Human Influenza Virus Inhibited by Oil of Oregano

Score a few more points for oregano oil.

Long recognized in traditional botanical medicine as an ally in preventing and treating infectious diseases, especially common colds and respiratory infections, oregano oil is proving effective in inhibiting and eradicating a number of human viruses.

The latest in a series of pre-clinical studies by Dr. M. Khalid Ijaz, shows that wild oregano oil alone (Oreganol P73), and in combination with the oils of cumin, sage and cinnamon (Oregacillin), can markedly reduce the virulence of human influenza virus A2. This study follows earlier experiments showing that these two products can completely block replication of human coronavirus, the pathogen associated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

To test the efficacy of these medicinal oils against influenza, Dr. Ijaz added 0.5 mL of viral inoculum containing human influenza virus A to solutions containing 1% concentrations of the herbal oils, both of which are made by Physician's Strength/North American Herb and Spice, a company specializing in medicinal oils from Mediterranean herbs. The viral cultures were exposed to the medicinal oils for varying time periods ranging from 2 to 20 minutes, and then inoculated onto embryonated chicken eggs (a common medium in viral virulence tests).

Exposure of the virus to the P73 wild oregano oil for 10 minutes reduced the number of viable infectious particles from 10 million per mL to 100,000 per mL. A 20-minute exposure further reduced the number to just under 15,000 per mL.

The Oregacillin combination of oils (oregano, sage, cumin and cinnamon) showed similar antiviral effects; a 10 minute exposure to a 1% dilution of this combination, reduced viral counts from 10,000,000 infectious units per mL to 177,827 infectious units per mL. A 20-minute exposure reduced the counts to under 5,000 per mL. The P73 oregano oil and Oregacillin combination were also able to eradicate avian influenza virus, as well, though this required a higher concentration.

A member of the Lamiaceae family of plants indigenous to the Mediterranean region, oregano contains high concentrations of phenols, including a compound called carvacrol. Previous research has shown wild oil of oregano to be bacteriostatic and fungistatic against a number of human pathogens including Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus.

Dr. Ijaz and his colleagues at Microbiotest, a contract research microbiology lab in Sterling, VA, are the first team to show that these oils can inhibit human viral pathogens.

For more information about the P73 wild oregano oil and the Oregacillin combination, contact Physician's Strength at: 800-243-5242.

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