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"Oregano a flu fighter?"

Toronto Star

Source: Toronto Star

Published: 30 Jan 2022

Category: Other

Rating: (2 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

It's the peak of cold and flu season and more than a half a million Torontonians are sniffling, wheezing and succumbing to feverish chills.

And even though doctors say hand washing and getting the free flu shot is the best way to ward off viruses that cause upper respiratory infections, people are turning to local health-food stores to stock up on herbal remedies.

Oil of oregano is the latest in a long list of flu-fighting fads and it is disappearing from the shelves faster than garlic, vitamin C and even echinacea. Many herbalists say the essential oil, procured from wild oregano harvested in the Mediterranean, is the immune-booster of choice....

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 8
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Not Applicable
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This story is a report of personal experiences (something like case reports) around oregano oil and its effects on bacterial and viral infections including influenza. It also reports its antifungal and antibacterial effects in animal and invitro studies. No clinical trial is included in this report as a supportive document for the above claims and so it is difficult to score based on our checklist items.
A complementary paragraph about how to validate these claims is needed at the end of this story. The authors should describe that without any valid well designed randomized clinical trial to assess these claims the reader could believe in none of them. It would be useful to remind the reader the hierarchy of the level of evidence with systematic reviews of double-blind RCTs at the top and the personal communication (such as the reported patients of this story) as the last level of the list.

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