Health Uses for Oregano Oil

Oregano was the world’s first natural preservative. The herb is grown from a wood shrub native to the Mediterranean and the oil is extracted through steam distillation of the dried flowering portions. Easily acquired, oregano oil is produced mainly in Italy, Bulgaria and Russia. Monasteries of the 13th century used the oil hundreds of years ago for its calming effects. Up until the 1950s Oregano oil was used to sterilize pre-surgery instruments and is used worldwide today to treat a surprising number of ailments and conditions of the body.


The chemical carvacrol is oregano oil’s primary active constituent, making it one of the strongest natural antiseptics known to man. Antiseptics prohibit growth of unhealthy microorganisms. Small amounts are potent enough to have strong affects on bacteria, systemic fungi, parasites, yeast and viruses.

One drop of oregano oil diluted with a tablespoon of olive oil can be applied to minor wounds and external infections for bacterial elimination every day until gone.

Boost Immunity

Native Mediterranean people have used oregano as an immune booster long before herbalists researched the constituents of the powerful oil. Oregano oil is naturally loaded with essential minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium, copper, boron and maganese, vitamins A, C and niacin, as well as naturally occurring antioxidant phytochemicals.

Consuming safe levels of oregano oil, as recommended by the manufacturer, enable the body to establish an environment toxic to less worthy organisms which attack the digestive tracts, skin and mucus membranes. Typical doses range from two drops in a glass of water to two pills per day.

Lower quality oregano oil may contain thymol, a phenol used in immunity boosting as well, yet in excess can be toxic to the liver through continued use. Purchasing oregano made from Origanum vulgare of high quality grade is suggested to be safer for regular daily consumption levels.


Used in modern day cooking, oregano is recognized scientifically by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its antimicrobial activity against food bacterias such as salmonella and E.coli. A study done by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical concurs the antimicrobial properties found in oregano oil provide a promising solution to ongoing physiological warfare against food bacteria.

A dilution of oregano oil can be used to spray household areas such as kitchen countertops as an effective microbial killer by simply filling an 8-oz. spray bottle with water and adding five drops of oregano oil.

Anectodal Uses

Claimed by nearly every manufacturer of oregano oil on the market, its use is suggested for prevention and alleged treatment of common conditions such as sinusitis, fatigue, headaches, sore throat, bronchitis, indigestion and gum disorders by ingestion. Other suggested uses of the oil include intestinal parasite detox, candidiasis, inflammation and infections such as bladder and kidney, however clinical evidence proving the validity is not supported at this time. Manufacturers offer the herbal folklore remedy of oil in sub lingual or pill form, generally to be taken with meals daily.

In herbal folklore, oregano oil is also used to treat numerous external conditions such as nail fungus, athlete’s foot, warts, eczema, scabies, ringworm, lice, bed sores and arthritis by applying directly on the body area in diluted form. A simple dilution of one drop of oregano to a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent skin irritation is often used. Straight oregano oil can be applied directly to the feet and toes to diminish fungal infection growth by dabbing on several drops by finger or cotton ball and working the oil into the area. Prior to external applications consider a patch test. Apply a small drop in the crease of the elbow and allow to penetrate for several hours; if redness or irritation ensues, avoid use.

About this Author

Anne Reichert is a health and wellness advisor promoting stress reduction and coaching personal strength building on multi-dimensional levels throughout her local Boulder, Colo., community with audiences ranging nationwide. Reichert enjoys creative intervention for health and emotional imbalances on a holistic level, with more than 10 years experience as a biofeedback practitioner and stress reduction specialist.