Digging Deeper: Ecuadorian Oregano

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Ecuadorian Oregano

Plectranthus Oregano
(Plectranthus amboinicus)

Ecuadorian Oregano is a powerful herb, found in villages and houses throughout South America, where grandmothers and herbalists alike have used it for generations.

  • Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng. is a perennial herb belonging to the family Lamiaceae which occurs naturally throughout the tropics and warm regions of Africa, Asia and Australia.
  • This herb has therapeutic and nutritional properties attributed to its natural phytochemical compounds which are highly valued in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Besides, it has horticultural properties due to its aromatic nature and essential oil producing capability.
  • It is widely used in folk medicine to treat conditions like cold, asthma, constipation, headache, cough, fever and skin diseases.
  • The leaves of the plant are often eaten raw or used as flavoring agents, or incorporated as ingredients in the preparation of traditional food.
  • The literature survey revealed the occurrence 76 volatiles and 30 non-volatile compounds belonging to different classes of phytochemicals such as monoterpenoids, diterpenoids, triterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, phenolics, flavonoids, esters, alcohols and aldehydes.
  • Studies have cited numerous pharmacological properties including antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, antitumor, wound healing, anti-epileptic, larvicidal, antioxidant and analgesic activities.
  • Also, it has been found to be effective against respiratory, cardiovascular, oral, skin, digestive and urinary diseases.

Arumugam G, Swamy MK, Sinniah UR. Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng: Botanical, Phytochemical, Pharmacological and Nutritional Significance. Molecules. 2016;21(4):369. Published 2016 Mar 30. doi:10.3390/molecules21040369

It is a hardy, semi-succulent that produces a surprising amount of essential oil. Its aroma is similar to many oregano species with a moderately high carvacrol content. Ecuadorian Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus) is thought to be originally from Africa but has spread throughout the world. As such, it has many common English names like Mexican mint, Spanish thyme, Indian mint, French thyme, Mexican thyme, Cuban oregano, and Three-in-one herb. Another way to identify this oil is by its common and former scientific synonyms, which are: Coleus amboinicus, Coleus aromaticus, and Plectranthus aromaticus.

Aromatic Profile
Soft, herbaceous, oregano-like aroma

Features & Benefits of the Essential Oil

  • Cleanses and purifies the air of strong odors when diffused
  • Pairs perfectly with Ortho Ease® or Ortho Sport® to massage on overworked muscles
  • Creates a cleansing, invigorating experience when inhaled or diffused with RC or Eucalyptus oils
  • Pairs well with Thieves® essential oil blend and Thieves cleaning products
  • Great substitute for Oregano essential oil in blends or the Raindrop Technique® for a milder, softer oregano aroma
  • Soft, herbaceous, oregano-like aroma
  • Key component in Cool Azul® Pain Relief Cream
  • Includes the natural constituents of carvacrol, gamma terpinene, and para-cymene

The leaves of this plant have been used in traditional medicine for coughs, sore throats, and nasal congestion. Also used for infections and rheumatism, Plectranthus Oregano’s flavor makes it popular for cooking, especially in soups.

Medical Properties: Antitumoral, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipodemic, liver protectant

Uses: Infections, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, rheumatism

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition, pages 123-124

Thank you for digging deeper into Ecuadorian Oregano with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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