Rich in antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds, aromatherapists usually use oregano oil for issues like colds, indigestion, and inflammation. Carvacrol is an antimicrobial superpower, and many other tremendous molecules support it. However, the Oil of Oregano is not the same as Oregano essential oil, although both have beneficial properties. So let’s explore the wonderful world of oregano.
Oregano, chock-full of antimicrobial carvacrol, is a plant healer’s favorite herb for coughs, colds, and infections. 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 strong, fierce, concentrated extract, best used diluted into a carrier oil and used externally. Both extractions, however, are wonderful for supporting the immune and respiratory systems.
Which is Safer? Oil of Oregano or Oregano Essential Oil?
Both are safe and extremely beneficial as long as 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 ferocious nature of oregano. Oil of oregano is an extremely efficacious 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,” it must be diluted 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.
Related Content: What Is Oil Of Oregano Used For?
Historical Uses of Oregano
The herb has been used for over 2500 years in folk medicine all across the globe.
Records show us that oregano has been used for health since the Greeks and Romans. Its name is a combination of the Greek words “oros” and “ganos” -together, the words translate to “joy of the mountains.”
Original uses for oregano were as a headache cure, an antidote for poison, to help with respiratory conditions, and to soothe insect and scorpion bites. Today, aromatherapists continue to use oregano essential oil for various things. With continued studies, including the oil, we begin to understand its amazing healing benefits.
What is Oregano Oil Good For - Health Benefits?
Besides Carvacrol, oregano oil is composed of p-cymene, thymol, and linalool, to name a few. Each of these components contributes to the effectiveness of oregano oil. The benefits of these components include antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant uses.
In 2011, a respiratory infections trial was conducted in six care clinics in Israel. Sixty participants ranging from 21-66 years of age were given a throat spray containing oregano oil, along with other essential oils. The spray was applied five times a day for three days. Many participants reported feeling symptom relief within 20 minutes of using the spray.
Another study in 2007 supported a combination of heat, salt, and the use of essential oils (including oregano) for decreasing bacterial strains that cause athlete's foot. After testing eleven essential oils against the bacteria known to cause athlete’s foot, oregano oil was the most effective. Other effective oils included thyme, cinnamon bark, lemongrass, and clove.
Another of oregano’s active compounds, thymol, has been shown to help relax the throat and stomach soft tissue. This can help reduce symptoms of GERD, heartburn, and discomfort after eating.
One of the main areas aromatherapists use oregano essential oil is to settle digestive complaints, particularly IBS. Around 80% of people suffering from IBS also suffer from a condition called SIBO or Small Intestine Overgrowth.
Symptoms of SIBO present as:
Loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after eating, diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, and malnutrition.
In a 2014 study containing 104 SIBO patients, 57% responded positively to using herbal antimicrobials such as oregano oil. (Chedid, 2014)
Related Content: What Are The Benefits Of Oregano Oil?
Oregano Oil Good Is Great for Cleaning
As we head into cold and flu season, not to mention The Germ That Will Not Is Named, we’re all looking for ways to clean our home while ensuring it smells good. With its antibacterial, anti-fungal (Shigeharu Inouye, 2007), antiviral, and antiseptic properties, oregano oil is great for cleaning floors and kitchens.
When using the oil for cleaning, it doesn’t leave an unpleasant residue and can be used on most surfaces. It also provides a pleasant aroma throughout your space.
How To Use Oregano Essential Oil in Blends
Like all essential oils, oregano oil should be used with proper dilution. Blending the oil with a carrier oil, like Jojoba, at 1% or less is recommended. Essential oils are quite effective in small amounts, so there is no need to worry you’re not using enough.
Oregano oil blends well with a variety of other oils. For example, if you’re creating a cleaning blend with oregano oil, you can easily add lemon essential oil for degreasing. It’s also important to know that oregano has a strong aroma that might not appeal to everyone. Blending it with a more pleasing scent, such as lavender may be beneficial. Other oils oregano blends well with include the following:
- Tea Tree
Related content: Does Oregano Oil Kill Good Bacteria?
How to Use Oregano Essential Oil Safely
VINEVIDA oregano essential oil contains 0.6 % limonene and 3.2% linalool. The International Fragrance Regulation Association recommends always adding an antioxidant agent to new products that will not be used immediately if they contain limonene or linalool. Adding 0.1% BHT or alpha-tocopherol, for example, can be very effective. It's always a good idea to prevent any risk of skin sensitization.
Oregano essential oil is way too fierce to use in pregnancy, likewise breastfeeding. So we would suggest avoiding this oil in both cases.
Oregano also has blood thinning capabilities, so do not use it if you are taking blood-thinning medications or have a platelet deficiency disorder. In addition, it is not recommended for people with bleeding peptic ulcers or during the 48 hours preceding planned surgery.
Please note that some dangers surround diffusing oregano essential oil around cats. They do not possess an enzyme in their livers that we have to break up the metabolites. Therefore, if a small droplet falls onto the fur, it can be problematic. Please remove cats from the room before you remove them.
Dogs do not have the same safety concerns. However, it is advised to leave the door open for them to leave the room if they don’t like the smell. The canine smell is very acute, and oregano is extremely pungent.
Related Content: Marjoram vs Oregano Essential Oil: They Both Differ and Overlap
What is Oregano Oil Good For - DIY Recipes?
Keep the Germs Away Spray
- 5 drops Oregano Essential Oil (Origanum vulgare)
- 5 drops Orange Essential Oil (Citrus sinensis)
- 5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia carterii)
- 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon)
- ½ teaspoon Vodka
- 1 cup Distilled Water
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a glass spray bottle and shake well before use. Never spray on outlets or light switches.
BooBoo Roller Blend
- 9 ml Coconut MCT Oil (Cocos Nucifera)
- 10 drops alpha-tocopherol,
- 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula Officinalis)
- 1 drop Oregano Essential Oil (Origanum vulgare)
- 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
- 10 ml Empty Glass Roller Ball Bottle
Method of Use: Apply hourly around the affected area. Do not apply to broken skin.
Safety: Not suitable for use on children under the age of two. Not ideal for use during pregnancy, during breastfeeding, or if the person has a problem with blood clotting of any sort.
What is Oregano Oil Good For - Conclusion?
For years, people have taken oregano oil for coughs, colds, and other issues related to the respiratory system. As the desire for natural cleansing options in our home rises, its use for the home has also increased. To date, there are more than 800 studies on the use of oregano oil in our day-to-day lives, according to PubMed. As these studies conclude, it’s thought the list of benefits will increase even more.