Essential oils, including oregano oil, have gained significant popularity due to their diverse applications, ranging from culinary uses to aromatherapy. Oregano oil, in particular, comes in two forms: the edible oregano oil extract and the topical oregano essential oil.
These oils, especially renowned for their role in Italian cooking and their anti-fungal and antibiotic properties, have more to offer than meets the eye. Interestingly, the compounds in oregano oil may even contribute to better sleep!
In this discussion, we’ll delve into the potential effects of taking oregano oil before bedtime and explore other potential health benefits this versatile oil may provide.
What to Expect
Oregano oil is extracted from the oregano herb plant, which is native to the Mediterranean region, although you can now find them almost everywhere, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.
In folk medicine, it has also been used to treat snake bites, relieve premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and treat respiratory problems like asthma and cough.
More and more people are now gravitating towards essential oils as natural sleep aids to help them fight insomnia and have a relaxing and rejuvenating sleep.
If you’ve been wondering whether oregano oil can help you sleep better at night, read on to understand some of the potential effects of oregano oil before bed on your body system.
1. Oregano Oil Before Bed May Improve Sleep Quality
Oregano oil contains a large amount of thymol and carvacrol, 2 powerful antioxidant agents that help to fight free radicals and oxidative stress.
Free radicals are responsible for many health issues and diseases, including cell death, arthritis, atherosclerosis, and even some cancers. These free radicals can also cause oxidative stress that will keep the body tensed and unable to relax fully.
Taking an oregano oil supplement or topically applying essential oregano oil before bed can help you combat these free radicals, leaving your body more relaxed to get a rejuvenating night’s rest.
2. May Help With Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when a person has difficulty breathing when sleeping. That is, the person’s breathing stops and repeatedly starts during sleep. This condition is usually characterized by restlessness during sleeping and poor quality of sleep.
This condition can be linked to the level of cholesterol in the body. According to the study, people with a low amount of “good cholesterol” in the body were more susceptible to sleep apnea.
Oregano oil has been claimed to help correct this condition.
According to the study, 3 months after using oregano distillate, an increase in the level of good cholesterol was noticed among the subjects.
Another study on mice fed a high-fat diet for 10 months discovered that carvacrol, the main compound in oregano oil, helped lower their cholesterol level.
So, if you’ve been battling sleep apnea and other related symptoms, you may want to invest in an oregano oil supplement.
3. May Cause Internal Discomforts When Used In Large Quantities
Oregano oil is also highly potent and strong.
Using it in large quantities can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the internal organs. This can cause some measure of discomfort and make sleep difficult to come by.
4. Oregano Essential Oil May Have Sedative & Anesthetic Properties
This is also linked to its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties.
So if you have allergies, especially ones related to airborne pollutants, that keep you from enjoying your sleep, you may want to invest in oregano essential oil.
Spray your room with some drops of the oil, and you may enjoy a more relaxing sleep.
5. It May Increase The Frequency Of Urination
Oregano oil is a natural diuretic. Diuretics are substances that promote the production of urine.
If you’re already on diuretic drugs, you are not recommended to take oregano oil. Apart from compounding urine production, which may cause you to stand up every 1 hour to ease yourself, oregano can also interact with the drug and cause undesirable effects.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using Oregano Oil
Due to how potent oregano oil is, there are some things to keep in mind before using it. Some of those are listed below.
If you are allergic to herbs like lavender, thyme, marjoram, basil, mint, sage, and hyssop, then you should steer clear of oregano as it shares a similar constituent and chemical structure with them.
2. Pregnant, Breastfeeding Women & Children Should Not Take It
Extensive research on the effects of oregano oil on these groups of people hasn’t been carried out yet.
However, seeing how potent the oil is, these groups of people should steer clear of it to be on the safer side.
3. It Can Interact With Other Medications
People who are on diabetic or diuretic drugs should also be careful when using oregano oil as it can interact negatively with their medications. Always consult your doctor when trying a new essential oil for the first time.
How to Use Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is available in different dosage forms, such as tablets, capsules, and elixirs. They are also available as essential oils that can be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied topically.
Under no circumstances should essential oil be consumed. Oregano essential oil should only be applied topically or as a diffuser.
Oregano oil contains mainly monoterpenoids and monoterpenes. The main compounds in oregano oil are carvacrol and thymol.
Carvacrol is a powerful antibacterial and antioxidant.
Studies show that it is effective in curbing the growth of several types of bacteria.
Oregano gets its antifungal effect from thymol. Thymol is also a powerful antioxidant.
The health benefits associated with oregano oil can be traced to its 2 main constituents – thymol and carvacrol.
Below Are Some Potential Health Benefits
1. It Can Serve As An Antibiotic
Carvacrol in oregano is a powerful antibacterial agent. Studies show that carvacrol is effective against a wide range of bacteria, including Staphylococcus.
Staphylococcus bacteria have different strains that are responsible for various infections. The good news is that carvacrol effectively eliminates most of these strains, including Staphylococcus aureus, the causative organism for chronic staph infection, and Staphylococcus epidermis, which causes different skin infections.
Additionally, reports show that oregano oil may also be effective against antibiotic-resistant diseases such as E Coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
2. Antifungal Properties
Thymol in oregano is a potent antifungal and can be effective against fungal infections like athlete’s foot, yeast infections, oral thrush, and so on.
Furthermore, a 2015 study concluded that “Thymol was found to have a fungicidal effect on Candida species.”
3. Insect Repellents
A 2017 study found that carvacrol and thymol may effectively repel disease-causing insects like mosquitoes and tick.
4. Lowering Cholesterol
In a study carried out with 48 subjects, 32 people were given a distilled form of oregano oil in the water they took after every meal.
At the end of the study, those who were given oregano oil with their meals every day reported more increase in HDL(“Good cholesterol”) and a decrease in LDL (“Bad cholesterol”) compared to those who didn’t take oregano oil with their meals.
5. Anti-Cancerous & Antioxidant Effect
The monoterpenes and monoterpenoids in oregano oil have potent anti-oxidizing properties.
Antioxidants help to fight against free radicals and oxidative stress, which are responsible for several health conditions, including some types of cancers.
6. May Be An Effective Painkiller
A study discovered that oregano essential oil might have the same effect as common painkillers like morphine and ibuprofen.
This study confirmed that the more the test subjects (mice in this case) consumed oregano, the less pain they seemed to feel.
7. May Help Treat Acne
Most acne is as a result of bacterial growth. Being an antibacterial agent, the topical application of oregano oil may effectively treat acne.
8. Good For Gut Health
Oregano oil is purported to be effective in treating intestinal parasites and the symptoms they cause, such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and so on.
These intestinal parasites are essential for food degradation; however, when they become much, they cause these symptoms.
Oregano gets rid of the excess parasites and also helps protect against a leaky gut, a condition in which the gut starts leaking, thus allowing bacteria to pass into the bloodstream.
The Bottom Line
Undoubtedly, oregano oil is a potent substance and effective in treating many health conditions. It may also prove beneficial for sleep.
However, because of how powerful its constituent is, you must seek medical advice from a health practitioner before using it. More so if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or you plan to use it for children or with diabetic or diuretic drugs.