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Oregano's Power Against H. pylori: Nature's Antimicrobial in Action

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on September 4, 2023

H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) is a spiral-shaped bacterium that resides in the stomach of approximately half of the world's population. While many individuals carry it without symptoms, it's associated with various gastrointestinal issues, including gastritis, ulcers, and even gastric cancer. While antibiotics remain the mainstream treatment for H. pylori infections, increasing resistance to these drugs has spurred the search for natural alternatives. Enter oregano, a herb with historical medicinal use and recent scientific backing against H. pylori.

Oregano and Its Antimicrobial Constituents

Oregano is not just a flavorful kitchen herb. It's packed with powerful compounds that have shown antimicrobial properties. The main constituents responsible for its antimicrobial action include:

Carvacrol

This phenolic compound, predominant in oregano oil, has been studied for its antibacterial properties, especially against H. pylori. (1)

Thymol

Another compound that synergizes with carvacrol, amplifying oregano's antibacterial potential. (2)

Considerations for Using Oregano as Treatment

Dosage

The appropriate dosage for treating H. pylori hasn't been universally established. Consulting with a holistic healthcare professional is imperative before starting any natural treatment regimen.

Side Effects

While oregano oil is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience stomach upset or allergic reactions. It's crucial to start with a low dose to monitor for any adverse reactions.

Drug Interactions

Oregano oil may interact with certain medications, especially anticoagulants and antidiabetic drugs. It's always wise to discuss with a healthcare provider if you're on any medications.

Oregano Can Be Added to a Treatment Regimen for H. Pylori

While antibiotics have been the cornerstone for H. pylori treatment, rising drug resistance underscores the need for alternative strategies. (3) Oregano, with its promising antimicrobial properties, offers a potential natural approach against this pervasive bacterium. As always, it's vital to approach natural treatments with an evidence-based mindset and in consultation with licensed holistic healthcare professionals.

Resources:

  1. Grande R, Carradori S, Puca V, Vitale I, Angeli A, Nocentini A, Bonardi A, Gratteri P, Lanuti P, Bologna G, Simeone P, Capasso C, De Luca V, Supuran CT. Selective Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori Carbonic Anhydrases by Carvacrol and Thymol Could Impair Biofilm Production and the Release of Outer Membrane Vesicles. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 27;22(21):11583. doi: 10.3390/ijms222111583. PMID: 34769015; PMCID: PMC8584244.
  2. Nikolić I, Chua EG, Tay ACY, Kostrešević A, Pavlović B, Jončić Savić K. Savory, Oregano and Thyme Essential Oil Mixture (HerbELICO®) Counteracts Helicobacter pylori. Molecules. 2023 Feb 24;28(5):2138. doi: 10.3390/molecules28052138. PMID: 36903396; PMCID: PMC10003975.
  3. Korona-Glowniak I, Glowniak-Lipa A, Ludwiczuk A, Baj T, Malm A. The In Vitro Activity of Essential Oils against Helicobacter Pylori Growth and Urease Activity. Molecules. 2020 Jan 29;25(3):586. doi: 10.3390/molecules25030586. PMID: 32013183; PMCID: PMC7037374.

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