Oregano, chock-full of antimicrobial carvacrol, is a plant healer’s favorite herb for coughs, colds, and infections. But, importantly, the Oil of Oregano is not the same as oregano essential oil.
Oil of Oregano is an herbal extract and is used differently. It is readily diluted, so add four drops to a 200ml glass of water and take it internally. Oregano essential oil is a potent, fierce, concentrated extract, best used diluted into a carrier oil and used externally.
Both extractions, however, are remarkable for supporting the immune and respiratory systems.
Which is Safer? Oil of Oregano or Oregano Essential Oil?
Both are safe and highly beneficial if you understand your work and use them according to safety guidelines.
It helps to understand why the names are similar.
Essential oil is the concentrated essence of a plant. So, oregano essential oil is just that; it is the plant's essence.
Oil of oregano is made by soaking oregano leaves and stalks into a carrier oil or alcohol if it is a tincture. That means some of the “medicine” of the plant is sucked into the carrier.
That might sound very similar, but in practical means, the oil of oregano is a much more diluted and, therefore, weaker substance. Thus, it is safe to take it orally when it dilutes even more into water.
Incidentally, when we say “weaker,” this is merely a relative term relating to the brutal nature of oregano. Oil of oregano is a highly productive product. While it contains some of the same chemicals found in oregano essential oil, it is NOT the same.
To find out how to use “Oregano essential oil,” you must dilute it into a carrier oil (vegetable oil like sunflower, olive, or tamanu, for example). Because it is such a fierce oil, only use it at a dilution of 1% and externally. Practically, that means one drop of oregano essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil.
With that common confusion hopefully ironed out, let’s think about some ways you could use oil of oregano.
What is Oil of Oregano Used For?
It’s just the extraction method that is different. Oregano’s incredible chemistry makes it a mighty healer. Herbalists have been using oregano for at least two thousand years to help the body to fight infection.
Its chemistry will change based on where it grew and in what conditions (how much sunshine, rainfall, altitude, etc.) and even how it was processed to make the oil, but ordinarily, you’d extract to see high volumes of a constituent called carvacrol. (In the essential oil, you’ll typically see about 80-85% carvacrol).
Evidence about Carvacrol
A 2015 literature study by Brazilian researchers published in Current Pharmaceutical Design described how they collated evidence of carvacrol's many actions. Not all of these were human trials. Results were included in vitro studies (done in Petri dishes) and in vivo studies. 
The range of the carvacrols' potential abilities was vast. Seven studies had proven its antimicrobial abilities, and four had assessed its strong bactericidal prowess. One has shown that in addition to its anti-fungal solid abilities. Four had considered and been impressed by its antifungal abilities, and finally, one had been impressed.
None of these are surprising to a skilled plant healer. They echo how oregano has always been used. It is exactly what we would expect to see.
However, as is always the case when you look closely into these sorts of trials, there were some surprises.
Their research showed that carvacrol might have anti-cancer abilities and mutagenic capacities (stops cells from mutating) as well as perhaps the most surprising aspect...that it seems able to modulate nerve impulses.
Oil of Oregano Vitamin Content
Another way Oil of Oregano differs from oregano essential oil. Essential oils are distilled by pushing steam through plant matter to catch the oily parts of the plant. Most vitamins are water-based substances and do not pass through distillation.
However, one of the oregano herb’s greatest assets is its richness in vitamin C and B12.
Vitamin C, of course, is a superb immune support and is excellent for the skin. On the other hand, vitamin B12 makes your blood and nerve cells healthy. If you are deficient in B12, you will always feel tired, weak, and listless.
The way that the oil of oregano is produced means that these vitamins find their way into the oil.
How to Make Oil of Oregano at Home
Historically, people have taken oil of oregano to help with coughs, colds, and issues, particularly respiratory system. It has antioxidant abilities, which should also help protect your cells against premature aging and mutations.
Naturally, it is a digestive herb and would be particularly useful against food infections or digestive upsets. There is some evidence that the oregano herb may also be helpful for those who have diabetes.
In summary: What is Oil of Oregano Used for? For feeling better!