Wild Oregano and Thyme Oil (Recipe)
I have been a devoted student to the church of wild oregano for years. I swear, the stuff heal everything. Anytime I have a tickle in the throat, I take a full dropper 1-3x per day, and it’s gone within 24 hours. The stuff is like magic! Wild oregano oil is one of my non-negotiable travel buddies, because it supercharges your immune system and is a natural antibiotic (hello plane germs! … or should I say goodbye plane germs!).
Benefits of wild oregano oil (and the key here is wild) are vast, and include:
Healing respiratory illness (massage onto chest)
Healing skin ailments (from eczema, psoriasis, candidiasis; dilute oil and rub directly onto skin)
Healing fungal infections (natural antifungal, just rub onto fungus)
Natural antibiotic (take orally at first sign of illness or if around sick people)
Natural oral care disinfectant (treat abscess or other oral infections with diluted oil)
Relieves menstrual pain (it encourages blood flow, rub on abdomen)
Reduces cardiovascular disease (high antioxidant, take orally)
Reduced arthritis and muscle pain (highly anti-inflammatory, take orally or rub on sore spots)
Natural insect repellent (dilute in spray bottle with lemon oil)
I am currently living in Greece, and making an effort to eat essentially 100% local food, from the island. I’ve stopped taking supplements manufactured overseas, and although there are Cretan wild oregano oils available to buy, I thought I’d have a hand at making it myself.
The word itself comes from the Greek words ganos and oros meaning joy of the mountains, and indeed this wild herb grows rampants across the mountains of many (if not all? Greek islands). I first harvested wild oregano in the hills of Symi (see my guide to Symi HERE), as well as wild thyme. The two herbs seems to be the peanut butter and jelly of Grecian herbs, and often grow together. They also share similar healing properties, which is why I decided to opt for synergy and make this oil not only with wild oregano, but also wild thyme.
There are many ways to make herbal tinctures/ infusions/ extracts- and I am by no means a herbalism expert.. but the tinctures I have been using for years (you can find wild oregano tinctures across the globe) have always come in an olive oil base. Some brands dilute wild oregano essential oils in the olive oil, others make tinctures using alcohol; but I decided to harness the power of the mighty Cretan sun, and opt for a gentle, sun-powered, olive oil extraction.
The recipe is super simple, and requires just some basic ingredients, and a little thyme (pun intended!).
Wild Oregano and Thyme Oil
Sterilized mason jar
Wild oregano leaves (dried)
Wild thyme leaves (dried)
Organic olive oil
Optional: a drop of grapefruit seed oil (to preserve it)
Boil a pot of water, and then turn off the heat.
While the water starts to boil, place your herbs in a mason jar (I filled it about 3/4 way, only very gently packed).
Add in your olive oil, filling to the brim. Seal the jar shut.
Place your jar in the hot water pot (that is now off the heat), and let it sit in the hot water for 5-10 minutes. This will help gently release the oils stored in the herbs.
Place your jar in the sunlight and allow it to charge/ infuse for the next 2-3 weeks.
Shake the jar once a day.
After 2-3 weeks, strain the oil into a dropper bottle (make sure you really squeeze out the herbs.
Store in a dropper bottle (preferably dark glass), out of the sunlight (in a cool dark place like your cupboard).
Avoid using fresh herbs, the moisture can lead to mold.
You can add a drop of grapefruit seed oil to your tincture to help preserve it/ reduce likelihood of mold.