Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Burkemper

Q: I already know that Oil of Oregano is a wonderful natural antibiotic.  Does it make a difference if you use the encapsulated oil or the liquid?

A: Wild oregano oil is more powerful than goldenseal or Echinacea, therefore making it a very powerful natural antibiotic.  It is also very beneficial in treating bacterial and fungal infections, parasites, staph and candida.  The form you take it in depends upon what you are treating.  Any bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection in the gastrointestinal tract is best taken in an enteric-coated capsule.  This prevents it from breaking down before it reaches the intestine.  For infections in other parts of the body, the oil under the tongue is preferred.  For fungal infections in the nails or skin, you can apply the oil directly to the problem area.  You may want to dilute it with some olive oil in case you are sensitive.  Do not confuse oil of oregano with the spice, it is not the same.  Wild oregano is best and safe with short-term use.  High doses can be toxic to the liver, so follow directions carefully.

Q: I seem to be very anxious lately and cannot focus or concentrate.  Is there anything natural that I could take that will not have any negative side effects?

A: You might want to try an amino acid called L-Theanine.  There have been many studies done on L-Theanine and it seems to be very calming in adults and children who experience stress or anxiety.  It works by increasing blood levels of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), which help to maintain optimum levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.  These neurotransmitters control not only emotional response, pleasure and pain, but mental alertness and sense of well being.  It will not cause drowsiness and can be taken with or without food (unlike most amino acids).  By the way, L-Theanine is derived from green tea.

This herb information is for health education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners.  Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins?  Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist.  Write to:  Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO  63011.