When You’re Sick: Don’t Forget the Oregano Oil

Monday Feb 11 | BY |
| Comments (21)


How could I forget my favorite immunity herb?

After my article on fasting to get rid of a cold, there were a lot of awesome comments and suggestions.

Of course, I couldn’t cover all the cold and flu remedies I knew (it took me 3,200 words to cover just the limited ones I used), but here are some additional thoughts, ideas and protocols that I missed out on…

Don’t forget…

Also, oregano oil is amazing, honey and lemon with warm water and Dr. Schulze’s Cold & Flu shots! From Joanna


Joanna and a few other commenters pointed out that I didn’t mention oregano oil.

Oregano oil may be one of my favorite — and seemingly most effective — herb treatments.

Rachel, one of our Annmarie Gianni Skin Care team members, is going to Ecuador in a few weeks and asked what she should do to help avoid the stomach flu.

I suggested that she needed only oregano oil.

I’ve used this remedy at least 1/2 dozen times at the first hint of belly cramping when I was in areas known for this type of illness. I megadose with the herb — 3-6 capsules every 3 hours or so — and each time, it’s completely wiped out the sickness in 24 hours.

To show you how effective I think this is, there have been 4-5 times when I didn’t have oregano oil during our travels. Each has been — in simplest terms — awful.

I consider this enough of a track record to prove that — at least for me — oregano oil can in some why help curb the escalation of traveler’s diarrhea.

To take this a step further, I’m sure — on some level — it’s effective for other bugs, so it’s worth a shot. I do believe that for gastrointestinal issues, it may be more beneficial, since no absorption is needed.

On the other technique, Dr. Shultze has great products, so you’re in good hands.

Can I make my own tincture?

I would be interested in knowing about your echinacea tincture recipe. Do you have it posted somewhere on your site? – Michelle B

We use either Gaia or Herb Pharm tinctures, since they’re easy to find and buy at the store when you start to feel ill. If you start to feel sick and try to make an herbal tincture, you’re way too late (since they take a few months to become potent.)

But, if you want to make an herbal echinacea tincture, you can. You can even add other immune boosting herbs if you want.

Basically, in a non-standardized way, you’d purchase or pick wildcrafted or organic echinacea. (Dry it if it’s not already dried.) Put the herb into a container that can be sealed airtight. Then add either oil or alcohol (vodka, grain alcohol) to cover the herb completely. Close the lid and store in a dark place for 2-3 months.

When your tincture is ready, all you have to do is strain out the herb and use the liquid or oil — it’s been effectively infused with the chemical properties of the herb.

You can do this process with any herb — or mixture of them — so have fun with it!

(Some herbs are extracted better with alcohol and others with oil, so be sure to do some preliminary research online to find out what will work best for your tincture.)

Don’t forget this too…

Echinacea tincture at the first sign of cold. Bouncing on rebounder. Works every time. – Cindy

Great point, Cindy. I just talked about echinacea, so that’s covered, but the rebounder is a great tool for anyone with a cold who feels strong enough to bounce on it.

When you’re sick and lying in bed, you are getting rest you need, but you could be ineffectively moving your lymph fluid– which in turn can help detoxify your body. The rebounder can assist with this process.

I actually forgot to mention in my article, that each day I did take a short walk (1-2 miles) to get my lymph moving. As much as I wanted to stay inside, I also wanted fresh air and to give my body a chance to detoxify through motion — walking, rebounder, light yoga, these all will do the trick.

Kevin, you’re way to hard on your body…

As I read your article, I heard a lot of frustration, anger and maybe embarrassment about getting sick. When we get mad because we’re sick, it’s like saying to our body “you didn’t do your job! And I’m mad at you!” Well, I don’t know about you, but I would be much more likely to do my job if I were praised and encouraged. And being perfect all the time is just too big a goal! Our bodies are no different. I mean, how often do we thank our body for doing all the amazing things it does to keep us healthy and safe? I’ve begun doing it regularly, and I think it helped me to gracefully get through the flu. Although you recovered quickly, perhaps your negative emotions prolonged your illness longer than necessary. Just a thought. – Helen

Hey Helen! Great points here. I have to admit, when I wrote about me disliking being sick, I was hamming things up a little more than I should have.

Yes, I don’t care to be sick and lose time away from work and family, but I don’t dwell on it at all. It gave me a chance to read a book or two, relax, take a break and just be still. That for me was activity that I welcomed.

If you meet me in person, you’ll be able to tell that I take things in stride pretty well and am almost always lighthearded. My sarcasm and sometimes histrionic writing comes from my East Coast (U.S.) upbringing for sure.

Enough about me, I do think you bring up a great point about being positive, thankful and willing to deal with illness and your body graciously.

Negative thinking can definitely make you sick and keep you sick for longer.

Thanks for commenting!

A simple change of focus…

Being in the natural health field for 40 years I have often said that I don’t get sick – it would be sacrilegious for me. So if I am under the weather (which doesn’t happen often), I am not “sick”, I am “out of balance”. Being healthy then means that when you are “sick or out of balance” you recover quickly. – Kathryn

Out of balance! This is a great reframe. Thanks Kathryn!

What about colonics? Or massages?

What about colonics? Or massages? – Meherbani

I didn’t do any enemas while I was sick this time, but I do think they can be effective.

I remember my mother telling me that my grandmother would give her and her brother and sisters enemas when they were sick growing up. It’s a forgotten treatment that — at the very least — helps get any toxic load out of the colon, and maybe much more.

I’d prefer that you do an enema when your sick, only because you might infect your colon hydrotherapist while they’re helping you get better. (Same with massage.)

Massage, which I didn’t mention above, is also fantastic for moving lymph through the body, so this is another fantastic way to treat yourself well when you’ve got a cold. It also will help you de-stress and open up blood flow to tense areas. A more efficient body is a healthier one.

Your Question of the Day: Have you used oregano oil? Enemas? Yes, no? Why or why not?

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Audrey says:

    I use oil of oregano whenever I feel a cold coming on and it either wipes it out completely or reduces its impact greatly depending on how much I take/if I take it at regular intervals.

  2. Healingthyme says:

    Grapefruit seed extract is my choice remedy at the sign of a cold/flu or just feeling a little run down, plus it doesn’t effect beneficial bacteria in the gut. Strong anti-fungal, anti-parasitic & anti-bacterial properties. Great for traveling with – I know someone that used it on their travels to India and did not get sick or plagued with parasites. I buy Innovite and it also has some Oil of Oregano in it.

    Thumps up to Enema’s too!

  3. Josephine says:

    Please excuse an ignorant question. I was told long ago by a doctor who recognized systematic yeast infection to never eat anything that was fermented when I was trying to get rid of it. Is this eroneous information? Can anyone tell me why? Thanks, Josephine

    • Daniela says:

      I suggest reading the body ecology diet by Donna Gates, she talks all about systemic yeast infections (candida) and how can you get rid of it. It’s safe to eat fermented foods if you use the correct strains of bacterias that can help you boost your immune system an reestablish your inner ecosystem.

  4. Denise B says:

    I am considering a trip to Central America this summer and I was wondering what supplement would be useful to take with me. Thanks for the heads up on the oregano oil!

  5. sheri says:

    Yes to the oregano oil!! We got hit hard with the flu this year,and oregano oil was a huge help, along with a few other things. Some say to take one a day during the winter to keep the bugs away.

  6. Gen says:

    I have used oregano oil successfully for a sore throat. For stomach upsets, I prefer ginger.

  7. Cindy Yacob says:

    This is so strange- the day the original blog came out about the cold and I responded-well the very next day I had a cold (extrememly rare for me). I was so glad I read all the helpful hints in your comments section because I decided to bring out the big guns- yes I did the enema and fasted for a day and a half (just on water and green juices) plus neti pot, rebounder and echinacea and guess what? I was fine next day so the whole ordeal was very mild and lasted less than 48 hours. As a side note my daughter who came down with the bug at the same time is still sick 4 days later.
    Thanks for helping me get through this so quickly!

  8. Bootdlv says:

    May I know if oil or alcohol is a better base for the oregano tincture? Im from the philippines and i wonder if virgin coconut oul better or a local coconut derived alcohol called lambanog is better?

  9. Karn says:

    I often use oregano oil and think it is great. If I feel something coming on, I take 2 or 3 capsules throughout the day (filled with olive oil and 3 or 4 drops of oregano oil) and within 24 hours I feel good again. It’s a natural antibiotic!

  10. Peg says:

    Enemas are one of the most “not talked about healing modalities” ever given!!! As we all have consumed the AMERICAN diet, we all are toxic! Please dont wait to give yourself or loved ones enemas ! It gave me my life back. It helps children reduce fever and sinus issues,and so many more you cannot even imagine. I know this first hand as I did about 40 enemas last year, and my health sprung back so quickly. Allergies lessened and my over-all pain ( fibromyalgia & CFS) got sooooo much better . Please please inform people that they will not infect a hydrocolon person! I Oh yeah…my eyesight improved in 15 minutes while getting my first colon therapy session back in 2003. I live in Kentucky and I am telling you that the old home remedies are what has saved many lives. My mother gave us enemas to reduce fevers and our hospital gave enemas befoere giving birth to our babies. There are 2 cleansing of the colon/body. One of course the colon being cleansed. But the second one has to do with the actual organs and tissues being cleansed. it is an amazing journey. Even the most spiritual people talk about cleaning the inner body and it truly does affirm the belief of having a clarity paralleled to none. It really does heightened the vibratory resonance to your spiritual self.
    Many thanks for all your other information that youre helping folks along the way.
    Peg Fields

  11. Yes, I have used Oil of Wild Oregano for a bad cold and flu. I think it tastes so bad it scares the germs away. It really did do a great job of bringing me back to wellness. We regularly keep it in our “medicine chest”.

  12. Liz says:

    As soon as I feel a cold coming on or the flu I take 30,000 units of Vitamin D and 1 tablespoon of colloidal silver for 3 days and it really helps but you only do it for 3 days. A chiropractor recommended this and it works. I have often warded off a cold with this method.

  13. Stacey says:

    Oregano is great for both cooking and colds/flu! I found a really great product called Oreganol Super Strengh (Wild Mediterranean P73. From North American Herbs & Spice. Works great! It’s pretty intense though. I bought capsules, a spray and a dropper. The first time I took the capsules I burped this aromatic oregano. It didn’t bother me. It hasn’t happened since. The spray can be used as an anything sanitizer, breath freshner. I sprayed it in the back of my throat when I had a sore throat once. Again, I say it is spicy…My throat didn’t bother me anymore. Anyway, I am at this moment getting over a cold. I started taking it as soon as I started feeling like something was a miss. Which was Friday. I did NOT want to take any of the standard cold remedies you find at the store. I just had soup, green smoothies, E3 AFA, Camu Camu, colloidal silver, herbal tea, as much water as I could drink & Wellness Formula at the very beginning. Maybe a bit much but I figured if I nourish my body well that should work better than any chemical meds. So far so good.
    P.S. Kevin I checked your store to be sure there was no product comparable to this or I would not have mentioned it. Thank you for all the wonderful videos and wealth of information you share with all of us.

  14. Tara says:

    Don’t recommend massage when you have a cold or flu – it explodes the infection in the body and makes people very sick, it won’t necessarily speed up the process, especially if they are not very vital. Acupuncture is very helpful as well as herbs.

  15. LynnCS says:

    Oregano is great in any form. Grow it in your window sill and put it in everything. I have it in my salads every day. Yum!

    Sometimes we get too scientific about these great herbs. Keep it simple. Just get it in ya!

  16. Josh O. says:

    I quickly read the blog post about getting over a cold. I just started to get sick when I was about to go on vacation. Too many people at work were sick and sneezing on everything. But you know what worked like a charm? Garlic. Yes, garlic twice a day made me feel a lot better. I’ve read that it is a natural, but safe, alternative to antibiotics.

  17. Ann says:

    I so appreciate your work!! Therapeutic-grade oregano essential oil is wonderful to prevent or treat stomach ailments, digestive problems, prevent flu, etc.
    I have found that a blend of therapeutic-grade plant oils of: cinnamon, clove, lemon, rosemary, and eucalyptus to be wonderfully healing and preventative. Plus it’s not quick as harsh as oregano for every day use. You can take this blend in a capsule, rub on bottoms of feet – since the tiny molecules travel through your whole body in about 20 minutes, and rub the oils in your hands and inhale those tiny molecules (or use a diffuser). Diffusing will also clean the air of the germs, bacteria, and viruses — yes, viruses… there’s been studies that say that no virus can exists in the presence of cinnamon oil!! This blend is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal …. I have many stories of friends and family staying well as they use these oils; while others around them are getting sick. Very exciting to see (and experience) 🙂

    • IdaFish says:

      Wow that sounds amazing! Have to get my hands (and feet, clearly!) on these magical wonders 🙂

    • Diane says:

      How do I get my hands on that blend of cinnamon, oregano etc, my husband just came out of hospital after 9 days of 3 different antibiotics, steroids etc, severe sinus ( 7 cavities), bronchitis, pre long term kidney failure, pre diabetes, pre congestive heart failure, low t & emphysema like, so he has a small window to do a major lifestyle change, etc

  18. Roz says:

    Can you give Echinacea tincture to a 3 year old who has a cold?

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