EDITED TO ADD: HOME CANNING, INCLUDING PRESERVING IN OIL, CARRIES THE RISK OF FOOD BORNE ILLNESS SUCH AS BOTULISM. THIS IS RARE BUT POSSIBLE, AND MY OVERACTIVE INTEGRITY WON’T ALLOW ME TO *NOT* MENTION IT. IF YOU PLAN TO MAKE OIL INFUSIONS AT HOME, PLEASE READ THE CDC PAGE ON BOTULISM, AND PLEASE USE YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE KIDDOS. ♥
Oil of oregano is one of the most widely respected and commonly used herbal remedies. Just ask any crunchy mama about her go-to cure-all for colds, flus and everyday infections, and I’m willing to bet that 9 out of 10 will include this traditional medicine.
And luckily (and because I’m me, and I think it matters), science agrees! Oil of oregano has been laboratory tested again and again, and has proven itself as a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent. Oil of oregano has successfully been shown to fight everything from candida yeast to protozoan parasites. So seriously, this isn’t just another “woo-woo” hippie fix. Oil of oregano is totally legit.
a large bunch of oregano – about 2 cups loose packed leaves
1 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
a muddler (or mortar + pestle, but a muddler is preferable)
a glass container with a lid, such as a canning jar
Carefully wash the oregano with water, and pat it dry. Pluck the leaves from the stems (save the stems for your homemade veggie stock!) until you have about 2 cups worth of leaves.
Transfer about a 1/2 cup of the oregano leaves to the glass container. Use the muddler to mush them around the bottom of the glass. You want to get them good and smooshed so the cell walls burst and they release their oils.
They’ll shrink down a lot, and quickly. Add the rest of the leaves about a 1/2 cup at a time, until all 2 cups have been muddled.
I love the light in these photos – it’s harsh, and it’s very yellow. That’s the light of autumn!
Now, pour the oil over the leaves and use the muddler to stir everything around a bit. It’s best if the oil is a little warm, which you can accomplish by using either a microwave or by letting the oil sit in a pot of hot water. Either way, it will help the infusion if the oil’s warm.
The oil will need to infuse for at least a week, but ideally two. Keep it in a cool place away from direct sunlight, and give it a little shakey swirl every few days. It will darken to a rich brown color.
When it’s finished infusing, strain the oil using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store the oil in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, in the refrigerator, and administer as needed.
I’ll be using this all-natural antimicrobial powerhouse to keep our immune systems going strong all winter. Watch out, germy germs!
Edited to add:
Well dangit grad school brain! I suppose I should include some actual instructions for use, eh?
So for myself, I usually take it orally, 3-5 drops in water once a day. I do this if I’m feeling run down or feel a cold coming on. In this way, I use it prophylactically. Of course I’ll also do this if I already have the cold, to help speed my recovery. Oil of oregano is anti-inflammatory and is full of antioxidants, so it offers wonderful immune support.
Some people take it regularly whether they’re feeling down or not. I tend not to like doing this with herbal infusions/essential oils, because I believe they are strong medicine and should be reserved for actual medicinal use. But your mileage may vary. Many people take capsules regularly to help with intestinal distress and to ward off internal parasites.
Oil of oregano can also be used topically as an antimicrobial agent. Mix a few drops with a teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil and apply to a cut, or to help heal a fungal infection. This can also be applied to the gums in cases of oral distress.
And finally, you can make a DIY hand sanitizer by mixing 10 drops of the oil with 2 tablespoon of coconut oil (or 20 drops in a 1/4 cup for a larger batch). Rub this on your hands throughout the day, to keep the germs away.
Hope that helps! And please let us know – how do YOU use oil of oregano?
♥ ♥ ♥