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Bronchitis

Oregano Oil & Bronchitis

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi, which are the small air passages that bring air from the trachea into the lungs. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or by irritants such as smoke and dust.

There are two types of bronchitis – acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is most often the result of a viral infection and commonly follows an upper respiratory tract infection. It is characterized by cough, which may or may not be accompanied by sputum production, fever, nasal congestion and sore throat. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand, is most commonly caused by irritants such as cigarette smoking. It is characterized by cough accompanied by mucus production that lasts for at least three months for two consecutive years.

How can oregano oil help reduce the risk of bronchitis?

Oregano oil has antiviral (Astani, et al., 2009) and antibacterial (Hersch-Martinez, et al., 2005) properties which give it potential to help relieve bronchitis. These properties help fight the disease right at its cause. To prove the efficacy of the antibacterial property of oregano oil, researchers conducted a study which was published at the Journal of Applied Microbiology in February of 2000. They reported that oregano oil is effective against 25 different kinds of bacteria (Dorman and Deans).

Aside from targeting the cause of bronchitis, oregano oil also eases the symptoms caused by the disease. It contains carvacrol, flavonoids and terpenes which are known to be natural decongestants. It also acts as an expectorant, helping to bring out the mucous produced in the lungs and respiratory airways, and as an antitussive which eases coughing. Oregano oil can also help alleviate sore throat, which may accompany the coughing.

How is oregano oil used in bronchitis?

Oregano oil can be taken internally by drinking one to two drops every day. This can be mixed with juice or honey in order for it to be more palatable.

For sore throat, a common symptom of bronchitis, one could take three drops of oregano oil each day for five days. This could again be mixed with juice or honey, and results could be seen in as fast as a few hours.

Combine 1 drop of full strength oregano oil with 10 to 50 drops of extra virgin olive oil in a medicine dropper bottle. Place a few drops of this solution under the nose to relieve congestion. You can also add this in vaporizers or air diffusers to be inhaled.

Please do not take oregano oil full strength, without diluting it as it can burn your mouth, lips and tongue. This is not for pregnant and lactating mothers. Also, the elderly and very young children, as well as those with medical conditions or taking medications should consult a doctor before using oregano oil internally.

Oregano oil is indeed a magical substance that can treat a wide range of illnesses including bronchitis. Just don’t confuse the real oregano oil with the common oregano herb used for cooking, the Origanum Marjoram. Keep one on your medicine cabinet and you might just find yourself reaching for it more often than you thought you would.

References:

Astani A., Reichling J. and Schnitzler P. Comparative study on the antiviral activity of selected monoterpenes derived from essential oils. Phytotherapy Research. 2009 Aug 3.

Dorman H.J. and Deans, S.G. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2000; 88(2): 308-316.

Hersch-Martinez P., Leaños-Miranda B.E. and Solorzano-Santos F. Antibacterial effects of commercial essential oils over locally prevalent pathogenic strains in Mexico. Fitoterapia. 2005; 76(5): 453-457.