Why We Prefer Natural Products to Laboratory Drugs
A lot of attention has been given to the predominant phenol, Carvacrol, which is a large and important component of wild Oregano oil. Depending on the quality of the Oregano, part of the plant distilled, expertise of the distiller and yearly variations in growing conditions, Carvacrol can be found ranging from approximately 30-87% in traditionally distilled oils. Due to the attention Carvacrol has received and the unfortunate thinking in Europe and America that more is better, we see products on the market boasting unrealistically high levels of Carvacrol. Distillers have found that by adding Carvacrol to the water during distillation that they can increase the Carvacrol percentage without it being detected in Gas Chromatography (GC) testing. Another method is to fractionate the oil by "boiling off" certain other chemical components of the oil to make the Carvacrol percentage higher. Unfortunately this adulterated or "standardized" oil is not nearly as effective for therapeutic application because the delicate synergy created by nature is thrown out of equilibrium or parts of the puzzle are missing. Lab testing done on the efficacy of pure Carvacrol for destroying pathogens has shown it to be half as effective as pure, unadulterated Oregano oil . The key to Oregano oil's amazing power is the synergistic combination of naturally occurring chemicals in the ratio in which nature produced them. Carvacrol's importance may be overestimated by media articles which neglect to mention the other critical chemical components of Oregano oil and their relationship with each other.
Unfortunately, the " more is better" mind set has provided distillers with the incentive to increase Carvacrol levels, at whatever cost to the end result, in order to cater to demand from this uninformed sector of the marketplace. The researchers and professors and even the good distillers find all this highly amusing as they know that the real curative powers of nature lie in the naturally distilled oil. Lab testing on Oregano's antibacterial, anti fungal, antiviral, anti-cancer etc. properties has been conducted with naturally distilled, best quality Oregano oil which falls into an average range of 62-85% Carvacrol.
When you consider that the final product has to be well diluted with olive oil to make a safe and therapeutically effective product, differences in Carvacrol percentages mean very little. Each manufacturer blends at a different strength/ratio of olive oil to Oregano oil. The final Carvacrol percentage in the bottle is likely to be in the 5-15% range. Again, if a manufacturer claims that an ‘extra strength' product (typically 40-50% Oregano oil) is better by virtue of its strength, they are again mistaken and falling back on the "bigger is better" mentality. The body would rather deal with more of a correctly blended product than an extra strength product. The olive oil greatly aids the body to assimilate the Oregano oil. Pure Oregano essential oil is very caustic and unsafe for therapeutic use. Any knowledgeable herbalist will tell you that a small dosage of a given herb may have a healing effect where a larger dose of the same herb would have the opposite effect. More is not better!!!
Another thing to watch for is when manufacturers claim Carvacrol counts in round numbers such as 75%, 80% or 85%. GC testing is always done in hundredths i.e. 71.28%. Please ask to see the GC certificate. If you see a round number, chances are it is a counterfeit GC or an adulterated/standardized product. Naturally this does not apply to manufacturers who may claim "not less than 65% Carvacrol" or "Carvacrol between 60-70%".
Knowledge is critical to better understanding and the ability to make informed choices.
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