Controlling a Runny Nose with Oregano
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Gary
Posted on: January 19, 2008

Off and on, my nose "runs" uncontrollably (this is since a couple of days). Nothing "chronic" about it, just annoying. Will an oregano application around the nostrils help to stop this nonsense?

A runny nose is caused by an irritation to the mucous membranes that either line the nose or elsewhere in the body, that is reacting in a sympathetic response. Causes of irritations are often from a virus, bacteria, sensitivity or allergy.

I am not sure what type of oregano application you are referring to. An oregano infusion (tea) if applied around the nostrils can be helpful in cases were the irritation is caused by a virus or bacterial infection as oregano has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. It would not be useful if the underlying cause is from an allergy or sensitivity.

If you are referring to an oregano oil application, assuming it is the essential oil of oregano, you would likely find that the oil would not be helpful rather it would just add to the irritation of the mucous membranes further as the essential oil is a highly concentrated. It has been known to burn and irritate when applied directly to the skin or mucous membranes.

If you where to use the oil as a steam or inhalant by adding a few drops of the essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water and the vapour then inhaled, this application could be effective if along with the irritation there is a vasoconstriction in the nose making it difficult to breath through which can add to the congestion and irritation of the mucous membrane. The oil of oregano could help to dilate the airways and reduce the congestion.

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