lot more. In short, oil of oregano can not only make everyone multi-millionaires who are constantly happy and never pay taxes, but it can also ensure world peace.
Let’s face it, any time that a product has a list of ailments it can cure that is this long, one just has to raise an eyebrow and ask about how realistic something like this could possibly be. As it turns out, a great deal of the hullaballoo over oil of oregano stems from a few small studies done in test tubes. As the website sciencebasedpharmacy.com so eloquently puts it:
“Oil of oregano is a great example of how test tube studies can be misleadingly exaggerated to imply meaningful effects in humans. With oil of oregano, a few small studies have been conducted, mainly in the lab, and believers argue we should expect the same thing when we take it orally.”
Ultimately there are a few studies that show that oil of oregano has some anti-bacterial properties in the test tube (or petrie dish as the case may be), but many of the naturopathic medical folks have connected dots between these few small studies and reality. In fact, when looking at the pro-oil of oregano websites one finds the same references to a University of Tennessee study cited over and over again as justification that this miracle cure can solve all medical problems equally well. Readers seem to be encouraged to ‘try it on what ails you’ and of course most of these sites also have links for you to purchase their oil of oregano products.
What strikes me as perhaps the most amusing aspect of this is that these office dwellers who are all educated but not in the sciences, believe that the delivery system that is most effective for Oil of Oregano is to rub it on one’s feet! I kid you not; for some reason the best way to deliver this wonder drug is through the well-established time-honored drug delivery system that is the soles of our feet. This is so ridiculous I don’t even know where to begin. All I can think is that at some point some reflexology therapists got themselves into the Oil of Oregano craze and decided that putting this oil on the bottoms of one’s feet is an effective way to delivery the drug to all parts of the body to enact the miracle cure that is surely forthcoming.
As with anything like this, the real danger lies in people foregoing western medicine for serious complaints, like Cancer, Asthma, or diabetes in favor of an oil of oregano cure/treatment. This can quite obviously lead to some serious problems, and for this reason if no other it’s important that we write blog posts like this to keep folks educated as much as possible. Even if one person is inspired to think twice, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.