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.


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.


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]

Five essential oils against cancer

Five essential oils that are effective in cancer treatment

  • Thyme essential oil: A 2010 study from Switzerland evaluated the effect of thyme essential oil on breast cancer cells, lung cancer cells and prostate cancer cells. Thyme essential oil exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity toward all three types of cancer cells. Thyme has an active compound, thymol, which has been shown to activate mechanisms that kill cancer. (3)
  • Rosemary essential oil: Rosemary has antioxidant properties that help protect agains free radicals that damage cell membranes, alter DNA and kill healthy cells. Recent studies have shown that rosemary extract has anti-tumor properties that are effective in treatment of colon, breast, liver, stomach, skin and blood. One study found that 1 percent concentration of rosemary essential oil was able to deactivate more than 90 percent of ovarian and liver cancer cells. (3)
  • Oregano essential oil: Research from Long Island University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences found that oregano compounds use signaling pathways that cause “cancer cell suicide.” Oregano also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Oregano essential oil contains carnosol which has been shown to stop the growth of colon cancer cells as well as cause cancer cell death.  Oregano essential oil has shown promising results in fighting prostate, breast and skin cancer.(3)
  • Chamomile essential oil: In studies, apigenin, a bioactive constituent, found in chamomile has been shown to have significant effects in inhibiting many human cancer cell lines. A 2010 study found that chamomile essential oil killed 93 percent of breast cancer cells. A separate study found that it was able to inhibit cell mutation by 60-75 percent.(3)
  • Frankincense essential oil: Frankincense oil has been shown to treat numerous health conditions, including cancer. Western studies are now showing that frankincense essential oils and extracts have a potent anti-tumor activity. Frankincense oil was tested against pancreatic cancer cells and was able to cause high levels of cancer cell death.  The same effect took place in a separate study on bladder cancer cells.  This study found that the essential oil was able to distinguish between cancerous cells and healthy cells, leaving the healthy cells alone.

Oregano herb can reduce methane from cow farts and save the planet

oregano 2“Methane produced by livestock farming accounts for around 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions in the form of flatulence and belching, according to official estimates.

“But researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark believe they may be able to reduce this by feeding co[w]s oregano to alter the balance of bacteria in their digestive systems.”

Senior researcher, Dr. Kai Grevsen, said: “Oregano has essential oils with a mild antimicrobial called carvacrol, which can kill some of the bacteria in the cow’s rumen that produce methane.”

Learn more:

Grevsen says another major difference is that his team will use “Greek oregano,” which has a significantly higher concentration of belch-suppressing essential oil than oregano used in earlier research. They hope this oregano feed could reduce methane emissions by up to 25 percent.

And, if it works, there’s (buttercream) icing on the cake:

“A cow loses a lot of energy in releasing all this methane,” explains Grevsen. “By blocking the bacteria, the energy that doesn’t get lost can be used by the cow to produce more milk.”

There is also the question of what this will taste like. Grevsen hasn’t tried any oregano-milk — yet — but he assures that those earlier studies found no hints of pizza or spaghetti in the final product. He says there is even some evidence that oregano changes the composition of fatty acids, creating a better-quality milk. Whether that remains true with the “turbo-powered” oregano is yet to be taste-tested.

Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavour of its leaves, which can be more flavourful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Good-quality oregano may be strong enough almost to numb the tongue, but cultivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavor. Factors such as climate, season, and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants. Among the chemical compounds contributing to the flavour are carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene.


Oregano’s most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. Its popularity in the US began when soldiers returning from World War II brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”,[11] which had probably been eaten in southern Italy for centuries. There, it is most frequently used with roasted, fried, or grilled vegetables, meat, and fish. Oregano combines well with spicy foods popular in southern Italy. It is less commonly used in the north of the country, as marjoram generally is preferred.

The herb is widely used in cuisines of the Mediterranean Basin, the Philippines, and Latin America.

In Turkish cuisine, oregano is mostly used for flavoring meat, especially for mutton and lamb. In barbecue and kebab restaurants,[clarification needed] it can be usually found as a condiment, together with paprika, salt, and pepper.

The dried and ground leaves are most often used in Greece to add flavor to Greek salad, and is usually added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies fish or meat grills and casseroles.

Oregano is used in the southern Philippines to eliminate the odor of carabao or water buffalo when boiling it, while simultaneously imparting flavor.

Folk medicine

In Austrian folk medicine, oregano was used internally (as tea) or externally (as ointment) for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and nervous system.

In 2005, the US Federal Trade Commission brought legal action against a firm that had claimed oil of oregano treated colds and flu, and that oil of oregano taken orally treated and relieved bacterial and viral infections and their symptoms,[13] saying the representations were false or were not substantiated at the time the representations were made, and that they were therefore a deceptive practice and false advertisements.[14] The final stipulation on the matter said no representation as to any health benefit could be made without “…competent and reliable scientific evidence…”.

Oregano contains polyphenols, including numerous flavones.

The essential oil of oregano is composed primarily of monoterpenoids and monoterpenes, with the relative concentration of each compound varying widely across geographic origin and other factors. Over 60 different compounds have been identified, with the primary ones being carvacrol and thymol ranging to over 80%, while lesser abundant compounds include p-cymene, γ-terpinene, caryophyllene, spathulenol, germacrene-D, β-fenchyl alcohol and δ-terpineol.

Drying of the plant material affects both quantity and distribution of volatile compounds, with methods using higher heat and longer drying times having greater negative impact. A sample of fresh whole plant material found to contain 33 g/kg dry weight (3.1 g/kg wet) decreased to below a third after warm-air convection drying. Much higher concentrations of volatile compounds are achieved towards the end of the growing season.[19]


Oregano oil is under research for its potential use on foods or skin as an antibacterial agent. It is also tested for its ability to reduce the methane production in cows, which emit 70-120kg of the greenhouse gas per year per cow.

  1. v. viridulum inhibited the growth of HepG2 hepatic cancer cells

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram. This erectly spreading plant has strong aromatic characteristics, with leaves and stems that are fleshy. The leaves of oregano are heart-shaped, with toothed edges, and which, grow for up to 9 meters in length. In other countries, the plant is primarily used as a culinary ingredient. However, in countries like the Philippines, Oregano is a known herbal medicine for its strong anti-oxidant properties. Oregano contains a rosmarinic acid compound, thymol, and carvacrol that are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Oregano also contains flavinoids, triterpenoids, sterols, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Its anti-bacterial properties have been proven by recent studies to treat infections of the reproductive tracts, and which make it ideal to be given to women who have just given birth.

The volatile oils in oregano and its properties are believed to be responsible for slowing the process of spoilage of food and thus minimizing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi.

The anti-oxidant properties of oregano helps fight free radicals in the body that cause cellular damage and accelerate ageing. Free radicals are believed to be involved with many degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and heart diseases, to name a few.

The most useful parts of this plant are its leaves. The extracts and juices of such are used for asthma, dyspepsia, chronic coughs, bronchitis, and rheumatism. Ear aches have also been proven to be cured by the infusion prepared from its leaves. The leaves relieve painful swellings, boils, and sprains, when their poultices are applied directly to the affected area.

 Health Benefits of Oregano:

  • Good for cough and cold relief
  • Helps prevent degenerative arthritis
  • Has Anti-aging properties
  • Helps relieve rheumatism and osteoarthritis
  • Bronchitis herbal remedy
  • Ease asthma attacks
  • Relieves upset stomach
  • Treatment of urinary tract problems
  • Relief for dyspepsia or indigestion
  • Healing wounds, insect bites & stings
  • Cure for sore throat
  • Avoid infections caused by childbirth by taking decoctions of the leaves by the new mother.
  • For general good health

Preparation of Oregano Leaves:

  • Boil one cup of fresh leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half a cup 3 times a day for common colds.
  • For a concentrate, juice the oregano leaves and take 1 tablespoon every hour to relieve chronic coughs, rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and dyspepsia.
  • For Insect bites, wounds and stings, apply the leaves as a poultice directly on the afflicted area.
  • For sore throat, boil 2 tablespoonfuls of dried oregano leaves in a pint of water, take 2 hours before or after meals.
  • To prevent degenerative arthritis & for general good health, drink oregano decoction daily.



Oregano is rich in iron. In cooked form, oxalates is removed. It is best eaten with iron rich food in the morning . Too much iron interferes with calcium absorption. Take calcium rich food in the evening.

Oregano essential oil for ringworm by Case Adams

Ask any veterinarian: Ringworm is one of those infections considered to have no conventional cure. When cats are infected, they may be cleaned and washed and hopefully will repel the infection over time, but there is no known cure for the infection among conventional veterinarians.

In humans, applying antifungals repeatedly over months and months can effect a removal of the infection – but these will often take time. In some cases, powerful prescription antifungals are necessary, and they usually work, but they have been shown to exert considerable toxicity and possible resistance over time, and for these reasons the European Community has banned the use of most ringworm antifungals on sheep and other farm animals.

Over-the-counter antifungal creams advertised as useful for combating the infection also tend to be often ineffective, depending upon the species of infection. Whether this is because the Microsporum canis or Trichophyton mentagrophytes fungi – which produce dermatophytoses that infect the cells – have become resistant remains to be fully understood.

What is known by most veterinarians is that ringworm infections are so difficult to treat that they will often refuse to allow ringworm-infected animals into their clinics or treatment areas.

Does Nature provide Antifungals?

Yet researchers from the University of Pisa have found that certain essential oils can effectively treat and largely cure the ringworm infection. In one study they applied a mixture of essential oils to seven cats infected with ringworm. The mixture cured four of the seven cats completely and the others showed improvement.

The mixture was composed of 5% essential oil of Oregano (O. vulgare), 5% essential oil of Rosemary (R. officinalis) and 2% essential oil of Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) – in a base of sweet almond oil.

The researchers also tested a number of essential oils against no less than eleven different isolated species of ringworm. They found that Wild Thyme and Oregano show the most inhibition of the ringworm fungi. Star anise (Illicium verum), Rosemary and lemon oil (Citrus limon) closely trailed those oils in their ability to stop the infection.

A more recent study at the University of Pisa studied the same essential oils for ringworm infections occurring in sheep – infected by Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The researchers applied the same combination of oils described above onto 13 ringworm-infected sheep. They applied the oil combination twice a day for 15 days. Seven untreated sheep acted as controls.

The mixture was successful in treating all of the infected sheep given the essential oil blend, while the infection among the control animals continued.

Other Studies Confirm These Oils’ Antifungal Actions

Other research has found that Oregano and Wild Thyme have antifungal effects in other areas. A number of studies have found Oregano and Rosemary oils useful in eliminating aflatoxins from harvested fruits and grains.

A species related to Wild Thyme – Thymus broussonetii – was found to inhibit candida in a study from Morroco’s University of Cadi Ayyad.

And In vitro and In vivo tests from Pakistan’s University of Karachi found that Oregano can inhibit urinary tract infections – many of which are fungal in nature.

Mother Nature’s Formulary

Thyme and Oregano share potent antifungal constituents, particularly thymol, which has been isolated and utilized as an antifungal in conventional medicines. Oregano oil contains from
40 to 64% thymol.

Natural Oregano oil was found in a 2012 assay to also contain p-cymene, terpinene, bicyclogermacrene, terpinen-4-ol, α-pinene, octenol, α-terpinene, carvacrol, β-caryophyllene, β-myrcene, terpinenol, octanol, β-pinene, cineole, α-cubebene and β-ocimene. How is that for one of Mother Nature’s recipes!


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