Why Oregano Essential Oil is One of the Most Powerful Natural Antibiotics Known to SCIENCE

Oregano, the fragrant herb commonly used to flavor pasta and  meat dishes, is renowned for its versatility in the kitchen. But did you know  that it can also be transformed into an herbal oil with a wide range of  benefits? Read on to learn more about oregano oil.

What Is Oregano Oil?

Oregano oil is derived from the leaves and flowers of oregano (Origanum vulgare), a  hardy, bushy perennial herb, and a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family. It’s  native to Europe, although it grows in many areas around the world1 The  plant grows up to 90 centimeters (35 inches) high, with dark green leaves that  are two to three centimeters long.2

The ancient Greeks and Romans have a profound appreciation  for oregano, using it for various medicinal uses. In fact, its name comes from  the Greek words “oros” and “ganos,” which are words for mountain and joy,–  oregano literally means “joy of the mountain.” It was revered as a symbol of  happiness, and it was an ancient tradition to crown brides and grooms with a  laurel of oregano.3

There are over 40 oregano species, but the most  therapeutically beneficial is the oil produced from wild oregano orOriganum vulgare that’s native to Mediterranean regions.4 Beware,  though, as many of the oregano oils sold in grocery stores are not made from  this variety, and may have little to no therapeutic value. Opt only for oregano  oil made from Origanum  vulgare and Thymus capitatus, a variety that grows in Spain.5

To obtain oregano oil, the dried flowers and leaves of the  wild oregano plant are harvested when the oil content of the plant is at its  highest, and then distilled.6 The  resulting oil is golden to dark yellow, with a strong spicy odor.7

Uses of Oregano Oil

I highly recommend adding oregano oil to your arsenal of natural  healing tools, as it has a wide range of uses. This herbal oil is a powerful  antimicrobial that can help fight off infections. Oregano oil also has  antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

Other ideal  uses for oregano oil are:8

  • Treating  foot or nail fungus. Put a few teaspoons of oregano oil in a basin of water  and soak your feet in it. You can also dilute the oil (mix a drop with a  teaspoon of olive or coconut oil), and then apply it on your nails or skin.
  • Killing  parasites and infections. Dilute the oil (mix a drop with a drop of a  carrier oil such as coconut oil), and place it under your tongue. Hold it there  for a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Repeat this at least four times a  day.
  • Alleviating  sinus infections and colds. Put a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of  steaming water, and then inhale the steam.

I also encourage using the antiseptic powers of this herbal oil  to clean your home. Here’s one way how: combine four drops of oregano oil with  10 drops of lemon oil and a quarter-cup of white vinegar, and then add to a  bucket of water. Use this mixture to wipe and clean surfaces.9

Composition of Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is high in phenols, which are natural  phytochemical compounds with beneficial antioxidant effects. The two most  abundant phenols in it are:

  • Thymol – a natural  fungicide with antiseptic properties. It helps boost your immune system, works  as a shield against toxins, and even helps prevent tissue damage and encourages  healing.
  • Carvacrol – found to be  effective against various bacterial infections, such as candida albicans, staphylococcus,  E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, klebsiella, the aspergillus mold, giardia, pseudomonas,  and listeria.

Other healthful compounds in oregano oil include:10

  • Terpenes – known for their powerful antibacterial  properties.
  • Rosmarinic acid  – an  antioxidant that prevents free radical damage and has shown promise in treating  allergic asthma and preventing cancer and atherosclerosis. It also works as a  natural antihistamine that reduces fluid buildup and swelling caused by allergy  attacks.
  • Naringin – inhibits the growth of cancer cells and  helps boost the antioxidants in oregano oil.
  • Beta-caryophyllin  (E-BCP) – this substance inhibits inflammation and is also beneficial for  conditions including osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, as well as metabolic syndrome.11, 12

Nutrients  like vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium,  manganese, copper, boron, and niacin are also found in oregano oil.

Benefits of Oregano Oil

Oregano oil has wide-reaching health benefits, but is most  associated with respiratory and immune system health. It is known for helping  prevent and treat infections, such as:

  • Urinary  tract infections (UTIs) caused by bacteria like E. coli, Proteus,and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.13
  • Respiratory  infections brought on by Klebsiella  pneumoniae and Staphylococcus  aureus bacteria strains.14
  • Yeast infections, even those that are resistant to the commonly used       antifungal drug Diflucan.15
  • Parasitic infections caused by the amoeba giardia – it was even found to be more effective than antibiotics like Tinidazol.16
  • Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection – A team of Indian and British researchers found that oregano oil has strong antibacterial properties that can kill this deadly superbug.17

Oregano oil has also shown promise in preventing food-borne illnesses  caused by pathogens like listeria,   salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella dysenteria. Adding  it to foods not only helps kill the bacteria, but may also alleviate food  poisoning symptoms. An animal study from University of Arizona researchers also  found that oregano oil can help kill norovirus,18 which  causes gastroenteritis.

Oregano  oil is also a prized antiseptic essential oil in aromatherapy because its  proportion of phenols is said to be the highest of all aromatic plants. Aside  from using the steam method to relieve coughs and other respiratory illnesses,  you can also use it to:

  • Ward off  insects. Carvacrol in oregano oil works as a natural insect repellant. Try  putting a few drops on outdoor furniture, or apply a diluted mixture on your  skin when heading outdoors.
  • Relieve  bug bites and rashes, including poison ivy rash. Apply oregano oil diluted  with olive oil on the affected areas.19
  • Help heal  cold sores, dandruff, and other skin conditions. Some experts also advocate  using a diluted version to treat acne and rosacea.
  • Ease sore  throat. Simply add a few drops to a glass of water. It can help alleviate  toothache as well.
  • Relieve muscle  and joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), sprains, and cramps.20

How to Make Oregano Oil

Extracting oregano oil requires a special distillation process.  However, there is a simple way to make your own oregano oil at home. Here’s a  basic recipe from HomegrownandHealthy.com:21


  • Oregano leaves, chopped orcrushed
  • Olive oil, almond oil or grape seed oil
  • Sanitized jar with lid


  1. Boil some water in a sauce pan. Once it has reached a rolling boil, turn off the heat.
  2. Place your oil of choice and chopped oregano leaves in the jar.
  3. Put the jar in the hot water and let it sit for about five to 10 minutes. This heats up the oil and helps the oregano release its natural oils.
  4. Remove the jar from the water bath and place beside a sunny window for one to two weeks. Shake the jar every few days.
  5. Once the two weeks is up, strain the oil from the leaves and place into a sanitized jar. Store the oil in a dark, cool place.

To preserve the oil, add a few more drops of grapefruit  seed oil.

How Does Oregano Oil Work?

The compounds in oregano oil work together to provide the antimicrobial  effects this oil is so well-known for. Carvacrol is its most important  component, and is responsible for many of its health benefits. Carvacrol has powerful antimicrobial  properties, and has been shown to help break through the outer cell  membranes that help protect bacteria from your immune system.22

Oregano oil can either be applied topically or ingested,  depending on the condition you’re using it for. However, I advise against using  the oil full-strength, as it can irritate your skin. Do not apply it to broken  skin and open wounds as well.

Oregano oil is meant for short-term use only, and, if using  orally, should be taken in small doses of four to six drops for only seven to  10 days.23

Is Oregano Oil Safe?

Yes it is, as long as it’s diluted in water or with a  carrier oil (some of my top choices are jojoba, olive, and coconut oils).  Clinical herbalist Michelle Lynde says the ideal ratio when diluting this herbal  oil is one part oregano oil to three parts carrier oil.24

I recommend doing a spot test as well to check if you have  any allergic reactions to oregano oil. Simply apply a diluted drop on your arm  and see if any irritation occurs.

Be careful when buying oregano oil because some  manufacturers sell adulterated oils and oils made from thyme, Spanish oregano,  or cultivated oregano, which DO NOT provide any health benefits.

Side Effects of  Oregano Oil

Some people may experience stomach upset when ingesting  oregano oil (or even the herb itself). Those who are allergic to plants from  the Lamiaceae family (mint, lavender, sage, and basil) should also avoid this  oil, as they may also develop an allergic reaction.

Oregano  oil is also NOT advisable for infants and children. Pregnant or nursing women  are also discouraged from using oregano oil both topically and orally, as it  can encourage blood circulation within the uterus, which deteriorates the  lining that encompasses the fetus within the womb. Oregano oil also has a  potential to induce menstruation, and may be dangerous to your unborn child.25

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  • Original article and credits by Dr Mercola, mercola.com
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