Joy of the Mountain

Joy of the Mountain


            Marjoram has a cousin growing wild on the hillside of Greece, Origanum vulgare, Oregano.  Many of the properties of Sweet Marjoram are magnified in Oregano, known to the Greeks as the “joy of the mountain”.  As an essential oil, oregano is very antiseptic, antiviral and treats bronchitis, poor appetite, absence of menses, cellulite, sinusitis, and chronic skin problems.  The essential oil is too strong for infants and pregnant mothers.

            Oregano essential oil is spicy, stimulating and very warming.  The oil is steam distilled in mid summer when the plant blooms an umbrella of flowers.  The oil is so strong it must be diluted to prevent irritation to the skin and nose.  Leaves, soft stems and flowers produce a pale yellow and sometimes brownish colored essential oil.  There are several varieties of oregano; Greek oregano is the strongest smelling and most potent variety.

            Oregano is easy to grow.  It loves hot, dry, sunny weather and tolerates rocky soil.  In a natural habitat very little water or care is necessary.  I grow it in herb and rose beds as a ground cover.  One season’s growth can produce pounds of plant material for distillation.  One pound of oregano can produce at least one ounce of pure, uncut essential oil several times during a growing season.

            Aromatherapists often do not use oregano, especially in blends, because the aroma is so predominant.  Sweet marjoram is much milder and sweeter for blends requiring a subtle harmony.  Oregano is used for purely medicinal blends, employed as a great healer for thousands of years.  It can be used singly or blended with equally pungent, spicy and odorous essential oils.

            Oregano is one of our best antiviral, anti-fungal essential oils.  Use it in anti-fungal blends, especially on toenails and nails for the most stubborn problems.  I have used it in blends for tropical skin rotting diseases, working in the jungles of Central America, Guatemala and Mexico with excellent results.  Vietnam vets, with 30 years and more of fungal infestation, have successfully treated nails and skin with this blend.


Anti-fungal Blend


            In 1 ounce of carrier oil add the following essential oils:

                        4 drops of Oregano

                        2 drops of Tea Tree

                      10 drops of Eucalyptus

                        2 drops of Cedarwood

            Bottle in dark glass with a tight fitting screw cap.  Allow to cure overnight.  Massage onto nails and fungal growth twice daily.  Discontinue if irritation occurs on the skin and rinse thoroughly.  A reaction is rare, but can occur occasionally with strong essential oils, such as oregano.

            One of the most useful remedies for sinusitis includes oregano.  I have had many clients who avoided sinus surgery using this blend.  It can also reduce headaches and congestion.  Grapefruit seed oil is used for its antiseptic properties.




Sinus and Headache Blend


            In 1 ounce of grapefruit seed oil, or a carrier oil of your choice, add the following essential oils:

                        5 drops of Basil

                        2 drops of Oregano

                        5 drops of Lemon, or Lemongrass

                        2 drops Dalmation, or Spanish, Sage

                        1 drop  Thyme

            Bottle in dark glass with a tight fitting screw top.  Allow to cure 3 hours or overnight.  Lightly massage a few drops on the forehead, cheeks and temples, avoiding the eyes.  Repeat 2 or 3 times daily.  Wait 30 to 60 minutes between applications.

            Constipation and sluggish digestion is often remedied with a quick abdomen application of oregano oil.  Other essential oils can be added to assist oregano’s potency.  As mentioned in earlier chapters, essential oils are best diluted and applied to the skin.  It is not necessary to ingest them.  Strong essential oils, like oregano, can be toxic to the liver and kidney when ingested, even if it is diluted.  Use the skin as an immune organ to carry the benefits of oregano to its destination.  In cases of chronic constipation, it can take 30 days to change the pattern.  Those who suffer from diverticula may achieve varying results, due to poor muscle tone of the colon.  Do not use oregano when inflammation, diverticulitis occurs without your physician’s approval.  I suggest soothing blends during inflammation.  Use this blend for occasional or chronic constipation.


Regularity Blend


            In 2 ounces of carrier oil, add the following essential oils:

                          4 drops of Oregano

                          6 drops of Anise

                        10 drops of fennel

                          2 drops of Ginger root

                        10 drops of Orange

                          1 drop of Black pepper (optional)

            Bottle in dark glass with a tight fitting screw cap.  Allow to cure 3 hours, or overnight.  Massage on the abdomen using vigorous clockwise motion for several minutes.  The blend can be applied every morning or after each meal.  Use the blend within 6 months.

            Bronchitis and chronic asthma can benefit from regular aromatherapy massage.  Start with the upper back and progress to the ribs and chest.  Regular massage can greatly reduce occurrence.  If the blend is too odorous for the recipient, massage the feet with this blend on a weekly or occasional daily basis.  This blend can also be diffused into a room for quick results.  When diffusing essential oils, do not dilute them into a carrier oil.  Apply them directly into a diffuser or into 2 cups of very hot water.


Chronic Lung Conditions


            In 2 ounces of carrier oil, add the following essential oils:

                        10 drops of Lemon

                        10 drops of Eucalyptus

                        20 drops of frankincense

                          4 drops of Oregano

                          1 drop of Cedar

                          5 drops of Carrot seed oil

            Bottle in dark glass with a tight fitting screw cap.  Cure 3 hours or overnight.  Massage onto the upper back and chest every week, or daily when symptoms flair.

            Oregano can also be used as carrier oil base.  Add essential oils or apply warm to arthritic, aching, sore areas.


Oregano Carrier Oil


            Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a sauce pan.  As the oil begins to simmer, add 1 cup of fresh or freshly dried, organic oregano.  Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover 10 more minutes.  Strain into a glass jar.  Apply warm to aching joints and sore muscles, or add the following essential oils for a more potent blend.


Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Blend


            In 2 ounces of oregano carrier oil add:

                        15 drops of Peppermint

                          6 drops of Eucalyptus

                          6 drops of Clove bud

                          2 drops of Ginger

                          4 drops of Dalmatian Sage (Spanish)

            Bottle in dark glass with a tight fitting screw cap.  Allow to cure 3 hours or overnight.  Massage locally onto unbroken skin.

            Oregano hydrosol, or hydrolate, is so potent, I use it as an insect repellent.  This is the water that condenses from steam distilling oregano essential oil.  It is ready to spray on people, pets and plants to repel bugs.  Do not directly spray sensitive or broken skin, as it may be irritating.  Mist pet pillows or areas where pests can accumulate.  Add a few drops of Citronella essential oil for each cup of hydrosol and repel mosquitoes and flying insects also.  Enjoy a pest free summer with the additional healing qualities of this culinary herb.





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