Can Oregano Oil Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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The ability of your body to tolerate wear and tear before it enters into an inflammatory auto-immune state of accelerated tissue damage is of the utmost importance to preserving your health – especially if you are under high stress. An emerging body of science shows that certain T cells act to regulate your tolerance to high stress by activating a natural anti-inflammatory defense system referred to as and heat shock proteins1 (HSP). Your ability to activate HSP is associated with longevity. Researchers have coined the term vitagenes2 to signify gene signals that activate HSP.
A new animal study tested the ability of carvacrol, the active ingredient in oregano oil, to activate HSP via regulatory T cells and stop experimentally produced autoimmune arthritis3. The researchers found that oregano oil had “an unprecedented capacity” to activate HSP via regulatory T cells. This completely suppressed the experimentally induced joint damage. The researchers concluded that carvacrol “can boost protective T cell responses to a self-stress protein and down-regulate inflammatory disease.”
This is a new finding for oregano oil in terms of the published literature and hopefully human studies for RA will be conducted in the hear future. An earlier animal study showed that the carvacrol in Oregano oil was a potent pain killer4. The primary traditional use of oregano oil is as a germ killer, with documented anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic activity. It has also been used for pain in traditional medicine.
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