Essential oils are made from the "essence" compounds of a plant or vegetation. The active compound in oregano oil, carvacrol, is responsible for a large portion of its purported health benefits. One of the most widely used essential oils, oregano oil could be a natural treatment for various medical conditions, and carvacrol has the potential to be an effective therapeutic treatment. But are these purported benefits just myth or is there scientific evidence to back up these claims?
Numerous peer-reviewed studies show that oregano oil (along with some other essential oils) is an inexpensive and effective antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, particularly against foodborne pathogens. In fact, carvacrol has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive and preservative to help prevent foodborne disease. Carvacrol can protect human foods from bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and insect larvae. Specifically, it is effective in the fight against bacteria such as Staphylococci (staph), E. coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus, Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Listeria.
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