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Carvacrol, a substance found in herbs such as oregano, pepperwort, thyme and wild bergamot, has been making headlines recently. A study conducted at the University of Arizona earlier this year concluded that carvacrol can effectively combat the fatal Norovirus, which inflames the lining of the stomach and large intestine.
This has led to carvacrol becoming the subject of several research studies in the United States, and their results indicate that it has several health benefits.
These include substantially reducing the growth of harmful bacteria such as E coli and staphylococcus, which cause digestive problems and respiratory ailments. Research has also linked carvacrol ingestion to pain relief among people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This is because carvacrol activates the growth of pain-relieving T-cells in the body.
Carvacrol is an effective antioxidant that removes toxins from the body, but perhaps more importantly, research published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, states that carvacrol has anti-carcinogenic properties, and an increasing number of medical experts believe that it can be used to prevent and treat prostate cancer.
Alternate medical practitioners are also raving about carvacrol and are increasingly recommending the topical application of oregano oil – which is rich in carvacrol – to treat a host of skin-related diseases (including acne, eczema and ringworm) as well as joint inflammation, a condition that many people who have arthritis complain of frequently. Meanwhile, an increasing number of people are inhaling oregano oil with steam for relief from colds, coughs and influenza.
As if all this was not enough, studies have shown that carvacrol is a potent surface sanitiser; its organic, anti-microbial and non-corrosive properties have made it a popular cleaning agent as an alternative to bleach and alcohol-based cleaners.
– Dr Samia Babar
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.
First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on April 27, 2014.