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How to Use Oregano Oil – It’s Not Just For Food!

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Oregano essential oil is a potent plant that can be found in many of our favorite recipes. It’s also used for therapeutic purposes, such as easing digestive problems and improving sleep quality, but how to use oregano oil is a question that I’m asked often.

In the kitchen, we know oregano from its presence on pizzas or spreading onto breadsticks to give them an enticing flavor before baking—but did you know it has other benefits?

Native to Mediterranean Europe and Western Asia, this aromatic herb is a compact flowering shrub in the mint family. Also known as wild marjoram, it has been used for millennia by many cultures around the world with culinary applications ranging from pizza crusts to lasagna sauces.

The oregano plant (Origanum vulgare) was originally native only to areas of Eastern European countries like Greece but now also can be found throughout Southern France up through Northern Italy because of its popularity during Roman times as an ingredient that could pair well with almost anything served on a plate.

image of oregano oil with oregano leaves on burlap with the text ow to Use Oregano Oil - It’s Not Just For Food!

Oregano essential oil is from the mint family, believe it or not. It is distilled from the leaves of the plant using steam distillation.

It is a small, bushy plant.

Oregano oil contains high levels of important chemical constituents in its leaves and smaller stems. Oil manufacturers, such as Young Living, dry the leaves and stems, then steam-distill the plant matter to extract as many compounds as possible.

Oregano essential oil contains:

  • carvacrol, the main active compound in oregano oil and a type of antioxidant called a phenol
  • thymol, which may help protect against toxins and fight fungal infections

Though oregano oil contains a significant amount, the compound thymol is most abundant in thyme.

It takes over 1000 pounds of oregano plant to produce a pound of oregano essential oil!

How to Use Oregano Oil and Its Benefits

The benefits of oregano essential oil are wide and vast.  It is purported to have healing properties. Research has shown that oregano oil has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. In addition, certain compounds in oregano oil are also potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and cancer-suppressor agents.

Oregano oil is a popular natural remedy in alternative medicine because of its diverse range of health benefits. It can be taken in many ways, including orally and topically to achieve the desired effect with few side effects!

While I will share a list of oregano essential oil benefits and uses, here are three ways on how to use oregano oil:

  • When taken orally, oregano oil may help with indigestion and gastrointestinal illnesses, as well as respiratory illnesses. 
  • When used with steam and inhaled, oregano oil may provide benefits for sinus and chest congestion and related respiratory illnesses. 
  • When diluted and used topically, oregano oil may help treat fungal and bacterial infections. It can also be applied to the skin for the treatment of acne, athlete’s foot, canker sores, psoriasis, rosacea, varicose veins, and warts.

Antibacterial Support

A new analysis of oregano oil published in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows that it is effective against three Gram-negative and two Gram-positive bacteria.

The potential of oregano oil to be a powerful weapon against parasites and cancer cells has been corroborated by Pakistani research several years earlier.

From a 2012 study in Poland, of a group of essential oils tested, “The highest and broadest activity was shown by the odorous house plant O. vulgare oil. Carvacrol had the strongest antibacterial properties among all other components.”

Another study published in the Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology found oregano oil may be effective in destroying the bacteria associated with dysentery in mice.

The power of oregano essential oil can be found in the ability to combat common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, which is why including it into your diet may be a wise decision for gastrointestinal protection and disease prevention.

For prevention, put one drop of Oregano essential oil and one drop of Tea Tree essential oil in a gel capsule with carrier oil and consume.

For people battling a bacterial infection, consider taking up two capsules a day.

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Oregano oil may be a perfect remedy for those with chronic bacterial issues such as SIBO. People with SIBO experience gastrointestinal problems due to an overgrowth of certain bacteria in their intestines, but a 2014 study found that herbal remedies like one containing both carvacrol and thyme were effective tools against this issue.

Oregano oil may help treat chronic bacterial issues, such as SIBO. People with SIBO experience gastrointestinal problems due to an overgrowth of certain bacteria in their intestines.

We know that the more we explore, and experiment with these findings, there is a chance for some really promising results.

Anti-inflammatory Support

Oregano is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Oregano oil may help reduce inflammation. The compound carvacrol is shown to show anti-inflammatory effects in both animal models and cell studies, according to research from 2017.

One study showed that this compound prevented obesity in mice by suppressing inflammatory genes. Another animal study found it reduced swelling effects of injury or infection.


Oregano oil also appears to be a potent antifungal agent thanks to high levels of thymol.

Oregano oil may help to fight candida, which is a type of yeast that can lead to oral thrush and other infections when its growth goes unchecked. Oregano oils have been shown in laboratory research to both prevent the formation of this harmful fungus as well as inhibit it from spreading throughout the body.

Candida causes several types of infections, including:

  • yeast infections
  • infected toenails or fingernails
  • oral thrush
  • athlete’s foot

How to use oregano oil for athlete’s foot: mix Oregano essential oil into 1% carrier oil and use in a warm foot bath.

Oregano oil is used for therapeutic purposes, such as digestive issues & improving sleep, but how to use oregano oil is a question that I'm asked often. Click To Tweet


Oregano oil is a potent antioxidant which may help protect your body from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals, leading to increased DNA damage or cell death. It can also play a role in other issues like arthritis, atherosclerosis, and cancer as well!

Thymol and carvacrol are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce oxidation.

Researchers found that the use of oregano essential oil has a healing effect on the body after taking chemotherapy drugs. In 2013, they evaluated how it could help to mitigate damage from MTX. Cavracol and pomegranates demonstrated protective and restorative effects neurologically after this drug was taken.


Viruses are so troublesome because they are impossible to “cure.” Think about common cold or flu medications. They promise a shorter duration and lessened symptoms, but the virus will not just be cured. A strong antiviral works by disabling viral cells which slows down spread of disease and lets your body take over without being overwhelmed. Antivirals hold the virus down so the immune system can kick it!

Oregano oil is a powerful antiviral that can help keep you and your family well this cold weather season. Whether it’s the flu or just a common cold, oregano essential oils’ carvacrol component has been shown to be potent in combating viral infections!

How to use oregano oil to keep the germs at bay? Simply add Oregano essential oil and Thyme essential oil in cleaner sprays and wellness recipes for increased antiviral and antibacterial potency.

Bug Repellent

Oregano essential oil is an excellent addition to insect repellents. Both carvacrol and thymol may work as insect-repellants, according to recent studies done in 2017. The study involved both test tube experiments using human subjects for the mosquito tests where they found that these compounds were effective at keeping ticks and mosquitos away from surfaces near people who had been sprayed with oregano extract or a placebo solution

The key to effective DIY bug repellents is always having a variety of actions working together. Oregano, for example, can be used alongside citronella and clove oil -even Ylang Ylang – to ward off those pesky summer pests that just won’t go away!

More research will help confirm this potential benefit but rubbing diluted oregano oil on the skin may be a natural way to help repel insects.

Cancer Fighting

A study claims that oregano essential oil benefits include the fact that it may help fight some cancers. One review notes that the essential oil from oregano helps prevent some types of colon cancer and breast cancer cells from growing in test tubes, which is one reason why it could be helpful for those suffering with these diseases to incorporate more into their diets or as a topical treatment.

The plant’s powerful antioxidant properties are thought to protect against free radicals–the nasty molecules believed by many scientists to cause disease-related cell damage. Oregano also appears able inhibit growth rates of lung and prostate cancers when applied externally or consumed internally!

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 traditional medical treatment, but as a compliment to their current treatment.


A recent study, published in Mediators of Inflammation has found a promising new treatment for colitis. Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause discomfort and disrupt the digestive system’s normal functions.

The combination of thyme oil with oregano oils showed significant reduction in inflammation when used to treat mice afflicted with this type of intestinal disorder. This discovery could help people suffering from colitis live more comfortably while also improving their quality-of-life by relieving painful symptoms such as stomach cramps and constipation caused by diet limitations or surgery related to chronic issues like cancerous growths within the colon, Crohn’s Disease (a condition characterized by severe abdominal pain), ulcerative colitis.

Pain Relief

Scientists are testing the effects of oregano on pain relief. One animal study found that an extract from this plant provided some measure of protection when given to animals suffering from acute joint inflammation.

Scientists used a water-based extraction for their experiment, which may yield different results than using oil extracted directly from plants.

Weight Loss Support

Oregano oil may be the weight-loss tool you’re looking for. Carvacrol, a main compound in oregano oil has been found to disrupt part of the process that leads to fat tissue accumulation and creation. However more research is needed before this can be confirmed as an effective way of losing weight

Wound Healing

Applying diluted oregano oil to the skin may help protect even small cuts and scrapes on the body from bacterial infection. Compounds like thymol and carvacrol could be great at protecting these types of wounds as they heal.

image of oregano essential oil and fresh leaves - beauty treatment for the postHow to Use Oregano Oil - It’s Not Just For Food!

How to Use Oregano Oil Safely

Use caution and don’t take too much Oregano essential oil, as it is very potent. It is best to use it sparingly under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.

There is significant risk of burning internal tissue if a person takes the oil orally. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How to use oregano oil on children or infants? You don’t! Pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with diabetes should also refrain from using it.

Oregano oil can interfere with some medications, including lithium and diuretics.

Oregano may cause an allergic reaction in people who have an allergy to plants in the Lamiaceae family, which includes basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender and perilla.

People with bleeding disorders should not take oregano oil as it may increase the risk of bleeding. Similarly, discontinue use of oregano oil two weeks before scheduled surgery due to concerns over bleeding risk.

How to Use Oregano Oil in Recipes

Steam Blend for Colds and Allergies

  • 4 drops Oregano essential oil 
  • 4 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops Juniper essential oil    


  • Thoroughly cleanse skin
  • Boil 3 cups of distilled or purified water.
  • Remove the water from the heat and allow it to cool in a bowl for 5 minutes.
  • Add the essential oils to the water and stir.
  • Place the bowl somewhere stable and comfortable where you can sit for 10 minutes.
  • Drape a large bath towel over your head, shoulders, and the bowl.
  • Lean over the bowl with your face 10-12 inches away from the water.
  • Ensure that your eyes are closed during the entire steam, as the oils may irritate open eyes.
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Enjoy the relief from congestion, mucus, inflammation, itching, and other cold and allergy symptoms.

Germs Be Gone Cleaning Spray

Protect your family, home, and workspace with this germ away spray.


Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle, shake well before each use. A perfect non-toxic way to de-germ your space, spray into the air, and lightly mist on frequently touched items.

Massage Blend for Sore Muscles


  • Measure out the carrier oils in a dark bottle.
  • Slowly add in the essential oil and shake the bottle to mix the blend thoroughly.
  • Massage the blend into the affected areas.

Massage Oil for Pain and Inflammation

  • 4 drops Oregano essential oil 
  • 3 drops Peppermint essential oil     
  • 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil     
  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Oil  


  • Measure out the carrier oil in a dark bottle.
  • Slowly add in the essential oils and shake the bottle to mix the blend thoroughly.
  • Massage the blend into the affected areas.

Wound Healing Ointment

  • 2 drops Oregano essential oil 
  • 2 drops Tea Tree essential oil
  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil  
  • 2 Tbsp. Refined Coconut oil    
  • 1-2 tsp. Beeswax    


  • In a double boiler, melt the Coconut Oil (and Beeswax, if using) until liquified.
  • When wax has liquified, add the essential oils one at a time.
  • Thoroughly mix the oils together, then pour into a small jar or 30 g (1 oz.) salve tin.
  • Allow the mixture to set in the fridge.
  • When ready to use, salve can be applied to minor cuts and scrapes then covered with a bandage.
  • To prevent the salve from melting in high temperatures, store it in a cool, dry place.

Deep Moisturizing Lotion

  • 14 drops Oregano essential oil
  • 2 drops Lemon essential oil    
  • 60 ml (2 oz.) Avocado oil
  • 60 ml (2 oz.) Coconut oil 


  • Sterilize a 4 fl. oz. ball glass jar by placing it in boiling water. Remove from heat then dry.
  • Melt the Coconut Oil.
  • In the glass jar, pour the Avocado Oil and essential oils, then pour in the Coconut Oil last.
  • Allow the oils to combine thoroughly by placing the jar in the refrigerator.
  • When the mixture has solidified into a soft lotion, it can be used to moisturize any area of dry skin without leaving a greasy residue.

Moisturizing and Sanitizing Hand Salve

  • 25–30 drops Oregano essential oil       
  • ½ tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • ¼ cup Olive oil    
  • ¼ cup Coconut oil       
  • 2 Tbsp Beeswax      


  • Fill a pot with 1 inch of water and place on the stove over medium/low heat.
  • In a glass jar, add the Beeswax and Coconut Oil and place the jar in the pot of water, maintaining the same level of heat on the stove.
  • Allow the wax and carrier oil mixture to melt slowly for 10-15 minutes without overheating.
  • In the meantime, prepare the 1 oz. tins by removing their lids for ease of pouring, as the salve is quick to cool and harden.
  • Once the Beeswax and Coconut Oil have melted on the stove, stir in the Olive Oil, and ensure it is thoroughly blended.
  • Remove this blend from the heat, and quickly stir in the Oregano Essential Oil.
  • Carefully pour the finished product into the tins. This recipe can fill 6 tins of 1 oz. capacity.
  • Allow the salve to harden completely inside the tins before placing the lids on and before applying the salve. This cooling period typically takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

Cold and Flu Support Inhaler

Use this aromatherapy inhaler when seasonal threats are a concern. You can enjoy the health benefits on the go.

  • 6 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop Oregano essential oil
  • Blank aromatherapy inhalers


Add essential oils onto cotton wick of aromatherapy inhaler. Once inhaler is assembled, take off the cap and deeply inhale the aroma.

Toilet Scrubbing Powder

  • 3 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops Oregano essential oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda


Add baking soda and essential oils into a bowl and mix, sprinkle into the toilet and use toilet scrubber to clean the toilet.

Germs Be Gone Air Freshener

  • 10 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops Tea Tree Oil essential oil
  • 6 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops Oregano essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or witch hazel
  • Distilled water
  • 4 oz spray bottle

Oregano Diffuser Blends

One great way to experience the benefits of Oregano essential oil is by diffusing it.I’m sharing how to use oregano oil diffuser blends with immune system benefits.

Delicious and Healthy

  • 4 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops Grapefruit essential oil
  • 2 drops Oregano essential Oil 

Immunity Blend

  • 3 drops Thieves essential oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop Oregano essential oil

Super Immune Support

  • 2 drops Orange essential oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 1 drop Clove essential oil
  • 1 drop Oregano essential oil

Immune Booster

  • 4 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops Clove essential oil
  • 1 drop Oregano essential oil

Get Well Soon

  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Orange essential oil
  • 1 drop Oregano essential oil

Healthy Home

  • 3 drops Cypress essential oil
  • 2 drops Bergamot essential oil
  • 1 drop Oregano essential

Herb Garden

You may also enjoy this video by Dr. Axe on Oregano essential oil benefits.

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