The cure is in the cupboard, according to Dr Cass Ingram in his 1997 book of the same title. Dr Ingram says that oil of oregano can be used to improve health due to its natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic qualities. This is because oil of oregano contains phenols as well as terpenes, alcohols and esters. Phenols are widely considered to be some of the most potent antiseptics available. In fact, a synthetic phenol called carbolic acid was the primary antiseptic used in hospitals until the late 1950s. The phenol in oil of oregano, called carvacrol, is even more antiseptic than its synthetic “cousin.” In addition to carvacrol, oil of oregano contains thymol, another phenol that works synergistically with carvacrol. According to Dr Ingram, “oil of oregano contains over 50 compounds which possess antimicrobial actions, although carvacrol and thymol are the primary active ingredients.”
At the Laboratoires de Pharmacognosie in France, the antibacterial actions of carvacrol and thymol were shown to improve treatment of upper respiratory infections, or colds. This was especially true when carvacrol and thymol were used in combination, as they are found in oil of oregano.
In another study, oil of oregano was found to inhibit intestinal parasites. Oil of oregano was orally administered to 14 patients who tested positive for various intestinal parasites. After six weeks of treatment, there was a complete disappearance of the parasitic infection in 11 of the 14 patients. The remaining three patients showed a marked decline in their infection. Additionally, the gastro-intestinal symptoms caused by the infection were improved in the majority of the patients.
Sources: Pharmazie 1993 Apr;48(4):301-4; Phytother Res May;14(3):213-4; The Cure is in the Cupboard by C Ingram, Knowledge House:1997