Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Outstanding Oil of Oregano

I've always been one to keep my word :-) In my last post, I mentioned that I had a lot to share since my pregnancy with baby K and that includes some new and rediscovered 'tools' of the (holistic) trade I've picked up in my time away.

We had a bout of the sniffles in the house a couple of months after K was born and in true chicken and egg style, everyone just kept reinfecting everyone else. Don't you just love when that happens? K went through a few weeks of alternating between a runny and a blocked nose and although he didn't have fever thankfully, he was uncomfortable enough for me to drop everything else and focus on fixing it (Cue Frozen's "Fixer Upper"). The issue with an infant is that you can't really use many of the remedies I listed in my My First Aid Box post and even though you could technically take huge doses of Vitamin C, Echinacea, garlic or GSE when you're breastfeeding, you can't help but wonder what that will do their little, fragile tummies. Sigh.

So there I was, yet again, on a journey to find something that would be gentle yet effective. Enter Oil of Oregano. Hmm not a new remedy to me by any means. I had taken it internally a few times during a stubborn case of sore throat some years ago. I had also used it on R & Z externally when they were sick with a similarly stubborn case of flu. I even mentioned it in an old post as a go-to for very stubborn infections!! I hadn't ever used it when R & Z were babies however and when we got hit by this latest viral attack, I was desperate. One option would have been to take the Oregano myself; since I was breastfeeding, baby could reap its benefits via me. As I said above though, there was still an indirect effect on his tummy to consider PLUS (and probably more importantly) Oregano can decrease milk supply. Well that effectively killed the idea. Who would have thunk it? So upon doing some research and reading through my various books at home, I came to the conclusion that the oil can be quite effective when applied to the skin. Of course infants are still very sensitive in the early stages of life and so all you really need is 1 drop massaged onto the soles of each foot or 1 drop massaged down the spine. Both sites are good choices as they absorb the oils effectively and the soles, in particular, enable the oil to enter the bloodstream quicker. Remember that all pure essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil e.g. almond, sunflower oil. Use a ratio of 1 drop to a tablespoon of oil. Or you can buy a pre-mixed oil like the one I recommend in my Where to Buy section. It took 2 days of doing this continuously to see a vast improvement in K's demeanour (yes with a u!). No more waking from sleep screaming due to a blocked nose=more sleep for me. Yay!

So, why does it work?

The oil is distilled from the flowers and leaves of the Oregano plant and contains a compound called Carvacrol. Carvacrol has the ability to arrest the growth of bacteria and other pathogens which makes it invaluable in both the prevention and cure of infections. This compound can also be found in Thyme which is why it is one of my favourite oils for chest infections.

A recurring theme in my past musings has been "prevention is better than cure" and I would be remiss if I didn't point out that incorporating this oil into your regular routine with baby or your older children can do wonders in warding off the nasties, especially during the winter. Happy to say that since I started this regimen, K hasn't had a single cold despite being in close proximity to flu-ridden hubby!

"So he's a bit of a fixer-upper,
But we know what to do
The way to fix up this fixer-upper
Is to fix him up with Oil of Oreganoo!"

~S~


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