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Oil of Oregano: Unlocking the Health Benefits

Updated: May 13

Oregano (origanum vulgare) is most commoning known as an herb that adds savory flavor to dishes when cooking. Some know it as an essential oil.

Essential oils are very concentrated and are different from the oil of oregano. The essential oil is considered a hot oil and should be diluted with a carrier oil to be applied topically or can be used in a diffuser with caution with kids and pets. This article is about the oil of oregano.

The oil of oregano can be taken as the oil internally or put in a capsule to swallow. It can be applied topically because it is already diluted.

Oregano is high in antioxidants, a molecule that neutralizes free radicals. The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health developed a unit of measurement for antioxidant content called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) showing Oregano's score at 175,295.

Multiple antioxidants contribute to the health benefits, including carvacrol, thymol, caryophyllene, limonene, ocimene, and terpinene. Carvacrol and thymol are two main components that have antioxidant and antibacterial activities with preventative and therapeutic properties.

A variety of antioxidant properties and chemicals have been identified. Two main components are thymol and carvacrol.

Carvacrol, thymol, and eugenol help slow bacterial growth and kill fungus.

Oregano has antibacterial effects against bacterial strains.

A 2019 laboratory study on the combination of carvacrol and thymol, antimicrobial activity against staphylococcus aureus and antioxidant activity.

One teaspoon of dried oregano contains calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K, among other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Where it came from

Oregano was originally grown in Greece. The word "oregano" is from the Greek words oros, for "mountains" and ganos for "joy" meaning "joy of the mountain". It tasted delicious and was easy to grow so the herb quickly spread across Europe and Asia. It traveled to China and came to the United States after World War II by soldiers coming home.


Oregano has been used for thousands of years.

In ancient Mediterranean culture, oregano was used internally to treat digestive and respiratory problems, colds, sore throat, influenza, mild feverish illnesses, cramps and menstruation, indigestion, and stomach upsets.

Externally it can be used as a chest rub to treat bronchitis or asthma. It can be rubbed (diluted) on the skin for arthritis and muscular pain. A drop on a tooth could relieve toothache pain. On the scalp, it could be used to treat lice.

Immune booster


Cold symptoms


Stomach Upset


Heartburn or indigestion



Natural antibiotic

Help to lower cholesterol

Powerful antioxidant

Aids with yeast infections

Improves gut health

Anti-inflammatory properties

Cancer-fighting properties

Regulate blood sugar and lipids




Clears mucus of the lungs




Gut health

Yeast infection

Delays aging

Pain killer

Protects against cancer

Soothe inflammation

Parasite infections

Relieve inflammatory conditions


Skin sores

Wound healing

Athlete's foot


Insect bites



Muscle or joint pain

Urinary tract infection - use 3-4 drops with a glass of milk or milk substitute, three times a day for three days.

Use as an antibiotic. Carvacrol was found to be a more effective antimicrobial over pharmaceutical drugs like penicillin.


Use caution if you have an allergy to plants in the Lamiaceae family, including basil, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, or thyme.

If you are awaiting surgery, stop taking the oil two weeks before your procedure. Oil of oregano may reduce the ability of blood platelets to clump together.

It may increase the risk of bleeding in patients taking anticoagulant drugs.

Large amounts may cause stomach upset.

If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar. It might lower blood sugar. Be mindful of taking this with other supplements which lower blood sugar like aloe, chromium, cassia cinnamon, bitter melon, or prickly pear cactus.

The oil may interact with other natural products that also affect blood clotting, such as garlic, ginger, ginko, certain ginseng, or red clover.

Oil of oregano is considered generally safe to consume. Essential oil is not. Consult your doctor or pharmacist with any questions or interactions.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Links and Studies

Most studies have used the essential form of oregano, which is much more concentrated. The studies do show the benefits of the compounds present in the plant.

The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oils against Streptococcus mutans in vitro and analysis of active components shows that oregano essential oil might be a potential antibacterial agent for the prevention of dental caries. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of essential oils obtained from oregano (origanum vulgare ... ) by using different extraction methods Oregano oil and it's principal component, Carvacrol, inhibit HIV-1 fusion into target cells.

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