How to Prepare Oregano Leaves for Cough Medicine

How to Prepare Oregano Leaves for Cough Medicine

Oregano is an herb that’s not only used in cooking. Oregano is used in natural medicine for many different ailments, from colds and coughs, to digestive issues, to aches and pains. If you have a cough and want to try a natural remedy, you can use oregano to help with your symptoms.

 Making Oregano Oil
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    Gather the oregano. To make oregano oil, you need to first make sure it is completely dry. If there is any excess water or damp spots, it can cause mold or bacteria to grow in your oil. Gather the amount of oregano you’d like for your oil, such as ½ cup or 1 cup.[1]
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    Choose your oil. When you make oregano oil, you will use a 1:1 ratio of oil to oregano. This means you will add the same amount of oil as oregano. If you have ½ cup of oregano, you need ½ cup of oil.

    • You can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or almond oil.[2]
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    Crush the oregano. You should crush the oregano before you add it to the oil to help it start releasing its own oils. You can do this a couple of different ways. You can tear or cut the leaves with a knife.

    • You can also place the oregano in a plastic bag and smash it with a mallet or rolling pin.[3]
    • If you have a mortar or something similar, you can crush the oregano that way, too.
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    Warm the oil. Before adding the oil to the oregano, you need make sure it is warm. You can do this by placing it in the microwave, or place the oil in a glass container that you sit in hot water. Just make sure the oil is warm, and not too hot or boiling.[4]

    • Warming the oil helps the oregano and oil infuse better.
    • Alternately, you can place the jar in hot water after you place the oregano inside and seal the jar to infuse it. If you do this, leave the jar in the hot water for up to 10 minutes.[5]
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    Add the oregano. Once you have warm oil, add the oregano and oil to a sanitized jar. Stir is around to mix the oregano fully. You can even massage the leaves if you want to help release their oils.[6]

    • Place the lid on the jar when the oregano is added.
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    Infuse the oil for a few weeks. The oil needs to infuse for a few weeks. You want to let it infuse for at least two weeks. You can set it on a sunny windowsill to let the sunlight heat the oil to help it infuse.[7]

    • Make sure to shake the jar every few days.
    • Some people think letting it infuse longer is better for medicinal use. If you want to let it infuse longer, keep it infused for up to six weeks, but no longer. It could go bad.[8]
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    Strain the oil. After the oil has infused for a number of weeks, you need to strain the oregano from it. Use a strainer or a cheesecloth to strain the oregano from the oil. Make sure to squeeze out all the oil in the oregano leaves.[9]

    • Place the oil in a sanitized jar or a dropper bottle. Store it in a cool, dark place.
    • You can also store it in the refrigerator.

Method2

Making a Cough Syrup With Oregano

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    Gather the ingredients. To make a natural cough syrup, you need garlic, oregano, and honey. You need ½ cup of honey, 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 sprigs of fresh oregano.[10] You can measure out about one teaspoon to one tablespoon of oregano instead.

    • Garlic, honey, and oregano are antimicrobials that help naturally fight colds and coughs.
    • You can also add ½ cup of onion and one lemon if you want.
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    Boil oregano and garlic. Boil the garlic cloves and the oregano with about ½ cup of water. Boil for about five minutes.[11]
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    Combine with honey. Let the boiling mixture cool for a few minutes, then pour into a cup with the honey. Mix together. Now, it is ready to drink.
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    Steep overnight. An alternate way to make this cough syrup is to let it set overnight. In a jar, put the oregano at the bottom, then the garlic, then lemon and onion. Pour the honey and water over the ingredients, making sure the water covers all the ingredients completely. Put the lid on the jar so it is airtight, and let it steep overnight. Strain the liquid the next morning and only drink the liquid.[12]

    • Store in your refrigerator for a week.
    • This makes an even stronger cough syrup because the garlic and onion (if you add onion) are stronger and have more medicinal properties if they aren’t cooked.

Method3

Using Oregano For Medicinal Purposes

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    Use oregano cough syrups. The oregano cough syrup can be taken orally. Take a spoonful as often as you need for coughs or sore throats.[13]

    • Don’t give the cough syrup to children under a year old because of the honey.
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    Take oregano oil for colds and coughs. Oregano oil can be taken orally for any cold or cough symptoms. If you have a dropper, you can take two droppers full if you feel any cold symptoms coming on, including a cough.[14]

    • Another way to use oregano oil for coughs is to take three to five drops daily when you have a cough. You can put the oil in water, tea, orange juice, or directly into your mouth.[15][16]
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    Use oregano oil only when sick. Some people take oregano oil daily for a general boost. Most people believe you should only take it when you are sick. Oregano oil is considered a powerfully effective herbal remedy, so taking it when you feel a cold or cough coming on, and while you are sick, helps emphasize the effectiveness of the oil.[17]
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    Know the medicinal properties of oregano oil. Oregano oil is an anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial agent. It also is considered a natural pain reliever.[18]

    • Oregano is believed to fight coughs, colds, congestion, sinusitis, allergies, arthritis, sore muscles, tooth aches, burns, ear infections, insect bites, and digestive issues like diarrhea.[19]

Has an Alternative to Table Sugar Contributed to the C. Diff. Epidemic?

Ice cream sundae

Has an Alternative to Table Sugar Contributed to the C. Diff. Epidemic?

Most of us know how hard it is to resist the creamy sweetness of ice cream. But it might surprise you to learn that, over the past 15 years or so, some makers of ice cream and many other processed foods—from pasta to ground beef products—have changed their recipes to swap out some of the table sugar (sucrose) with a sweetening/texturizing ingredient called trehalose that depresses the freezing point of food. Both sucrose and trehalose are “disaccharides.” Though they have different chemical linkages, both get broken down into glucose in the body. Now, comes word that this switch may be an important piece of a major medical puzzle: why Clostridium difficile (C. diff) has emerged as a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

A new study in the journal Nature indicates that trehalose-laden food may have helped fuel the recent epidemic spread of C. diff., which is a microbe that can cause life-threatening gastrointestinal distress, especially in older patients getting antibiotics and antacid medicines [1, 2]. In laboratory experiments, an NIH-funded team found that the two strains of C. diff. most likely to make people sick possess an unusual ability to thrive on trehalose, even at very low levels. And that’s not all: a diet containing trehalose significantly increased the severity of symptoms in a mouse model of C. diff. infection.

C. diff is a common bacterium that many people already have in their gut. In most cases, the bacterium doesn’t make people sick. The trouble often comes when taking antibiotics, especially in a hospital or nursing home. These drugs can upset the normal balance of healthy gut microbes, and because C. diff. is naturally resistant to many common antibiotics, this opportunistic microbe can multiply and produce toxins that cause inflammation and diarrhea.

Through the 1990s, C. diff. infections were mostly an occasional “nuisance” that would pass quickly. But in the 2000s, that changed. C. diff. infections became far more serious and common, soon emerging as the most frequent hospital-acquired infection in the United States. In 2011 alone, C. diff. sickened roughly a half-million Americans, and about 29,000 died [3].

The recent rise in C. diff. infections has been driven in large part by a particular group of bacterial strains, known collectively as RT027. Their spread may be explained in part by a mutation that lent the bugs resistance to certain antibiotics. But still unanswered was how this strain and another one called RT078 emerged so rapidly and became so prevalent.

An earlier study led by Robert Britton at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, provided an important lead. He and his colleagues showed that the RT027 strains outcompeted many other C. diff. strains in cell culture and mouse studies [4].

To learn why in the new study, Britton and colleagues tested the strains’ ability to use various sugars that might be present in the gut to fuel their growth and give them a competitive advantage over other bacteria. Those studies suggested that RT027 strains have a special ability to grow on trehalose. In fact, further study of 21 different strains showed that the RT027 and RT078 strains, and only those strains, grow unusually well on a diet of trehalose.

Britton’s team found in the new study that RT027’s ability to grow on trehalose traces to a new mutation in the bacterial DNA. The change allows the bacterium to sense the sugar and produce an enzyme to metabolize it for food, even at extremely low concentrations. In contrast, RT078 is able to grow exceptionally well on low levels of trehalose, thanks to a cluster of four genes involved in metabolizing the sugar that were apparently acquired from another microbe. This shows the two C. diff strains have adapted to feed on trehalose in two completely different ways!

In mouse studies, Britton and colleagues found that a diet including trehalose makes infections with the RT027 strain more severe and sometimes deadly. The researchers also found that when trehalose is present, the epidemic C. diff. strains are not only more abundant, they produce more toxins for reasons that aren’t yet entirely clear. The team also has preliminary evidence from mice and people to suggest that enough dietary trehalose may make its way to the intestine to fuel the growth of those infectious strains.

Britton says the ability of these C. diff strains to grow on trehalose isn’t new. Strains of RT027 that efficiently metabolized trehalose were first isolated in the 1980s. Back then, people got most of their trehalose in small amounts from foods that naturally have it, such as mushrooms and shellfish.

What has changed is the recent addition of man-made trehalose into the food supply, often in large quantities. This shift was prompted by a new method to manufacture trehalose from cornstarch, which made the sugar much less costly. In 2000, FDA approved the sugar as a safe food additive. Trehalose quickly found its way into processed foods in the U.S. and around the world for its mild, flavor-enhancing sweetness and protection of frozen foods. In some store-bought ice creams, it’s found at concentrations of up to 11 percent.

What Britton and colleagues noticed is the more widespread use of manufactured trehalose coincided with early reports of C. diff. outbreaks. Those outbreaks popped up not only in the U.S., but also in countries all around the world where trehalose consumption increased. While more study is surely needed to nail down the possible connection, the circumstantial and experimental evidence has led Britton’s team to propose that widespread use of trehalose inadvertently played a key role in the recent emergence of C. diff infections.

This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to start worrying about trehalose. In fact, Britton says the sugar does have some advantages. For instance, because it’s harder to break down, trehalose doesn’t cause blood glucose to spike in the way some other sugars do.

Britton’s team continues to study the interaction between these C. diff. strains and trehalose. They are especially curious to learn more about how and why trehalose causes some C. diff. strains to produce more toxins in the gut. The findings certainly offer food for thought about the complex interplay between our diets, gut microbes, and health—and the unintended consequences that dietary changes might bring.

References:

[1] Dietary trehalose enhances virulence of epidemic Clostridium difficile. Collins J, Robinson C, Danhof H, Knetsch CW, van Leeuwen HC, Lawley TD, Auchtung JM, Britton RA. Nature. Published online 2018 Jan 3.

[2] Evaluating the risk factors for hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections in a large healthcare system. Watson T, Hickok J, Fraker S, Korwek K, Poland RE, Septimus E. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Dec 20.

[3] Clostridium difficile infection. Centers for Dis

Antiobiotic-resistant infections caused more deaths than AIDS

Just as incurable viruses gain new footholds around the world, a growing number of bacterial infections that were once easily treatable are now withstanding modern medicine’s arsenal of antibiotics. Twenty-three thousand Americans die from antibiotic-resistant pathogens every year. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is among the most notorious. The number of adults hospitalized due to another culprit, a resistant strain of Clostridium difficile has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to a study published last week.

A case in point: The first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S. was initially sent home with antibiotics. The drugs, of course, wield no power against viruses.

But it’s their use in animals that has sparked the loudest debate. Despite warnings going back to penicillin-discoverer in the 1940s and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s, as well as successful efforts over the last decade in Denmark, the Netherlands and other European countries to curb the practice, livestock producers across the U.S. continue to routinely feed healthy animals small doses of antibiotics.

“The overwhelming proportion of antibiotics are used in animal feed in a very uncontrolled fashion,” said Ellen Silbergeld, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “It is the perfect recipe for creating antibiotic resistance.”

Overall, cattle, swine, chickens and other livestock receive about 80 percent of the nation’s antibiotics — with most of those drugs administered in low concentrations to prevent the spread of disease or simply to promote growth. Just as an incomplete course of antibiotics can result in the rise of a more virulent infection in a person, this sublethal use in animals means bacteria that can withstand the drugs will survive, reproduce and pass on their resistance to the next generation of bugs on the farm. In the end, animal antibiotics are thought to affect human health via multiple pathways: direct or indirect contact with food, water, air or anywhere urine or manure goes.

A study published on Tuesday builds on evidence that antibiotic residue in the environment spurs the growth of resistant bacteria — at even lower concentrations than previously thought.

At the turn of the century, he told HuffPost, animals were receiving approximately 95 percent of the country’s antibiotics. And as in the U.S., most of that medicine was not given to sick livestock. So in 2006, the government banned the use of antibiotics as growth promoters and began requiring veterinarian oversight for other uses.

“But that didn’t result in any reduction in use of antibiotics in animals,” Kluytmans said. Rather, use of the drugs as therapy increased dramatically.

It wasn’t until the country faced two subsequent outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections, whose sources were traced to animals, that the numbers began to fall. “There was a lot of public awareness and media attention,” said Kluytmans. “Farmers and others involved realized that they could not continue in the same way.”

Since 2009, use of antibiotics on Dutch farms has dropped by about 60 percent. An independent authority now tracks antibiotic usage on each farm. What’s more, Kluytmans said, there have been no “measurable negative effects” on the animals or on productivity.

Juli Putnam, a spokeswoman with the FDA, said the agency is working with other federal officials to “enhance current data collection efforts,” and “intends to seek public input on such approaches.”

In 1970, the U.S. Surgeon General declared that the war against infectious disease had been won. Today, Ebola and antibiotic-resistant superbugs warn us otherwise. While Kluytmans is confident Ebola won’t pose a serious problem in developed nations, antibiotic resistance is another story. He and other infectious disease experts are particularly fearful of emerging resistance to carbapenem, one of today’s last-resort antibiotics.

Spellberg, the Los Angeles doctor who treated the young woman who died from an infection, recalled looking at a printout on the computer screen showing all the antibiotics the implicated bacteria could resist. “Resistant. Resistant. Resistant. Resistant. Resistant. It was resistant to everything,” he said in the new documentary, which is currently screening around the U.S. and will be available to the public in the spring.

“Since penicillin,” he added, “we’ve expected that we’re going to have relatively inexpensive, safe, tremendously effective drugs to treat infections, and this woman had returned to 1935.”

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Please read info on probiotics for chicken.

More die from antibiotic-resistant infections than AIDS as transmitted from animals to humans

Just as incurable viruses gain new footholds around the world, a growing number of bacterial infections that were once easily treatable are now withstanding modern medicine’s arsenal of antibiotics. Twenty-three thousand Americans die from antibiotic-resistant pathogens every year. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is among the most notorious. The number of adults hospitalized due to another culprit, a resistant strain of Clostridium difficile has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to a study published last week.

Largely to blame for this public health predicament, experts say, is the continued misuse and overuse of antibiotics in both humans and animals. A case in point: The first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S. was initially sent home with antibiotics. The drugs, of course, wield no power against viruses.

But it’s their use in animals that has sparked the loudest debate. Despite warnings going back to penicillin-discoverer Alexander Fleming in the 1940s and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s, as well as successful efforts over the last decade in Denmark, the Netherlands and other European countries to curb the practice, livestock producers across the U.S. continue to routinely feed healthy animals small doses of antibiotics. Some of the antibiotics belong to the same classes of drugs used to treat people — including key weapons in fighting urinary tract infections and infections after surgeries. Even use of antibiotics not considered important in human medicine, experts now warn, can promote cross-resistance to the more critical drugs.

“The overwhelming proportion of antibiotics are used in animal feed in a very uncontrolled fashion,” said Ellen Silbergeld, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “It is the perfect recipe for creating antibiotic resistance.”

Overall, cattle, swine, chickens and other livestock receive about 80 percent of the nation’s antibiotics — with most of those drugs administered in low concentrations to prevent the spread of disease or simply to promote growth. Just as an incomplete course of antibiotics can result in the rise of a more virulent infection in a person, this sublethal use in animals means bacteria that can withstand the drugs will survive, reproduce and pass on their resistance to the next generation of bugs on the farm. In the end, animal antibiotics are thought to affect human health via multiple pathways: direct or indirect contact with food, water, air or anywhere urine or manure goes.

A study published on Tuesday builds on evidence that antibiotic residue in the environment spurs the growth of resistant bacteria — at even lower concentrations than previously thought.

Last week the FDA released some relevant new data: It reported that the total quantity of antibiotics that are known to be important in human medicine and are sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals jumped by 16 percent between 2009 and 2012. In total, 61 percent of the antibiotics sold to the meat industry are considered medically important.

The Animal Health Institute, which represents pharmaceutical companies, suggested the new data tell a “small part of the story.” Recent reports, the industry group told The Huffington Post in a statement, support their position: Just because food animals consume the bulk of antibiotics, responsibility for the majority of the human health problem doesn’t necessarily rest on the industry.

A report published in September by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology also puts a greater emphasis on human health contributions — although it does raise concerns over a role for animal agriculture, and touts the FDA’s new voluntary guidance on the use of the drugs in animals. The agency has asked drug companies to voluntarily change their labels by December 2016 to exclude uses for growth promotion. If a label changes, then farmers or feed mills would need to obtain a prescription from a veterinarian to treat a sick animal or to prevent disease. Before, they could simply buy the drugs over the counter and administer them without any involvement of a veterinarian.

Silbergeld criticized the PCAST report for not putting the animal agriculture issue “front and center,” and argued that the FDA’s voluntary policy doesn’t go far enough. She is also among critics who point to a potential loophole in the strategy, as illustrated by experiences in Europe.

Dr. Jan Kluytmans, a professor of microbiology and infection control at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, recalled the initial difficulty when his country began trimming use of antibiotics in their livestock.

At the turn of the century, he told HuffPost, animals were receiving approximately 95 percent of the country’s antibiotics. And as in the U.S., most of that medicine was not given to sick livestock. So in 2006, the government banned the use of antibiotics as growth promoters and began requiring veterinarian oversight for other uses.

“But that didn’t result in any reduction in use of antibiotics in animals,” Kluytmans said. Rather, use of the drugs as therapy increased dramatically.

“When the last few drugs were banned for growth-promoting purposes, they did what we fear is going to happen in the U.S.,” said Laura Rogers, project director for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming. “They called everything else a therapeutic use. They used tetracycline like it was candy.”

It wasn’t until the country faced two subsequent outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections, whose sources were traced to animals, that the numbers began to fall. “There was a lot of public awareness and media attention,” said Kluytmans. “Farmers and others involved realized that they could not continue in the same way.”

Since 2009, use of antibiotics on Dutch farms has dropped by about 60 percent. An independent authority now tracks antibiotic usage on each farm. What’s more, Kluytmans said, there have been no “measurable negative effects” on the animals or on productivity.

Obtaining such detailed information — which is critical for setting and enforcing regulation — is not yet possible in the U.S., as regulators don’t monitor how the drugs are administered on farms. In fact, much of the information on animal antibiotic use is currently considered confidential business information. Juli Putnam, a spokeswoman with the FDA, said the agency is working with other federal officials to “enhance current data collection efforts,” and “intends to seek public input on such approaches.”

Whether or not the progress in the Netherlands has actually resulted in benefits for public health is not clear. Kluytmans could only state that a previously steady rise in resistant infections in the 2000s had appeared to level off after 2009.

A Harvard paper published in August cautions that more research is needed to fully understand the effect of animal antibiotics on resistant infections. But the review, which was among the documents quoted by the industry group as evidence of animal agriculture’s minimal role in the human health threat, also underscores the limited available data and the need for the U.S. agricultural industry to be more “forthcoming.” It further notes that once antibiotic-resistant strains have emerged, “it might be only a matter of time before they cross the species barrier and adapt to living in humans, at which time there is very little regulation of agriculture can do to prevent their persistence in the clinical setting.”

“The greatest value of reducing agricultural antibiotic use now may be in maintaining a status quo that, while far from ideal,” the researchers write, “is greatly preferable to the alternative.”

In 1970, the U.S. Surgeon General declared that the war against infectious disease had been won. Today, Ebola and antibiotic-resistant superbugs warn us otherwise. While Kluytmans is confident Ebola won’t pose a serious problem in developed nations, antibiotic resistance is another story. He and other infectious disease experts are particularly fearful of emerging resistance to carbapenem, one of today’s last-resort antibiotics.

Spellberg, the Los Angeles doctor who treated the young woman who died from an infection, recalled looking at a printout on the computer screen showing all the antibiotics the implicated bacteria could resist. “Resistant. Resistant. Resistant. Resistant. Resistant. It was resistant to everything,” he said in the new documentary, which is currently screening around the U.S. and will be available to the public in the spring.

“Since penicillin,” he added, “we’ve expected that we’re going to have relatively inexpensive, safe, tremendously effective drugs to treat infections, and this woman had returned to 1935.”

Blood test results indicating infection

Increased or decreased white blood cell count
Mildly increased sedimentation rate (ESR)
Increased total serum globulin
Increased lymphocytes
Increased LDH isoenzyme #1
Decreased lymphocytes with neutrophils increased = chronic bacterial infection
Increased lymphocytes with neutrophils decreased = chronic viral infection

Source: Adrenal Fatigue, Dr James Wilson

Connie’s comments: Urinary Track Infection (UTI) with fever is common with the elderly in carehomes and their homes. Contact your physician for any signs of infection. Prevent infection thru proper hygiene and a strong immune system.

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