Oregano Oil supports immune function by assisting in targeting foreign microbes. Oil of Oregano is a herbal product that has been used since Biblical times. In Aristotle’s day, Greek herbalists used oregano for medicinal purposes and as an antidote, and it was also used by herbalists and physicians in ancient Egypt.

History of Oregano Oil

Oregano is an aromatic perennial herb that can grow to about two feet in height. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is cultivated worldwide. In addition to European oregano, there are several types of related species, including Greek/Turkish oregano (Origanum onites) and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens, Lippa palmeri). These should not be considered as substitutes for true oregano, though they may have similar properties.  

The leaves as well as the volatile oil of these various species are used medicinally, but must be carefully distinguished as they are quite different. Oregano is an ancient culinary herb whose name means “”joy-of-the-mountain”” and it has been widely used in Europe as a spice in food and treasured for its value as an herbal supplement.  

What is Oregano oil? 

This slightly minty, slightly spicy herb is actually a member of the mint family. When burned, its oil gives off a pleasant, calming aroma. In the kitchen, it’s commonly used to add zest to Italian foods. And from a health perspective, it helps support immune function by naturally assisting the body in targeting foreign microbes.  

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Oregano Oil contains carvacrol, the most widely researched active ingredients in oregano. Oregano Oil is derived from origanum vulgare, which is grown in the Mediterranean. carvacrol, one of the active components naturally occurring in Oregano. Researchers recommend diluting Oregano Oil in Olive Oil at a ratio of 1:4, 1 ounce of Oregano Oil in 4 oz of Olive Oil or another food grade oil. Because Oregano is highly concentrated it should never be used undiluted, unless in external applications. Even then, please exercise caution. Even though this is a natural product, its concentration is much higher than that found naturally.  

Uses for Oregano oil

Oil of Oregano is a potent antiseptic, meaning it kills germs. Research proves that it is highly effective for killing a wide range of fungi, yeast, and bacteria as well as parasites and viruses. It may be used topically and taken internally.  In addition to its anti-fungal action, and according to the results of another test tube study from Australia, oregano oil has a strong anti-microbial action against a wide number of bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella enterica, and Staphylococcus aureus.7  

Together these facts suggest the volatile oils in oregano used during food processing have an important role in preventing the spoilage of food and in reducing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Again, these actions have not yet been confirmed by human clinical trials.  

How much Oregano Oil is usually taken?

Dried or fresh leaf of oregano can be made into a tea by steeping 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 grams) in hot water for ten minutes. This tea can be consumed three times a day.11 The oil (50% or greater dilution) may be applied topically twice a day to areas affected by athleteâ??s foot or other fungal infections. The affected area should be covered by the oil with each application. The safety of the internal use of the oil has not been well studied and should be used with caution or after consulting with a healthcare professional  

Are there any side effects or interactions? 

Oregano leaf is very safe. The German Commission E and American Herbal Products Association both state there are no known risks with oregano leaf neither of these references mentions oregano oil.     

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.