Researchers have found that some essential oils, oregano, thyme and rosewood oils, in particular, create an autolytic reaction in organisms, including Streptococcus pneumonia. Dr. Diane Horne of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, told the 98th general assembly of the American Society of Microbiology about the serendipitous discovery of the impact of the oils on cells such as Streptococcus pneumonia.
A coresearcher was spraying aromatic oils in the laboratory. "When I looked at the S. pneumonia that I was preparing for another experiment, the cells were just falling apart," Dr. Horne reported. Dr. Horne and coworker Sue Chao, of the Young Living Essential Oil Company of Payton, Utah, tested the autolyzing properties of 74 different essential oils.
The best results occurred with oregano, thyme and rosewood and intermediate inhibition of the pathogens was achieved with cinnamon oil and clove oil, Dr. Horne said at a poster presentation at the meeting. Dr. Horne pointed out that the oils also showed efficacy against E. coli and several species of fungi.
It is amazing what one can do with herbs. This is a wonderful piece of research documenting the effectiveness of oregano. It is still not too late to get your garden up and running and plant some oregano. Oregano is a hardy perennial. For you non-gardening types, that means this plant will return year after year and provide you with a natural, inexpensive way to stay healthy. It is a bit late to plant seeds for the season but you can get some good plants from any nursery. I would recommend the Greek oregano, which only grows about 18 inches tall. Avoid the taller 4-foot plants (Oregano vulgare) as they do not have as much of the effective essential oils.