When someone mentions oregano(Origanum vulgare), most people think of that wonderful herb used in Italian cooking. Although oregano is a staple herb in Italian cooking, it has many medicinal benefits as well.
Oregano has a long history for both cooking and medicinal use. According to Greek mythology, the goddess Aphrodite invented oregano and gave it to man to make his life happier. Ancient Greek physicians including Hippocrates prescribed oregano for various ailments. When the Romans conquered Greece they too discovered oregano bringing it along with the Roman Empire expansion to Europe and beyond. During the middle ages people often chewed oregano leaves as a cure for toothaches, rheumatism, indigestion and as a cough suppressant. Because of its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties, oregano is still used today in herbal medicine.
The antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic of oregano are attributed to thymol and carvacol. Numerous scientific studies and human experience have confirmed its ability to destroy all types of “germs” causing infection – viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.
How can I give it to my dog?
Oregano can be given fresh, as a dried herb, as an infused oil, as a tincture, or made into a tea. I personally give both my dogs oregano on a regular basis as a way to keep them healthy and happy. I usually sprinkle a bit of the dried herb or a few drops of my own infused oregano oil on their food. I have found that fresh oregano can be quite strong tasting for my dogs so if you do use it fresh you only need a small amount. My rescue Boxer Kippah loves herbals teas. I sometimes make her a quick oregano tea and add it to her food. If you would like to learn how to make herbals infusions, check out my post How To Make Herbal Infusions.
Not only can you use oregano orally, you can use it topically as well to help promote faster wound healing and as a way to prevent and treat infections. Oregano oil which is considered a “hot” oil also can be purchased as an essential oil, but it is much more concentrated than infused oils and needs to be diluted with a carrier oil such as organic coconut oil or organic olive oil before applying topically. I personally only use infused oils because for one, I can make them at home and I am much more comfortable using them. Every time one of the dogs gets a cut or scratch I use infused oregano oil on a cotton ball and apply 3 times daily until gone. Oregano oil has never failed me so far, it’s a must for every home first-aid kit for your dog.
What are the Health Benefits?
- High in antioxidants – According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, its antioxidant activity is between three and 20 times higher than that of any other herb.
- Helps With Digestive Issues – It stimulates the the production of dile and is used to treat diarrhea, and intestinal gas.
- Fights Infection – Because oregano oil has potent anti- bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, it is often used for various types of infections such as Kennel Cough, Bacterial and/or yeast infections of the skin, Urinary tract Infections, Canine Acne, Ringworm and aids in wound healing.
- Upper Respiratory Infections – Can aid in the treatment of URI’s
- Immune Booster – Because of its high antioxidant content, oregano helps boost the immune system
What Type Of Oregano Should I use?
There are many different varieties of oregano. If you want the most bang for your buck look for the Origanum vulgare variety. It’s best to buy from a reliable organic source and don’t use the oregano you find in your grocery store spice aisle. Although the oregano in the spice may taste good, it’s not medicinally beneficial. Another option is to grow your own. Oregano is a perennial plant hardy to zone 5. It’s easily grown from seeds and can be grown in containers so there’s no excuse give it a try! If you aren’t that sure what to buy and don’t want to grow your own, you can purchase organic oregano oil in our store.
With all the health benefits of oregano for your pup, it’s a must have in every dog household!