The Science of Good Health

The Health Benefits of Oregano Oil

Author: Dr. William Soukoreff, Ph.D.
Date: July 15, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is our inaugural issue of, the first of many more to come. The choice of topic was inspired by my friend Marty who recommended I try Oregano Oil to treat a cold I had. This article presents the literature review that inspired this e-magazine: The material presented in this article was written following an independent review of the academic literature.

Table of Contents


Oregano Flowers and Leaves

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a perennial herb indigenous to Europe, Asia, and particularly the Mediterranean. It is a member of the mint family and is closely related to marjoram. The primary active medical ingredient in oregano is carvacrol, which has its highest concentration in the oil from oregano plants of the Mediterranean.

Oregano has been used since ancient times to treat medical ailments, Wikipedia reports that Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments.

Several scientific studies have been published that have investigated oregano and carvacrol. Most of the studies report research that was done on animals or cell lines, but there are a few that researched directly in humans. What follows is a short but representative review of the literature.

Oregano Oil Treats Intestinal Parasites

This first study found that the administration of oregano oil (oreganum vulgare) consumed orally for 6 weeks was effective at curing enteric (intestinal) parasite infections in humans. Fourteen participants were used in this study all of whom tested positive for the enteric parasites Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba hartmanni, and Endolimax nana. The authors report that: “there was complete disappearance of Entamoeba hartmanni (four cases), Endolimax nana (one case), and Blastocystis hominis (eight cases). Also, Blastocystis hominis scores declined in three additional cases. Gastrointestinal symptoms improved in seven of the 11 patients who had tested positive for Blastocystis hominis.” This paper is important because it establishes the antiparasitic properties of oregano in humans.


Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo.

Force M, Sparks WS, Ronzio RA.

Phytother Res., 2000 May, 14(3), 213-214.

Oregano Oil Kills Microorganisms in the Laboratory

The next paper is not in human study, but it does establish that oregano oil is effective at killing microorganisms. The authors experimented in the lab with several essential oils, to see how effective they were against a wide variety of bacteria, molds, and yeasts, and found that “of the tested compounds, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, and carvacrol showed the strongest antimicrobial effectiveness”.


Vapor-phase activities of cinnamon, thyme, and oregano essential oils and key constituents against foodborne microorganisms.

López P, Sanchez C, Batlle R, Nerín C.

J Agric Food Chem., 2007 May 30, 55(11), 4348-4356.

Oregano Oil Cures Fatal Yeast (Candida) Infections in Mice

Oregano oil kills yeast (Candida albicans), and when mice were infected with 5 times the lethal dose of the infectious Candida yeast, 80% of them survived.


Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans.

Manohar V, Ingram C, Gray J, Talpur NA, Echard BW, Bagchi D, Preuss HG.

Mol Cell Biochem., 2001 Dec, 228(1-2), 111-117.

Oregano Oil Successfully Treats Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

The previous three studies should be enough to indicate what’s going on with oregano. In humans and in the laboratory, oregano kills a wide range of microorganisms. The third study listed above demonstrates that the antiseptic properties of oregano can be profound, meaning the difference between life and death for the mice in that study.

This next study gets right to the heart of the matter. The study investigated the effect of a nasal spray consisting of several essential oils including oregano oil in 60 humans with upper respiratory tract infections (the sore throat and congested lung infections that often accompany a cold). This study is of the highest calibre, as it is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The patients were split into two groups, one group received the treatment while the other group received a placebo. Neither the patients nor the doctors and nurses who interacted with them knew which patients received the treatment, and which did not. (The best medical studies are done this way so that the observations and results will reflect only the results of treatment, and will not be affected by biases that the doctors or patients may have for, or against, the treatment.) The statistical analysis showed that 20 minutes following the treatment, the patients who had received the treatment reported a greater improvement in symptom severity compared to participants in the placebo group. They describe their nasal spray as providing a “significant and immediate improvement in symptoms of upper respiratory ailment”.


Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: a randomized study using aromatic herbs.

Ben-Arye E, Dudai N, Eini A, Torem M, Schiff E, Rakover Y.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2011, 690346.

Oregano Oil and the Immune System

This next study is interesting because it establishes a link between oregano oil and the boosting of the immune system. In this study oregano oil was fed to nursing pigs. (Again, this was a placebo-controlled study, so half of the pigs received oregano oil supplementation, and other half did not. The results were found by comparing the two groups.) The oregano oil increased the number of white blood cells in the pigs’ milk, which strongly suggests that it boosted the immune system of the pigs. What’s also interesting is that the piglets of the mothers who received oregano oil, drank more milk, demonstrating a positive effect for the children of nursing mothers who take oregano oil supplements. (The piglets weren’t directly given any oregano oil, they only received its benefit through their mothers’ milk.)


Effect of dietary supplementation of oregano essential oils to sows on colostrum and milk composition, growth pattern and immune status of suckling pigs.

Ariza-Nieto C, Bandrick M, Baidoo SK, Anil L, Molitor TW, Hathaway MR.

J Anim Sci., 2011 Apr, 89(4), 1079-1089.

Oregano Oil and Cholesterol

Getting away from colds and sinus infections for a moment, I think the following paper is interesting. This paper presents a study of orally taken oregano in hyperlipidemic human patients. (Hyperlipidaemia just means that these people have elevated levels of fat in their blood, for example too much cholesterol.) After regularly taking oregano oil supplements following each meal for 3 months, these patients had improved lipid profiles including higher HDL (good cholesterol), lower LDL (bad cholesterol), improved antioxidant status (which, theoretically, could help fight cancer and reduce heart disease), and improved endothelial function (healthier veins and arteries) compared to those who did not take the oregano supplement.


Effects of Origanum onites on endothelial function and serum biochemical markers in hyperlipidaemic patients.

Ozdemir B, Ekbul A, Topal NB, Sarandöl E, Sağ S, Başer KH, Cordan J, Güllülü S, Tuncel E, Baran I, Aydinlar A.

J Int Med Res., 2008 Nov-Dec, 36(6), 1326-1334.

Oregano Oil and Cancer

This next paper is really about the cancer fighting qualities of rosemary extracts, but does make this interesting statement in the abstract: “One study in particular observed an inverse relationship between consumption of Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, sage, parsley, and oregano with lung cancer.” The author of this paper is definitely more interested in rosemary, but it’s interesting to see oregano described as a potential cancer fighter.


Carnosol: a promising anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent.

Johnson JJ.

Cancer Lett., 2011 Jun 1, 305(1), 1-7.

More: Oregano and Cancer

This paper tested an extract from Moroccan oregano (Origanum compactum Benth.) against a laboratory strain of human breast cancer cells and found the oregano extract to be effective at killing the cancer. A laboratory-bench experiment should not be viewed in the same light as a proper clinical trial with human patients, but nevertheless this provides a further indication that oregano may have cancer fighting properties.


Antiproliferative effect of extracts from Aristolochia baetica and Origanum compactum on human breast cancer cell line MCF-7.

Chaouki W, Leger DY, Eljastimi J, Beneytout JL, Hmamouchi M.

Pharm Biol., 2010 Mar, 48(3), 269-274.

Oregano Oil Review Paper: The Big List of Health Benefits

It is probably wise to view laboratory-bench research as a little less relevant, simply because it’s so removed from real human physiology (cells in a Petrie-dish just aren’t the same thing as cells in a human body). The “gold-standard” on the other hand, is high-quality placebo-controlled, double-blind studies using human patients. But there is an important third kind of research paper that is probably as important as the high-quality gold standard studies are, and these are the review papers. Review papers collect and interpret the results of many (usually gold-standard) studies, and thus can draw conclusions and provide perspectives that individual studies cannot.

The last paper we shall cover is a review paper that lists a wide range of beneficial health effects due to oregano, and in particular carvacrol. The properties of oregano include:


Biological and pharmacological activities of carvacrol and carvacrol bearing essential oils.

Baser KH.

Curr Pharm Des, 2008, 14(29), 3106-3119.


Study #4 showed that inhaled oregano oil helps with upper respiratory tract infections (a.k.a, the throat and congested lung infections that often accompany a cold). So, there definitely is strong evidence that oregano oil helps people with colds. Unfortunately, no one has undertaken a gold-standard study of the effects of orally-taken oregano oil specifically against the common cold and related (sinus, throat, lung) infections. But there is a lot of evidence here to suggest that eating oregano oil boosts your immune system, fights off microorganisms, and helps in a number of other ways.

The other thing to remember is that we’re talking about oregano here, the plant you probably have growing in your garden, that you have probably eaten a million times in salads and on the meat you BBQ (if not, try it, it’s good). There are no side-effects, complications, or counter-indications, unless you are allergic. Oregano is a regular food, so it is pretty safe to eat.

I leave you to make up your own mind regarding oregano. But I will tell you this: I’ve started taking oregano regularly, not just during cold season. Lower cholesterol, fewer gastro-intestinal infections, and the potential to improve my immune system and fight cancer have convinced me.


  1. Joe says:

    Great Article! Do you have any recommendatinos for how I choose between brands of oregano oil?

    • William says:

      Hi Joe, thanks for the question. Oregano Oil has a very intense flavour, and many find it unpleasant to eat. So, I would recommend obtaining capsules (of either oregano oil or powder) instead of oil drops. You can probably find oregano capsules at your local pharmacy or health supplement store – I’ll look around and see whether there’s a reliable on-line source I can recommend.

  2. I have found something genuinely interesting in your blog, so I bookmarked it. Thanks a million!

  3. Pat McCutcheon says:

    Thanks for the information, as Oregano is one of the most important essential oils to keep on hand. It helps a stuffy nasal infection when put into a humidifier, and really disperses of nasty canker sores quickly (a bit painful but it works!).

  4. Malo Zookwap says:

    Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

  5. Loren Brown says:

    I am thinking of either, or both, adding the dried oregano herb to my goats grain ration, or making a tea out of the same and adding it to their water to help control their parasite load. Will either of these strategies make a difference? Sometimes they go on strike and refuse their regular herbal wormer, so I like wormimg to be a part of their daily diet.

    • William says:

      Hi Loren,
      The active ingredient in oregano is an oil so you won’t get much from a tea. You will be better off putting oregano leaves or oil directly in the food. In humans, the effective dose for anti-parasitic activity was 600 mg of oil of oregano daily. We can’t really be sure of the equivalent dosage for goats but if we use the human data we can extrapolate a 6 mg/kg dose (so for a 40 kg goat that would be 240 mg of oregano oil).

  6. margaret straka says:

    please let me know if which type would be the most effective….i am treating a patient with endolimax nana and blastocystis hominis.

    love your dedication and enthusiasm.

    rock on!

    • William says:

      Hi Margaret,
      Generally the wild oregano from Italy and Greece is considered the best. Make sure that the manufacturer lists the Carvacrol and Thymol contents (the active ingredients in oregano) on the package. If they don’t list these then question the quality of the product.

  7. Dan says:

    So are the oregano capsules are more effective than the oregano drops?

    • William says:

      Hello Dan,
      I would recommend the capsules over the oil drops for two reasons. In a capsule form the oil will be better protected from oxidation and so will keep fresh and active longer than the drops. Plus, the drops taste awful.

  8. Lilla says:

    Hi:) I too love, love Oil of Oregano! I have been using it on and off for years. Dr. Cass’s book “The Cure is in the Cupboard” is an excellent source of all the benefits.

    I have heard however through health practitioners that Oil of Oregano should not be used everyday as it depletes some of the good bacteria from your stomach because it acts like an antibiotic. So you should do one week on and then one week off and make sure to be taking probiotics two hours apart from the oil of oregano. This is what I have been told. If you find any other research saying otherwise I would love to see it.

    Thanks for your insight!

    • William says:

      Hello Lilla,
      Thank you for your question. We have been unable to find any research in humans or animals testing the effects of long-term oregano use on the bacteria composition of the gut, the so-called “microbiome”. The two human studies we quote in the article used oregano daily for 3 months and 6 weeks respectively and no adverse effects were reported, although neither study specifically looked at the gut bacterial composition.

  9. Lilla says:

    I also heard it can be hard on the liver to detox if taken everyday?

  10. Barbara says:

    I use the oil of oregano and make my own capsules. I’m curious about dosage. Any recommendation for an upper respiratory infection?

    • William says:

      Hello Barbara,

      There is not a lot of clear information on dosage in the literature. Good oregano supplements on the market have around 20mg of carvacrol as a daily dose. Studies have used up to 600mg of carvacrol per day for 4 weeks in humans with no reported adverse events. The one study I found directly related to the treatment of upper respiratory infection used a spray application (

  11. Leanne says:

    Hi! I have been taking oil of oregano for years now! 2-4 drops under my tongue, hold it there for 15-20 seconds, swallow and follow up with a big glass of water! The effects have been incredible! Once tortured by sinusitus and allergies, I don’t remember the last time I had to take a decongestant! When cold & flu season comes around and everyone around me is stuffed up and miserable, I MIGHT have a sniffle or two for an afternoon! And an extra bonus: once plagued with pompholyx (a form of allergy related excema), it went away! I was on a steroid prescription for it it was so bad! About 5 or 6 weeks after first starting to take oil of oregano the pompholyx went away and hasn’t come back!

  12. Dick says:

    i am taking prednisone and Acetylcysteine for treating pulmonary fibrosis. Would you recommend i take oil of oregano as well? and, Will oil of oregano interfere with either of the medications i am taking in any, way and if not what dosage should i take.


    • William says:

      Hello Dick,

      I would advise that you discuss the possibility of taking oregano oil with your doctor before you start. Oregano oil has anti-inflammatory properties that may be of benefit to you, but it will be important to check with your doctor about any possible drug interactions. As for the dosage you could follow the recommended dose on the brand you choose. I personally use the Pure-le Natural brand, but many good brands are available. A reputable brand will list the amount of Carvacrol on the bottle (usually around 10-20mg).

  13. Bruce says:

    Hi, believe or don’t believe but oregano is in the bible. It was called hyssop then. Read exodus 12-22, and 12-23. and then john 19-29…it will rock your world.

  14. Tamara says:

    To Dr. William Soukoreff,

    A friend recently gave me a bottle of her ethicalcare oregano oil in extra strength to help with herpes but I found the taste awful so I had to stop.

    • William says:

      Hi Tamara,

      Oil of Oregano has a very strong taste. If you would like to continue using oregano I would recommend trying the capsules, either oil or the ground oregano. The capsule makes it much much easier to handle the flavour. Hope that helps.

  15. Karen says:

    I have sarcoidosis and have been using oil of oregano for years with wonderful results.
    It has cleared warts, helped chest infections and sore throats resolve without the use of conventional antibiotics and even cleared up a tooth infection in a tooth which needed a root canal treatment. It treats mouth ulcers and pimples and treats sinus problems better than anything else I have used and is known to clear up yeast infections and stomach bugs.
    Recently, I started a terrible all- over body itching without a rash. I tried all the known meds and natural remedies, and finally I took oregano caps and added a few drops to my natural liquid soap when I showered,and hey, presto, I slept the through the night and the itch is about 70% better today with taking just one gel capsule of oil of oregano. There you go naysaysers – this really does work and it is time more research was done on its enormous health benefits. I will never be without it in my house!

  16. Alex says:

    Just thought I’d mention, oregano oil is so strong at detoxifying that it caused me to go into withdrawals from my pain medication. I think people should be aware of how well it flushes your system and talk to their doctors before using it if they are taking certain medications.

    • William says:

      Hi Alex,

      This is good advice. Always check with your physician before starting to take any kind of supplement. Even natural substances like oregano can interfere with medications.

  17. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the info. My husband just asked for oregano oil at the Vitamin Shoppe and they gave him “Oregano Extract” pills that is not oil but has a powder inside. I can’t seem to find much info about the powdered pill online. Is it significantly different than the oil capsules?
    It was 17 bucks…hopefully it helps kick this bronchitis! Ha.
    Look forward to your reply. Thanks!

    • William says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m glad you are finding the site informative. Oregano can be purchased as an oil or as ground leaves in capsules. Is that what the powder is in your pills? A good indication of quality is if your product states the amount of carvacol it contains. I would expect a minimum of 10 mg carvacol per dose. Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  18. Andi says:

    I have heard O of O is good for people with valley fever. Was diagnosed with VF last June, weird things going on in my body! Burning joints, fatique, and sore right side of head when I swallowed. Look forward to hearing from you!

    • William says:

      Hello Andi,

      There are no published data on the efficacy of oil of oregano for valley fever, although there are people saying that it worked for them. Oregano does have anti-fungal properties so I would give it a try. Let us know if it works for you.

      • Andi Rosol says:

        Yes, within a few of days of taking O of O, I started to feel like myself again! No more red eyes, joint pain, fatique, head ache, and far less coughing. I am a year out from testing positive for valley fever. I take a drop or two under my tongue every morning and so does my husband. He couldn’t believe what it did for me!! Love O of O!

  19. Denise says:

    This information is very interesting. As I have received a kidney transplant 2 years ago, you can imagine the daily amount of medication I take, immuno suppressants ciclosporin and predisolone amongst them. The doctors tell me to avoid any natural remedies. How can I include organic oil? For example I constantly get bacterial vaginosis. Also my stomach must need re balancing too, I think.
    would be grateful for your advise. Thank you.

    • William says:

      Hello Denise,

      I am sorry to hear about your health troubles. I would not want to recommend things your doctors don’t approve of. However, oregano is just a spice. I use the equivalent amount of a capsule of oregano in my salad. You may want to try taking it for a while, but inform your doctor that you are doing this. Good luck.

  20. Cindy says:

    I have genital warts caused by HPV. When I searched it on the net your add came up as a cure. What worries me is that the site recommends to use it for 3 months to excrete all viruses but your garentee is for just 1 month. Of course they are going to disappear while I’m using the oil but where is your proof that they won’t come back? All your studies don’t mention anything about Genital Warts. Can you provide me any information on my concerns? I have tried emailing with no reply!

    • William says:

      Hello Cindy,

      We don’t have any ads and we do not promote oregano as a cure for HPV. You may have confused us for another site. There is currently no known cure for HPV. Anything you buy that promises a cure is lying to you. There are treatments that can treat genital warts but they do not cure the HPV.

  21. shirley says:

    hi william
    my daughter was diagnosed with neuromylitus.she did recover but not as strong as she was said she could get again in the future,could oregano oil help boost her immune system to counteract the infection.
    thanx shirley

    • William says:

      Hello Shirley,

      Neuromyelitis is an autoimmune disease (meaning your own immune system is attacking you) and it is associated with inflammation. Oil of oregano has anti-inflammatory properties that may help, although there is no scientific research on this topic. You may also want to try DHA (omega-3), which is also anti-inflammatory and also helps with brain development in children. Of course we always recommend discussing this with your health care provider.

  22. Katrina says:

    Hi does oregano helps with genital herpes?

    • William says:

      Hello Katrina,
      In one published study oregano extracts had some anti-viral activity against Herpes simplex virus-1 in vitro (test-tube experiments). This is the virus that causes cold sores and is related to Herpes simplex virus-2 that causes genital herpes. So, although I can’t say for sure, oregano may help. Let us know if it works for you.

    • tom says:

      A relative(a virgin when she married this idiot!) caught the genital herpes virus.She seems to get some relief from Olive Leaf Extract. The Solaray brand that also contains a second ingredient called mallisa(lemon balm i think, not sure) is what she uses. I hope this helps.

  23. Janet Tucker says:

    I am trying to find good information about how to use oregano oil, inhaling the vapor to treat lung infections and conditions. Could you please comment?

    • William says:

      Hello Janet,
      Recently in a randomised placebo controlled trial of a nasal spray of aromatic herbs which contained 30% oregano extracts, the aromatic herb spray improved the symptoms of respiratory infection compared to the placebo. I did a bit of looking around and found out that Orega has a nasal spray preparation that contains oil of oregano, bay leaf, sage, and clove. I have no personal experience with this product but it may work for you. Alternatively you may try adding some oregano oil in a saline nasal spray (make sure to shake it well before using). Please come back and let us know if you find something else that works.

  24. Sandy says:

    I have been taking oregano oil to help prevent against catching a cold or the flu this time of the year. Unknown to me I had no idea that it can be used for many other conditions and also comes in capsule form, which would make it so much easier to take. Thankyou for all this useful information.

  25. juliet says:

    i want to know where to buy the oil of oregano around South Africa but im in Nelspruit Mpumalanga area.

    • William says:

      Hi Juliet,
      I’m sorry I don’t know suppliers in South Africa. You could always try ordering from online suppliers. Or you could try growing your own.

  26. Angela Boulaich says:

    I have been using oil of oregano for about 2 years, it is amazing. I had 2 abscess under 2 teeth, my dentist gave me 6 different types of anti-biotics over 9 weeks, NO JOY, I was in agony. My son read up about oil of oregano, I purchased some and within 2 days, there was a huge improvement, and after using for 5 days I was cured. The drops are the best, keep under the tongue for 30 secs then drink some water and chew a sweet. I have also had some bad urine infections where I take the drops orally then rub alittle at the bottom of my stomach, great results. If I feel a cold or sore throat coming on, I take 4 drops and the cold disappears. I can only praise this wonderful product.

  27. Alice says:

    I grow up dealing with acne,its been over 20 plus yrs, l have been to the best dermatologists,they just calm the acne for a short period of time and then it comes right back. l found out about oil of oregano 3 days ago,(just browsing) your website give so much hope,explained clearly about oil of oregano. lm going to buy it tomorrow and l will keep you posted on how is working for me. Thanks everybody.

  28. Hollie says:

    I have been looking up the benefits or oregano oil in relation to acne and just wanted to ask if this has any benefits to acne sufferers? Also would oregano oil need to be applied topically or ingested? Thanks :)

    • William says:

      Hi Hollie,
      There are no scientific studies on the topic of acne and oregano oil. However, we have another reader, Alice, who is currently trying oregano oil for her acne and she promised to let us know how it works for her.
      You can apply oregano oil directly on the acne, however I would first do a test on a hidden patch of skin to test if you will react adversely to it.

  29. shelley says:

    Hi. I just bought Oregano Oil in a base of Olive oil that only contains 36% carvacrol. My question is…is it the same to take twice the suggested use to equal the recommended 70% carvacrol?

    • William says:

      Hi Shelley,
      36% carvacrol means that if you had 1ml of the oil, 0.36ml of it would be carvacrol. A dose is usually calculated in mg, with an average dose being 10-20mg of carvacrol.
      Taking twice the suggested dose will give you twice the carvacrol, however it will still be 36% of the oil. Hope that helps.

  30. Gloria says:

    I have read a lot of information about the health benefits of oregano and I am excited to try it for my indigestion and skin problems. I hope it works. I have oregano in my spice rack so I am wondering if I could put it in capsules and whether I will get good results.

    • William says:

      Hi Gloria,
      It should work. However, active compounds in oregano degrade with air and light exposure. If your oregano is old you may want to buy a new batch or better yet grow your own.

  31. Renee says:

    I know this sounds nuts but I started taking Oil Of Oregano for my sinus problems and it worked like a charm. Continued taking it for overall health benefits and realized I completely lost all cravings for cigarettes… Who knew. Wanted to quit but couldn’t put em down… I have ZERO cravings after taking it for about a week…

  32. Dolores says:

    Hi, I am wondering if the oil of Oregano is okey to give to children as I have a grandson that is always getting sick, he is 3 years old.
    thank you

    • William says:

      Hi Dolores,
      We always say ask your doctor first. However, I give oregano oil to my 5 year old and my 8 year old every time they start getting a cold.

  33. jarrod says:

    Hi, is there any truth to the claim that oregano oil does cure herpes?

    • William says:

      Hi Jarrod,
      I would say there is no data to support that statement, however no one has really studied that question. The only study I was able to find was one that showed that oregano oil had some activity against herpes simplex virus-1 (the cold sore virus) in vitro (test-tube).

  34. sue says:

    Can you please tell me if it is know to cure acne? I have sufferered from cycstic acne since I was a teen and have tried everything. I am now mid 40′s and have had enough.
    Will it also assist with body soreness?
    If so i would buy it by the truck load…lol

    • William says:

      Hello Sue,
      There is a great interest from our readers on the question of whether oregano oil is effective against acne. What I have recommended to others is to first try oregano oil on a patch of skin that is unexposed to test if you react to it. If you don’t have an adverse reaction, then try it on your acne. Oregano oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, so hopefully it will work for you. Please let us know if it does.
      I’m sorry I don’t know about the body soreness.

    • amu says:

      Hi Sue (and other acne sufferers), I just read your post and can feel your pain. I had terrible acne for many years. I found that oregano oil topically in addition to a vitamin b5 supplement that I found on the net worked like a miracle. No sign of acne now for 18 months. I had tried absolutely everything to no avail. From what I have learned acne stems largely from a very unhappy gut and an inability for your excretory organs to clear out the rubbish. Try to cut down on grains and processed foods and up the water intake, healthy fats like coconut oil and organically raised animal meat and of course PLENTY of vegetables. Do try a high dose Vitamin B5 program, ‘vitacure’ was the one I used but do your research. All the very best.

    • William says:

      Hi Sue,
      I was just researching a new article for the website and I can across some information that may help with your body soreness. Vitamin D – try taking 5,000 IU a day for a few weeks and see if that helps you. Vitamin D deficiency, which is very common, is thought to be associated with and enhance pain. I hope it helps you. Let us know.

  35. Eileen says:

    Right now, I have a lung infection and am on antibiotics. I have in front of me Orega First. Is that the same as oregano and could I take it with this antibiotic. Tks

    • William says:

      Hello Eileen,
      You should consult with your health care provider regarding possible interactions. Orega First is oregano oil. There are not published data on oregano oil interfering with antibiotics as far as we know.

  36. Jackie Washuk says:

    Very good post. I am going through some of these issues as well.

  37. Thanks for posting! Having previously read a lot of the literature on oregano oil it was good to see it all collated here on this website.

  38. Michele says:

    I have been diagnosed with mrsa and sacoidosis and have had problems with lungs along with other things such as infections and so on. I started taking garlic and then heard of oil of oregano and am glad to have started it. It has helped me in so many ways. My lungs feel better after a week of taking it. I am already not having allergies as they are lessened and I feel better in other ways. I am glad I was told of this. I will have to look around as the oil is expensive at shoppers where I got it but I dont care if it works and it does. :)

  39. MJ says:

    Hello Doctor

    I have just started taking Oil of Oregano – hoping to help joint inflammation. My question is that I put 3 to 4 drops in a small shot glass of water and down it. Is this diluting this too much? Should I be better taking it another way?

    Thank you

    • William says:

      Hello MJ,

      The quantity of water should not affect the efficacy of the oregano oil, it just makes it easier to get down. Just follow the directions on the package (or your doctor’s recommendation) for the quantity of oil to intake. Best of luck with treating your joint inflammation. Let us know if it works for you.

  40. Nolundi Radana says:

    Hi,I read something about this oil helping with postnasal drip. I bought it from a health shop,now I’m kind of scared of taking it as they’ve written ‘do not take internally nor directly on the skin’.I just inhaled some little bit on my hand,and I can actually feel my blocked nose opening. Please advise. The one I have is written origanum (origanum vulgare) pure essential oil. Thank you

    • William says:

      Hello Nolundi,
      What I would recommend is that you purchase oil of oregano that is meant for consumption, either as oil in a capsule, dried oregano in a capsule, or oil of oregano drops (these don’t taste very good). Origanum vulgare is oregano. However, I wonder if what you purchase had other additives that make it not suitable for consumption?

      • Jennifer M says:

        I just purchased Oil of Oregano Extract from with the ingredients – “Oregano 1,500 mg (1.5 g) *
        (Origanum vulgare) (aerial)
        (from 15 mg of 100:1 Oil of
        I purchased O of O for my Ankylosing Spondylitis, to reduce the inflamation in my body. The version I purchased is meant for consumption and is in capsule form.

  41. Julie says:

    I have a very bad infection in my throat and recently lost energy, I went to dr. Because my symptoms were more then a cold or flu. He tested me for mono, thyroid ,anemia and other bacterial infection. I will hopefully find out soon what I have but my throat was so swollen I was having difficulties swallowing . Last night I put oil of oregano on the soles of my feet and on my throat and chest. My body got very warm for couple mins then my body pains were going away and I could swallow more comfortably. I even got a bit of energy back and was able to put my daughter to bed. :) . I don’t think it will cure me but I saw an improvement almost right away and I was a non believer till now!!!! Thanks to my sister that recommend it to me.

  42. me says:

    I just wanted to ask if my kid can take this oil of oregano since he was diagnosed for Primary Complex?

    • William says:

      It is best that you consult with your child’s doctor, but oregano is fairly safe. You may want to start with a low dose and see if your child tolerates it well. I give both my children (5 and 8 years old) oregano oil on a regular basis. You may also want to consider capsules rather than drops, since the taste of the oil is quite strong. Best of luck with your child’s condition.

  43. luz says:

    i just wanted to know if is it also better to use fresh extracted oregano leaves?

    • William says:

      Hello Luz,

      The fresher the extraction the better. However, extracting oregano is not an easy procedure. If you would prefer to consume something homemade I would recommend just eating oregano.

  44. nadine says:

    I bought the oregano capsules but its not oil its like herbs inside is it as good as the oil capsules?…..and thanks a lot for your info.

    • William says:

      Hello Nadine,

      Yes it should be. These capsule have ground oregano in them. You should check the bottle to see how much carvacrol is in each capsule. A reputable product should have that information. Expect about 20mg of carvacrol per dose. And you are welcome.

  45. Sofia says:

    Is there a better time of the day to take the oil of oregano drops…i.e. morning or night time…or does it even matter?

  46. Valerie says:

    I have been suffering for months now with an unusual skin condition that my doctors cannot figure out, so I am on steroid ointment everyday for 14 days and then “see what happen”! , plus I have little or no energy by the middle of the day. The information about Oil of Oregano was very helpful and I am definitely going to get some and give it a go.

  47. Nancy says:

    Thanks for your site. Great info! I just wanted to share that I have been struggling along with a bad sinus or tooth root infection for months using oil of oregano topically on the inside of my mouth which kept whatever infection I had under control. Then allergy season hit and the infection got out of control and I started having significant vertigo spells, the infection seemed to be getting worse using one drop rubbed on the gum area so I started taking 3 to 4 drops under my tongue, with some water after, of 80 to 85 percent carvcrol oil of oregano drops twice a day. The infection is finally clearing up! Also I cut sugar creating foods out of my diet to help my body regain strength. I get mine from the local health food store.

  48. Judy Groves says:

    I would like to know if oil of oregano helps with eye/vision problems, such as macular degeneration?

    • William says:

      Hello Judy,

      I was unable to find any studies relating to use of oregano oil and eye or vision problems. Macular degeneration is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation so a supplement that has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be helpful. A randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial was recently published showing that supplements like lutein, zeaxantin (which is a carotenoid found in paprika, saffron, goji berries, kale, and broccoli, etc.), and omega-3 fatty acids protected patients from macular degeneration (you can see the study here You can find goji berries (I eat these on a regular basis and they are excellent) in health food stores and in some grocery stores, and lutein and omega-3 can be purchased as supplements. I hope this helps. Good luck.

  49. Norma Brinker says:

    I take oreganol oil regularly as a health maintenance and hoping it will also help with my blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. I read somewhere in another article that there is a difference between wild oreganol oil and the herb you grow in a garden and the seasoning you buy at the store Nd that they don’t have the same effect as the wild oreganol oil.

    • William says:

      Hi Norma,
      It is believed that the best source of carvacrol is wild greek oregano. Sometimes harsher growing conditions in the wild lead to higher levels of some chemical components in plants. However, even the oregano grown in your yard will have carvacrol in it.

  50. Epic says:

    Your know what else is really good at killing things in test tubes…bleach…the next big health craze is bleach people….sigh

    • William says:

      Hi Epic,
      I understand your reservations. As I said up front we try to include human studies if they are available and in particular randomised double blind placebo controlled trials, which give you the most reliable results. However, with natural medicines these types of studies are hard to come by. As far as good in vitro (test-tube) studies go, control conditions are included and toxicity experiments are often performed. Yes, bleach will kill all things in a test tube, but oregano oil will kill bacteria but will not kill other types of cells.

    • STEVE says:

      What natural plant is bleach derived from Epic? Thanks for being a Troll Epic

  51. Pam says:

    Does it have to be the oil, or will fresh oregano leaves work?

  52. Beth says:

    My father aged 77 & has developed shingles. Doctor has prescribed drugs & he has it mainly on the upper body and has pain behind the eyes. Will the oil help & would it be best to use liquid form as a topical application as well.

    • William says:

      Hi Beth,
      Sorry to hear about your father. I search but could not find any published literature on the effects of oregano oil on shingles. Let us know if you try it whether it worked or not. If you plan to use it on his skin, first do an allergy test. Put oregano oil on a small patch of his skin and wait 24 hours to see if he has a reaction.

  53. Nancy says:

    I have an embarrassing problem. I am taking 3 drops of oil of origano 0.05ml of 75% carvacrol. Can you please tell me how long it will take to get rid of vaginal thrush and micro organisms from the area. I have never had thrush and although I have been cleared of all STDs, I was touched externally, and he seems to have passed on thrush and some organism possibly through contact with chemicals as he works in a hairdressing salon. From this I have soft lump and swelling and tingling inside the entrance of my vagina for five months now. My GP says there is nothing she can find or do now. Will the origano help fight this. I am really anxious about this. I am takings other natural suppressants for this problem. Please help.

    • William says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Oregano oil has been shown to have anti-fungal properties, so it may help with your condition. It could take a few weeks or months to work since yeast are very resilient. Oregano oil is generally safe for long-term use. You may also want to try a topical application. I would recommend diluting the oil of oregano in some olive oil before applying to your skin, because in its concentrated form it may burn (always do a small area test first). Something else that may help would be taking some acidophilus for a week or two. Acidophilus is a type of good bacteria that may help compete with and replace the yeast. You can buy it at health food store or at Whole Foods. I would also suggest that you try to get a second opinion from another doctor, maybe a gynaecologist.

  54. Nancy says:

    Hi William,
    I just want to add from yesterday’s post, I only started taking the oil of oregano three days ago and NOT five months ago and have also cut out all sugars and yeast containing products from my diet. Hopefully you can tell me how long i should be clear of this infection. Many thanks.

  55. Rose says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac, and as a result developed acid reflex. Would oregano help the burning pain in her chest? She is taking Prevacid, but I would like to give her something more natural to ease the burning pain. I read that people with Celiac have a “leaky gut”, would this help to heal leaky gut?

    • William says:

      Hi Rose,
      I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. Celiac is an inflammatory disease. Oregano oil has anti-inflammatory properties so it may help. However, I was unable to find any studies using oregano oil for acid reflux. Oregano oil should be safe to use in children, but I would still recommend talking to your doctor about it. Acid reflux is a common symptom in adults with celiac disease, but it is now seen more and more in children as well. Eliminating gluten completely has been shown to prevent the acid reflux.

  56. Nancy says:

    Hi William, thanks for your advice I will be taking all of it on board (dreading the skin test). I have felt some improvement since, possibly from the oil of oregano as it has a calming effect on the discomfort each time taken. As for the swelling, i noticed this reduced significantly with one of the natural suppressants, I have been taking these at the same time as the oil – but can only take for 30 days. I will continue further with the oil – it gives me the hope that it will keep on working and will give you an update. Thanks again.

  57. Deborah Austin says:

    I have C. Difficile and have been hospitalized with two rounds of Vancocin (antibiotic). It still isn’t beaten back and I’m looking at natural alternatives. This is a very serious intestinal bacterial infection (can be fatal if not trated). Any idea if oregano might work?

    Thanks…great informative site, btw.

    • William says:

      Hello Deborah,
      I’m sorry to hear about your problem. Although I was unable to find any published data on oregano oil and C. difficile specifically, oregano oil has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties. Relevant to your case, oregano oil has also been shown to have anti-bacterial activity against drug resistant bacteria, and to improve the action of antibiotics against these drug resistant bacteria. So oregano oil may help you. Taking probiotics may also help. In the probiotic case you are trying to outnumber the bad C. difficile with good bacteria. Fecal transplant is also an emerging alternative treatment strategy that has shown success in treating recurrent C. difficile. Fecal transplant is not yet approved by the FDA but clinical trials are currently ongoing. However, you may be able to find doctors that will perform the procedure for you.
      You may also want to discuss other possible antibiotic treatments with your doctor. The antibiotic fidaxomicin has been approved for the treatment of C. difficile and one study showed that recurrence of C. difficile was less in people that took fidaxomicin compared to people that took vancomycin. Good luck!

  58. Nancy says:

    Hi William, I’m just giving an update since taking the oil oregano for 6 weeks now to get rid of vaginal thrush, which I have had for 6 months now. I didn’t realise I also had it internally and in my tongue.

    I followed all your advice including to apply topically and it has made a vast improvement. The swelling has 95% gone. You’re right in saying that yeast is resilient, I could only do this also by keeping all yeast and sugar at bay (4 weeks of cooking all foods at home) as lots of shop foods contain sugars and yeast without realising it.

    I sound like i have over-panicked but how else can one get rid of this. Thank you so much for your Godsend advice and I will update once all infection is gone.

  59. Laurie says:

    I am a 40 year old mother of 6 who has never smoked. I just found out last year after a few episodes of coughing up blood and a chronic cough that I have a bronchiectasis . My respirologist recommends every time I think I will get a chest infection to start an antibiotic.
    My chiropractor recommended oregano oil capsules to build up my immunity and prevent lung infections. Should I take capsules, the nasal spray or both? I was thinking capsules during the fall and winter and add nasal spray if I get a cold. I am only on a pulmicort inhaler daily. Thanks in advance for your response. I don’t want to have to resort to antibiotics all the time.

    • William says:

      Hi Laurie,
      I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. This is a tough one because you are prone to more infections and getting infections usually worsens your brochiectasis. I think taking oregano oil capsules on a regular basis would be a great thing for you, and adding nasal spray when you feel you need it (exactly like you said). I would tell your physician about it. Hopefully the oregano oil will help protect you from getting infections and thus limit the times you need to take antibiotics. Best of luck.

  60. Dianne says:

    Hello Williams. i have been diagnose with tarlov cyst,can i use it?

    • William says:

      Hi Dianne,
      Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Tarlov cysts are a bit of a mystery. What causes them exactly and how they should be treated is still under debate. Unfortunately I have no information to share with you on oregano oil and tarlov cysts. There is no reason to think that oregano oil would cause any harm to your cyst, and it may help. You may want to talk to your physician about it. Good luck.

  61. Dianne says:

    hi williams, i am seeing a doctor at present,just thought you might have some more info on it,but thank you all the same,i will keep you posted .

  62. Joanne says:

    I have been suffering for years of sinusitis, and everyday I had to blow my nose and sneeze profusely. I consumed so much kleenex in a week and even use toilet paper when I ran out. Last night, I slept over with my best friend, and gave me a drop of O of O before bed, it was a miracle, I felt the passage in my throat cleared up and I can breathe easily. When I woke up, had another drop of oil, and for the first time, never sneezed, no sniffles, no blowing of nose, and I can clearly breathe. I will be getting this Wild Oregano Oil shortly. It’s a miracle oil, coming from someone who suffered sinusitis and constantly throat infection long enough. Hope this would help others who had similar upper respiratory tract issues. God Bless all!

  63. Zoran says:

    Hi, just happened on your website accidentally and found info very interesting. Have taken Advil for ankylosing spondylitis for 8 yrs after having a kidney problem from 4 yrs of Celebrex. Experienced serious weakness and lack of energy at various times at the time until quitting the Celebrex and using pure cranberry to do cleansing. It helped tremendously. I was seriously concerned whether I could continue working during that time and did not know what was going on. I know the Advil is not great either. I still use cranberry and it does seem to clear the kidneys. My question is this. I find Advil very effective most of the time. In terms of strength or effectiveness, how well can O of O compare in fighting the variety of pains in the body that ankylosing spondylitis produces? Is it possible to switch from the advil to the oil and expect compareable relief? Thanks for your insight.

    • William says:

      Hi Zoran,
      There are a few publications showing that oil of oregano has anti-inflammatory properties, so there is a chance that it might help with your pain. I would recommend trying it for a few weeks and see how you respond. I would also recommend trying a high dose vitamin D (3-5 thousand units). There are good data showing that deficiency in vitamin D (which most of us have) is associated with greater pain perception. Best of luck with your treatments, and lets us know how it works out for you.

  64. Erika says:

    My daughter has a skin condition known as granuloma annulera. She has been on a naturopathic diet – no sugar, wheat,dairy, but it did not help. She also had cortisone shots with no results. Would Oil of Oregona perhaps help?

    • William says:

      Hi Erika,
      Sorry to hear about your daughter condition. The cause of granuloma annulera is not know, but it is generally not thought to be diet related. Minor skin injuries are thought to trigger it. Some of the suspected causes are animal or insect bites, some types of infections like hepatitis, sun exposure, and certain medications. If your daughter has many lesions on a large area of her body you may want to check her for diabetes or thyroid disease. Otherwise a more mild condition is thought to resolve on its own within a couple of years. White blood cells play a role in the lesion formation, so oregano oil may help, although there are no data in the literature. Try taking oregano oil orally and applying on the lesions (do a small skin test first – you can dilute in olive oil if the oregano oil is too stingy). Vitamin E may also help – in a clinical trial 40% of patients taking vitamin E had complete healing compared to 30% in the control group.

  65. Emma says:

    I heard of this the other day it sounded quite interesting and definitely worth a try. My 1 year old constantly had a cold, nothing over the counter worked. We had a bad experience with antibiotics with our older child so we’ve been hesitant to give our youngest to treat his colds. We rubbed a drop on the heels of our son then put his sock on and let him continue to run around for the day. The next morning he had no more cold symptoms! If we notice his getting stuffy or starting to cough we rub a little on his feet and he’d be feeling better. It’s worked a lot better then any cold medicines we’ve ever tried!!

  66. FRANCES McFADZEN says:

    I have brown spots on arms and legs ( lower legs and arms ) I’ve had these for years, they use to be itchy . I’m 81 now and in good health. These brown spots have left dry rough patches. I haven’t been on any medications never was on any. I wonder if oil of oregano would help these. Thanks Fran.

    • William says:

      Hi Fran,
      It’s hard to know just from your description what the brown spots may be due to. If they are larger spots they could be stasis dermatitis a condition caused by blood pooling in the extremities that can eventually lead to an inflammatory response. Usually doctors suggest using compression socks, raising up your feet, and not spending too much time sitting or standing. As far as oregano oil, you could try diluting oregano oil in olive oil and applying it on the affected area (make sure you do a small skin test first) and see if it works for you. Taking oregano oil as well may help reduce inflammation. Let us know if it works for you. Good luck.

  67. Liane says:

    Hi! William
    My acupuncturist suggested I might want to try Oregano O. for my sinus and possible tooth infection yesterday. Today I discovered my husband had some oil and even though I had some prevously(5 years ago) and did not like the taste I was desperate to get rid of this recurring problem. I just tried it since this morning 5 drops 5 times today – the bottle says this equals 35 mg. and that it contains 75-85% carvacol/25% olive oil. How do I calculate how much carvacol I am getting?

    I want to make into a spray or add to my saline rinse for my nose to relieve sinus drainage.

    Yet to get 600ml to get rid of intestinal parasites would I have to take capsules to get that high a dosage – without o.d. on the taste of oregano???
    Thx, Liane.

    • William says:

      Hi Liane,
      Does the 35mg refer to oregano or carvacol? If it is oregano then you have to multiply 35mg by 0.8 (i.e. 80%) to get the carvacol content, which would be 28mg. To get 600mg you would have to take 600mg/28mg=21 doses. This may be to large a dose for you considering you don’t have intestinal parasites but rather a sinus infection. Regarding the taste, you can try capsules. Good luck.

  68. Liane says:

    Sorry I should have said 6oomg of oil. Also I have noticed a difference already – did not have to rinse my nose with saline all day until bedtime!!! I am excited to think I won’t have to suffer with sinus any more – keep you posted after 5 days!! Liane (LeeAnn)

  69. PDC says:

    Thank you for this information. I’m struggling with an acute sinus infection following a cold. I have 80% oil drops and just added two to my saline nasal rinse bottle (8oz, 240ml). That burned a bit. Next time I’ll add one drop only. I’m taking the drops internally, also, and thinking I should be on an anti-yeast diet during cold and flu season. Thanks again for getting me on track. I hope to avoid antibiotics and steroids.

  70. Nick says:

    I’ve been looking for a good natural remedy to protect against malaria whilst travelling in South East Asia. Are you aware of Oregano having anti-malarial properties?

    • William says:

      Hi Nick,
      Although oregano oil has some anti-parasitic effects, there are no data on any efficacy in malaria. Malaria is a very serious disease that can kill or cause long-term impairment. I would urge you to consider proper anti-malarial prophylaxis.

  71. carolyn says:

    I found a product that says it is 30% carvacrol how does this translate how much would I have to take to meet the requirements?

  72. Joseph says:

    Does this supplement also treat High blood pressure and diabetics?

  73. Justin says:

    I’ve started to use extra strength oregano oil from the company Ethical Care and I have to admit it’s quite a product. The blisters have already dissipated along with the chronic flu symptoms. I highly recommend it for killing genital herpes or apparently herpes in general.

  74. RZ says:

    Hello there:

    My grandfather has pneumonia and is also on some heart medicines including Coumadin. Would it work for him to inhale the oil vapors?

  75. Shirley says:

    Does oregano oil lower Vit. D3? My level went from 45 to 25 in about 7 weeks.

    • William says:

      There are no data to suggest an interaction. Vitamin D levels are very reliant on how much sun you get. Sun in the winter time may not be sufficient to provide you with enough vitamin D. The drop may be related to that. Low vitamin D levels are not a good thing, so I would suggest you check in with your doctor.

  76. Veronica says:

    Thank you very much for your article. My question is my father has been just diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, can he use oregano drops to make symptoms better?

    • William says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your father. Unfortunately there are no data testing oregano in pulmonary fibrosis. Given that treatment options are so limited in this disease, you may want to give oregano a try. It may help? Let us know how it goes.

  77. KC says:

    I have been using oil of oregano for myself and 10 year old
    Daughter Dailey for the last 3 weeks. I use 2 drops Dailey
    In a glass of water. I have heard the wonderful health
    Benefits of it.
    Is it safe to use on a Dailey bases or should I
    Stop after flu season until next winter ?
    Thank you in advance for the advice!

    • William says:

      2 drops daily should not cause you problems. However, since oregano oil can have anti-bacterial properties there is a slight concern that you may affect your intestinal bacteria. If you find you are having intestinal problems you may want to take a brake for a while.

  78. Holly says:

    I use the drops of oil of oregano. You have to mix it with an oil carrier such as grapeseed oil. You can buy your own gel capsules and put one to two drops of oil of oregano, then fill the rest with grapeseed oil.

    If you buy the oil of oregano, you can also mix it with grapeseed oil to put on styes and your skin for acne as well as sore muscles for relief and it will also make hard muscles way less tense when you apply it on sore muscles at night. The heat from under the blanket and the rest speeds up recovery. This treatment for very tense muscles is most effective at night while sleeping.

    Try it.

  79. Laura says:

    I take oil of oregeno in capsule form. Cold pressed with extra virgin olive oil. No taste at all. I also buy the drops for topical skin use ir brush my teeth with occasionally.

  80. Judy says:

    I was wondering, should Oregeno oil cap. be taken everyday through out the whole year or does the body need a break from it..

    • William says:

      It is your choice and maybe something you could discuss with your physician. The only potential concern is that you may affect the bacteria in your gut if you take it continuously, since oregano has antibacterial properties.

  81. Neo says:


    Where can one buy Oregano oil in South Africa please.

    Thanking you in advance!

  82. Carol says:

    I just purchased oregano oil with 36% Carvacrol. Not sure how much of it should be diluted for use on acne or rosacia. Should I have gone with a higher concentration?

    • William says:

      Hi Carol,

      There is no established concentration for external use of oregano oil for acne. If you wish to dilute your oregano oil you can use olive oil to do so. Make sure you do a skin test somewhere discreet before you put oregano oil on your face. Good luck and let us know what worked for you.

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