Botanical Name: Origanum Vulgare
Plant Part: Herb
Extraction: Steam Extraction
Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
Colour: Light Yellow
Scent: Oregano oil smells herbaceous and sharp, powerful, spicy, camphor-like aroma.
Blends With: Citrus, herby, minty and woodsy oils.
Oregano contains antiseptic, antioxidant, antitoxic and antiviral properties. It is known to be useful for a range of skin conditions and can also be used as an insect repellent.
Tisserand and Young warn that Oregano Essential Oil is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They indicate that when using Oregano Oil, there is moderate risk for mucous membrane irritation, it may inhibit blood clotting and pose a drug interaction hazard. It may cause embryotoxicity. There is a moderate risk of skin sensitization, and Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 1.1%. They advise not to use topically on children age 2 or younger or for those with hypersensitive/diseased/damaged skin.
This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.
Oregano oil may have the following health benefits:
Thanks to the high levels of carvacrol, oregano oil may help fight certain types of bacteria. Research shows that carvacrol is effective in eliminating the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, two common causes of infection.
A study found that herbal remedies, including one that contained high levels of both carvacrol and thymol, were effective tools in treating SIBO.
Oregano oil also appears to be a potent antifungal agent thanks to high levels of thymol. Research found thymol to be an effective treatment for common Candida fungal infections.
Oregano oil is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals. Thymol and carvacrol are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce oxidation.
Some sources claim that oregano oil may help reduce inflammation. The compound carvacrol shows anti-inflammatory effects in both animal models and in vitro studies. In one study on mice, the compound prevented obesity by affecting the genes involved in inflammation. In another animal study, the compound reduced swelling.
Applying diluted oregano oil to the skin may help protect smaller cuts and scrapes on the skin as they heal. Compounds such as thymol and carvacrol could protect these types of wound from bacterial infections.
Oregano oil may also be a helpful tool for people looking to lose weight. Researches have found that carvacrol, the main compound in oregano oil, disrupts part of the process that leads to the creation and accumulation of fat tissue.
Some sources claim that oregano oil may help fight some cancers. A review notes that the essential oil from oregano helps prevent some types of colon cancer and breast cancer from growing in test tubes. The oil also appeared to inhibit the growth of some lungs and prostate cancer cells. Much of the research in cancer comes from test tubes or animal models, so people should view the results with caution and never use oils as a replacement for medical treatment.