Used both topically and internally, oil of oregano is naturally potent against harmful organisms. Researchers have found that it is very effective specifically in fighting yeast, bacterial and fungal infections. Not to be confused with the spice oregano, which is actually oregano marjoram, the essential oil of oregano is distilled from the leaves of the oregano plant. The active ingredients in this product are thymol and carvacrol, which may constitute up to 90% of the oil in the highest quality of brands. It is important when purchasing this product, usually at a health food store or online, that you use a reputable dealer. Studies have shown that portions of the oil of oregano products on the market are actually made from the oregano marjoram that you can find in your cupboard. This product actually contains no therapeutic properties.
Taken internally, oil of oregano has been shown to be active against many harmful organisms. Oil of Oregano can be used to eliminate excessive amounts of the yeast candida in the body. Several weeks of continuous use have been shown to support even the most difficult cases of yeast infection.
Oregano oil has received much attention for its ability to combat fungal infections of the nail. Also referred to as onychomycosis, this common condition accounts for nearly half of all nail disorders and can become quite unsightly and painful. Beginning as a light colored spot under the tip of the fingernail, this fungus will continue to spread until the entire nail becomes thick and yellow with crumbling edges.
If nothing is used to destroy the fungus, the problem will worsen and eventually the nail will have a distorted shape, the color may become green, brown, or black, and the fingertips may begin to emit a foul odor. At this point the fingers might also be the source of some discomfort and even pain.
Fortunately, fingernail or toenail fungus does not have to be accepted as a distasteful part of life. There are many options available to eradicate the fungus that causes this unpleasant condition. Over the counter and prescription medications are available, however, it is gentler on sensitive skin and typically costs less to use a natural remedy.
There are no known negative drug interactions associated with oregano oil. However, it is quickly absorbed and should be taken with food to prevent upset stomach and heartburn. Although oregano oil is much gentler than many chemicals used for nail fungus, it may irritate sensitive skin, especially around the eyes and should never be used on the skin at full strength. If using this volatile oil topically it should always be diluted with another pure vegetable oil. Before using this product it is wise to do an allergy test by swabbing some of the oil on the inner arm. If the skin becomes red, swollen, or itchy, do not use it on other parts of the body.
Once the fungus has been eradicated and the nail is completely healthy, it is vital to take steps to ensure that the fungus does not return. When your hands are to be exposed to water for prolonged periods of time, use rubber gloves and make sure to give the gloves ample time to dry inside out after use. Keeping nails clean and trimmed is important because fungus can make a home under the nail. Never pick at hangnails or other skin around the nails; germs can more easily find a way into your nails if the skin is not intact.
If you are suffering from nail fungus, it may be necessary to discontinue using nail polish or artificial nails as they can trap moisture under the polish and encourage the growth of fungus. If you typically have your nails done at a salon, be sure that they understand the importance of properly sterilizing all manicure equipment. It is also important to keep the hands clean, especially after contacting fungus that may reside on other fingernails or toenails because of the contagious nature.