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With more people choosing a holistic approach to raising their dogs, the use of essential oils is also on the rise. We are going to be covering several essential oils over the next few blog posts, so sit back and be ready to learn the benefits of essential oils for your dog.


Oregano Oil


Oregano essential oil is derived from the same plant (Organum vulgare) you use in cooking. The oil is made from the leaves and flowers of the wild oregano plant that inhabits the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean where the clean mountain air has little pollution. It was highly prized by the ancient Greeks for it's powerful infection fighting properties, and was used to slow down food spoilage. It was one of the most sought after oils of the time, which the Greeks called “joy of the mountains”. Not only does is have powerful anti-bacterial properties, it also has anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-oxidant properties.


What Makes Oregano Oil So Powerful?


Carvacrol is the active ingredient in oregano. Studies have shown, when pitted against harmful organisms like Salmonella, Listeria, and e. Coli, carvacrol has shown repeatedly it's efficacy against these harmful organisms. When tested on celery infected with Salmonella, carvacrol eliminated the Salmonella colonies immediately. The isomeric phenols (primarily carvacrol) in oregano oil also destroys Candida albicans(yeast) along with Giardia, and even Staphylococcus. Researchers at the Department of Food Science at the University of Tennessee reported that, among various plant oils, oil of oregano exhibited the greatest antibacterial action against common pathogenic germs such as Staph, E. coli and Listeria. [Journal Food Protection, Volume 64, July 2001] That's one powerful herb!




Fighting Yeast


Some dogs have chronic problems with yeast infections which are usually found in the skin and ears Oregano oil, with it's active ingredient carvacrol, can be very effective in the battle against yeast. Orgenao oil is considered a “hot” oil and can be irritating to the skin. To avoid this, make sure to dilute oregano oil in a carrier oil such as raw coconut oil, almond oil, or extra virgin olive oil at a ratio of 1 part oregano oil to 4 parts carrier oil. Also make sure to avoid contact with the eyes or genitals.


Immune Booster


Oregano oil is packed with 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. Research has proved that the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) in oregano oil is 4 times greater than that of blueberries and higher than vitamin E. Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage, something which happens naturally over time. By providing your dog with nutrients high in antioxidants, you are naturally boosting the immune system, making the body stronger and more able to fight off disease.




Digestive Problems


Oregano oil has been used for thousands of years for various digestive problems. Hippocrates the father of modern medicine used oregano oil for digestive support. The high concentrations of carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil are effective in treating GI issues of all sorts including parasites, diarrhea, intestinal gas, vomiting and also stimulates the production of bile which aids in overall digestive health.


Infections


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
  • Bacterial and/or yeast infections of the ears
  • Psoriasis
  • Canine acne
  • Ringworm
  • Aids in wound healing




Nutrient Rich


Oregano oil is rich with vitamins and nutrients. It is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium, and is also is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C.


Insect Repellent


Carvacol is a natural insect repellent. Dilute the oregano oil in a carrier oil such as raw coconut oil, almond oil, or extra virgin olive oil at a ratio of 1 part oregano oil to 4 parts carrier oil. Add a couple of drops to your dog collar or place a bandana with a few drops around her neck and repeat as the aroma disappears.


Although this post is about essential oil of oregano you can also make your own oil infusion using a carrier oil such as extra virgin organic olive oil, almond oil or grapeseed oil and dried or fresh herbs, flowers, stems, leaves or roots depending on the plant. What is the difference between essential oil and an infused oil? Essential oils are much more concentrated, use much more plant material and are usually steam distilled. Without the proper equipment this is not possible to make easily at home. Infused oils on the other hand are easily made at home with little effort and much less plant material. They are not as concentrated but are generally safer for the novice to use. Infused oils have many uses from medicinal to culinary. I make my own infused oils often using them to treat my animals (internally and externally depending on the herb/plant) and myself. I have even made my own infused oils from fresh herbs in my garden for culinary use.




 

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Thanks for posting this Sue and of course thanks for all the research you do in order to provide info to others.

So the 1:4 ratio of oregano and a carrier oil - is that for topical as well as internal usage?
How much would someone give to a pet internally?

:)
 

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As far as making infused oils I need to do a post on how to do that...more in depth. But when making infused oils there really isnt a set in stone rule for how much herb to oil. You basically put the herb in a clean glass jar such as a mason jar and put in the carrier oil enough to cover the herb with a good inch above the herb. The general rule though is 1 part herb to 5 parts carrier oil. You place it in a warm area(there is debate whether one puts it in direct sunlight or not I prefer not to) in your house and leave it for a minimum of 2 weeks I prefer 4 even 6 if I want it really potent. But then again it depends on the herb and how you are going to use it (in an ointment or salve, for medicinal purposes, culinary purposes, as a stand alone oil, topical use, internal use etc). Once the oil is done(the appropriate time) you can use the oil straight as it is or use it in combo with other oils or use it to make a shampoo or an ointment or a salve. Infused oils arent as strong as essential oils and there is much more info out there for dosages of essential oils than for infused oils. As for medicinal use I have mostly used infused oils for topical use but certainly one can use them internally as well. Chefs often make their own infused oils for different dishes and as long as the herb is considered a safe herb for dogs a measured amount is acceptable and safe
 
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