Proven Benefits and Uses of Oregano Oil (Oregano Essential Oil) – Evidence Based

Oregano Oil (Oregano Essential Oil) Benefits and Uses

Oregano essential oil has many health benefits due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Oregano oil can help to treat colds, get rid of herpes infections, clear up acne, get rid of parasites, and improve digestion. Scientific studies discovered that oregano essential oil can even kill MRSA (bacteria which is resistant to antibiotics).

There are many ways that your health can benefit from using oregano oil. For example, you can mix oregano essential oil with a carrier oil to help treat skin infections, inflammation, and acne. You can also take oregano oil capsules to help boost your digestive health and reduce bad gut bacteria. A few drops of oregano essential oil in your diffuser can allow you to breathe in the therapeutic aromas.

In this article, you will learn about the many benefits of oregano oil to address many health concerns. You will also find out how to use oregano oil topically, orally, and in aromatherapy.

What is Oregano Oil (Oregano Essential Oil)?

Oregano essential oil (Origanum vulgare) is a widely used oil known for its powerful antimicrobial activities.

The journal Molecules reports that oregano essential oil is commonly used in food preparation and the pharmaceutical industry. There is more and more evidence that oregano oil has many benefits for human health. Compounds in oregano oil have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. (1)

Oregano essential oil is extracted through steam distillation to produce a concentrated liquid packed with medicinal properties. Oregano leaves are usually dried before extraction to help preserve as much of the essential oil as possible. (1)

The main components in oregano essential oil are carvacrol and thymol. Researchers have found that these compounds give oregano oil its antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Some medicinal properties of oregano oil are also from oregano compounds such as terpinene, terpineol, and flavonoids. (2)

One type of high-strength therapeutic grade oregano oil is oregano P73. This contains a blend of wild oregano extracts said to have powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The oregano P73 means that it has a claimed concentration of 73% polyphenol.

How to Take Oregano Oil (Oregano Essential Oil)

There are many ways you can benefit from taking oregano essential oil.

If you want to use oregano essential oil topically, it is important to remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated. You should dilute oregano oil with a carrier oil before using it on your skin. Usually, 2-3 drops of oregano oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil can help to address many skin conditions.

If you want to take oregano oil internally, you should always use food grade oregano oil and follow the instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Usually, the dosage of oregano oil is stated on the packet and takes into account the amount of carvacrol and thymol in the product.

For example, taking a dose of 200mg oregano 3 times daily for 6 weeks is recommended for getting rid of parasites. (3)

To use oregano oil in steam inhalation as an anti-inflammatory agent, you can put a few drops of oregano essential oil in a diffuser. You can also use a bowl of boiling water, then cover your head with a towel, close your eyes, and put your face over the bowl, but not too close to get burned, and inhale the steam to clear your nasal passages and throat.

Benefits and Uses of Oregano Oil (Oregano Essential Oil)

Let’s look in more detail at how pure oregano oil can help to benefit your health. You will also find helpful home remedies which involve taking oregano oil orally, topically, or in aromatherapy.

Oregano Oil is Antibacterial (Natural Antibiotic)

Oregano essential oil compounds such as carvacrol help to kill off many strains of Staphylococcus bacteria.

Researchers say that the Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strain causes many infections. This bacteria can cause skin infections, pulmonary infections, and cause complications after upper respiratory infections. Staph bacteria strains also result in food poisoning from contaminated food and drink. (4, 5)

A 2018 study into the antibacterial properties of oregano oil found that it can help prevent and treat wound infections. Applying oregano oil to an infected wound helped to kill off infection-causing bacteria. In the study, researchers used oregano oil with grapeseed oil (as a carrier oil). (6)

Researchers also found that oregano oil is also effective against MRSA (type of bacteria that the usual antibiotics can’t destroy anymore). (6)

Oregano compounds such as carvacrol and thymol are also potent against a number of other bacterial infections. Oregano oil is also effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Doctors say that Pseudomonal infections can affect the urinary tract, ears, eyes, bloodstream, and respiratory tract. (7, 8)

One of the antibacterial benefits of taking oregano oil is that it may also kill Escherichia coli bacteria. Research has found that Greek oregano can speed up healing after E. coli infections and also prevents the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. (9)

Related: This Honey Kills More Bacteria Than All Available Antibiotics (Including Superbugs!)

How to use oregano essential oil for skin infections

Dilute 2-3 drops of oregano oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or extra virgin olive oil. Apply 2 or 3 times a day to irritated or damaged skin to speed up the healing time.

Oregano oil is also one of the best essential oils for treating acne. To use oregano essential oil for acne, mix 2 drops of oregano oil and 1-2 drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply to the acne pimples twice a day until they are gone.

Oregano Oil is Antiviral

One of the reasons why taking oregano essential oil is good for your health is that it helps kill off viral infections.

Research from Brazil found that Mexican oregano has strong antiviral properties against a number of microbes. For example, carvacrol in oregano oil helps destroy the rotavirus, herpes virus, and viral respiratory infections. Researchers have found that the antiviral activity is effective in humans and animals. (10)

Labs trials on mice have shown that oregano essential oil helps kill off the norovirus. (11) Both the norovirus and rotavirus are responsible for stomach bugs that cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

How to use oregano essential oil for internal viral infections

You can use oregano oil that has a high carvacrol concentration to help break down viral infections. You may want to try oregano oil softgel capsules and make sure to follow the manufacturer instructions.

Oregano Oil May Help Treat Herpes and Cold Sores

The antiviral properties of oregano essential oil can also help you get rid of cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1.

Research from 2017 has found that compounds in oregano oil can help treat cold sores. The oregano compound thymol has strong antiviral activity against the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Applying oregano essential oil at the first sign of a cold sore infection helped to improve healing time. (12)

One of the reasons why oregano oil is good for herpes infections is that it helps break down the protection cell of the virus (viral envelope). This helps your immune system to effectively destroy viral infections that result in cold sores or fever blisters. (13)

How to use oregano oil to get rid of a cold sore

Dilute 3 drops of pure oregano oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Use a clean cotton bud to dab a little of the antiviral oregano oil remedy onto the cold sore blister. Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until your herpes infection has gone completely.

Further reading: Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fever Blisters (Cold Sores) – Science Based.

Oregano Oil May Help Clear Respiratory Infections

The antimicrobial properties of oregano oil can help to treat colds, the flu, and other infections that affect the upper respiratory tract.

A study from 2017 found that essential oils from the oregano plant are used traditionally to alleviate various respiratory disorders. (14) The most common types of respiratory infections are the common cold and flu.

One way that oregano oil can help with the cold or flu is by alleviating many respiratory complications. For example, oregano oil is effective against Staphylococcus infections that can often cause bronchitis, a severe cough, and even pneumonia. (15)

A 2011 study found that oregano oil together with other essential oils can help to reduce many of the symptoms associated with a cold infection. Researchers said that using such herbal remedies for infections could reduce the need for prescribing antibiotics or treating viral infections. (16)

How to use oregano essential oil for a cold or the flu

To help get symptomatic relief and possibly get rid of a cold infection faster, you can inhale therapeutic oregano vapors.

Put a few drops of oregano oil and eucalyptus oil in a bowl of boiling water. Place a towel over your head and inhale deeply the soothing vapors to help clear your sinuses and airways.

Learn about more natural home remedies that can help you recover from the flu or common cold faster.

Related: 13 Proven Natural Antibiotics That Don’t Require a Prescription (Science Based)

Oregano Oil is Antifungal

One of the reasons to take oregano essential oil internally or apply it topically is for its effectiveness against fungal infections.

Candida infections are a type of fungal infection that can affect the mouth or genitals. Research has found that oregano essential oil helped to kill off 16 types of Candida strains such as Candida albicans. The researchers recommended that oregano oil could be used as an alternative candidiasis treatment. (17)

The antifungal effect of oregano essential oil is mostly due to thymol. Some researchers have found that thymol increases the effectiveness of certain pharmaceutical antifungal medications such as nystatin. (18)

Because of its effective fungicidal activity, you could also use oregano essential oil to treat athlete’s foot and other fungal skin infections such as ringworm. (19)

How to use oregano oil to kill off fungal infections

If you have a candida infection in your mouth (oral thrush), you can use oregano oil in an antibacterial and antifungal mouthwash. Mix 2 drops of peppermint oil and 2 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water. Swish some of the mixture around your mouth for 30 seconds to prevent the growth of yeast and bacteria. Spit out after rinsing and don’t swallow. Use twice a day to help keep your mouth free from germs.

To treat athlete’s foot with oregano oil, mix 2 drops of oregano oil with a teaspoon of olive oil or other carrier oil. Apply the oregano antifungal remedy between your toes where you have itchy, cracked skin. Use the oregano oil mixture 2 times a day until your foot fungal infection has gone.

If you are bothered with nail fungus, find out what you can put on thickened nails to get rid of the fungal infection.

Oregano Oil May Help Treat Skin Inflammation

Oregano oil is a good natural ingredient to use in home remedies for eczema, psoriasis, or other types of skin rashes.

The anti-inflammatory properties of oregano oil can help to reduce skin inflammation. Research has found that the oregano compound carvacrol suppresses inflammatory responses in the skin. This has a healing effect on skin wounds and ulcers. (20)

Other studies have shown that oregano is among the essential oils that are good for inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. (21)

How to make a healing oregano essential oil salve

Mix 2 drops of oregano oil and 1 drop of chamomile oil or lavender oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil or other carrier oil. Apply the healing oregano oil remedy to cracked, itchy, red skin 3 times a day to help your skin heal. Continue using the oregano oil until you no longer have inflamed skin.

Further reading: How to Get Rid of Eczema: 13 Natural Remedies Backed By Research.

Oregano Oil Can Help Alleviate Some Digestive Issues

Taking oregano oil orally can help to address various types of digestive disorders.

Studies have shown that the oregano anti-inflammatory compound carvacrol has healing potential for treating gastric ulcers. (22)

One study on mice found that a combination of thyme and oregano essential oils help reduce inflammation in the colon to help alleviate symptoms of colitis. (23)

Learn about other natural ingredients to help soothe many digestive complaints.

Oregano oil can treat small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Taking oregano essential oil is useful for treating digestive issues such as an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines.

SIBO can cause symptoms similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome that results in bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea. Research has shown that an appropriate dosage of oregano oil helps to inhibit the growth of intestinal microbes. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity of oregano oil could be useful for treating small intestine bacterial over growth. (24)

If you take oregano oil internally in capsule form, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the dose.

Related: Surprising Ways a Pinch of Baking Soda and Water Can Change Your Life

Oregano Oil Has Cardiovascular Benefits

Taking oregano oil may help to keep your heart in good health by lowering blood pressure and possibly lowering cholesterol.

Research has pointed to the anti-inflammatory benefits of oregano oil in helping to manage chronic disease such as heart disease. Carvacrol in oregano essential oil helps to bring down high blood pressure and improve vascular health. Oregano oil can also help to lower oxidative stress which may prevent a buildup of plaque in the arteries. (25)

For more help on how to care for your cardiovascular health, please read my article about the best foods to include on the cardiac diet.

Oregano Oil Can Help Get Rid of Intestinal Parasites

You can take oregano essential oil internally to help get rid of tapeworms, roundworms, and other intestinal parasites.

One study found that taking 600 mg of emulsified Mediterranean oregano oil helped to eradicate certain intestinal parasites. Infected persons took the oregano oil capsules for 6 weeks to get rid of the parasites. Taking oregano oil also helped improve symptoms of gastrointestinal upset caused by the parasitic infection. (26)

Apart from taking oregano oil for intestinal parasites, learn about other natural remedies to rid yourself of these parasites.

Oregano Oil is a Natural Bug Repellent

One of the many uses of oregano essential oil is to repel ticks and other insects.

A 2017 study found that compounds in oregano oil have a natural repellent effect. Oregano oil sprayed on paper or cloth material helped to effectively repel ticks. The only concern that researchers had about the repelling effect of oregano oil was regarding skin sensitivities. (27)

Oregano is just one of the many natural herbs that have insect-repelling properties.

Oregano Oil for Ear Infection

The Journal of Infectious Diseases published on 2005 a study on rats that had acute otitis media (middle ear infection) and found that the essential oil components thymol, carvacrol have antimicrobial activity, which helped to achieve better healing rate in comparison to the placebo group. The researchers concluded that essential oils or their components placed in the ear canal can provide effective treatment of acute otitis media. (32)

However no studies were done about the efficacy of oregano oil in treating ear infections on humans. If you want to try using oregano oil for an ear infection, soak a cotton ball in diluted essential oil, and place the cotton ball on the opening of the ear but not inside the ear canal, or try these effective home remedies for ear infection.

Oregano Oil Has Anticancer Properties

Like with many essential oils, compounds in oregano essential oil may help to inhibit the development and spread of certain cancers.

The journal Molecules reported that the essential oil of oregano helps to kill off certain toxic agents that can affect cell DNA. Round-leaf oregano essential oil helped to inhibit cancer-causing cells in the human body. Researchers recommended that more research is carried out to develop natural drugs that can be used in the treatment of cancer. (28)

Other studies have found that carvacrol can help to prevent the spread of certain types of tumors and protect DNA in human cells. (29)

Although research into the anticancer effect of oregano essential oil shows some positive results, more clinical studies are needed to develop effective natural therapies.

Oregano Oil Side Effects

Oregano is a fragrant herb to use in cooking and oregano leaf oil has many medicinal properties.

Although oregano leaf is generally safe for most people when used as a flavoring in food, some may have adverse effects when taking oregano oil for medicinal purposes.

For example, taking oregano oil internally could cause digestive upset for some people. Usually, if you are allergic to oregano, you may also be allergic to lavender, mint, and sage. (30)

Doctors from WebMD advise that you should avoid taking oregano in medicinal amounts orally if you are pregnant, have bleeding disorders, or take medicine for diabetes. (31)

It is also advised to do a skin patch test of the diluted oregano oil to make sure you don’t develop any skin sensitivities.

Where to Buy Oregano Oil (Oregano Essential Oil)

You can buy oregano essential oil in many health stores and online in Amazon here.

When looking for the best oregano oil to buy, look for food grade oregano oil. This will ensure that you can take the oil in recommended amounts internally. You should also check that the oregano oil is from an organic source to make sure that you don’t expose yourself to unnecessary toxins.

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