Consuming oil of oregano can protect you from bacterial infections.
“The active compound in oregano, carvacrol, is antimicrobial, meaning it kills bad bacteria,” says Katzie Guy-Hamilton, certified health coach, director of food and beverage at Equinox, and author of Clean Enough.
Adding the fresh herb to your meals can keep your defenses up, but the leaves are less potent than the concentrated oils you’ll get from bottles or capsules, she notes. Oil of oregano can stave off bacterial infections like bronchitis and strep throat and help you get over them more quickly if you do come down with one.
Dilute three to five drops of the pure or therapeutic-grade essential oil (which you can find at most grocery and health food stores) in a smoothie or in a shot of lemon and ginger juice with cayenne, says Guy-Hamilton. Drink this mixture once a day during the winter, when you’re more likely to get sick; at the first sign of a bacterial illness; or anytime you’re in enclosed spaces with other people, like on a plane or at a large family gathering. She recommends high-quality brands like doTERRA or Young Living.