How to Make your Own Oregano Oil
People have been using oregano oil for centuries. It has many medicinal properties, and is known to help with respiratory disorders, skin infections, digestive problems, and muscle pain and inflammation. This is because of two important compounds: carvacrol and thymol. Both have powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties that can cure many common diseases and (if taken regularly) actually prevent them from occurring or escalating.
Oregano oil is made from the plant variety origanum vulgare, which can be grown in your backyard and processed to make your very own cheap and easily accessible supply of oregano oil. Note, however, that this plant is different from the usual oregano used in cooking (known as origanum marjoram—you won’t get the same results if you don’t use the right plant!
So, obviously, the first step in making oregano oil is to plant the oregano. This needs only a small patch in the garden (so space is not really a problem).
Then comes the part that intimidates most people: processing the oil. It is actually quite simple, and doesn’t require expensive equipment or a degree in chemistry or manufacturing. You will need to invest in a basic distiller, which is available at drug stores and health food stores. There is no need to invest in one of those complicated distillers, unless you plan to produce large amounts of oregano oil for selling.
First, pick about half an ounce (1/2 oz) of oregano leaves. It’s best to process them immediately after picking—the fresher the leaves, the better! You will also need 2 cups of another vegetable oil. Many use olive oil because it is readily available (in fact, you probably already have this in your pantry). However, you can also use sweet almond oil and jojoba oil.
The other tools are also cheap and found in most kitchens: a cheesecloth (it should be unbleached) or muslin cloth, and a crockpot or slow cooker. You will also need a Mason Jar.
Now, take the oregano leaves and chop or bruise them, using a well sharpened knife. This releases the oils. Once you are done, place in a slow cooker.
Pour the olive oil (or the oil you have chosen) over the oregano leaves. Then, it’s time for it to cook. Switch the crockpot or slow cooker to its lowest setting, then leave to heat for about six hours. Though this is not a strict time frame (you can miss it by a few minutes—it’s not as delicate as a soufflé!) don’t go below five hours or over seven hours. Too short a time and the oils won’t be extracted; too long, and the oil will be overheated and spoiled.