Oil of Oregano: Uses, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Oil of Oregano: Uses, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Uses, Health Benefits, and Side Effects of Oregano OilOregano was used as a culinary herb in Italy for hundreds of years before American soldiers, during World War II, developed a taste for what they called “the pizza herb.” It is also used as a culinary ingredient in several other countries including Greece, Egypt, Spain, and the Philippines.

Hippocrates, the man considered to be the Father of Western Medicine, used oregano as an antiseptic and to cure ailments related to the stomach and respiratory system. Today, it is still being used to treat various illnesses.

Respiratory Illnesses

Do you have trouble breathing because you’re stuffed up? Using a diffuser or an inhaler, inhale a few drops of oil of oregano. It may not entirely cure the cold or flu, but you will feel some relief. Adding a few drops of oregano oil in the water you drink may relieve a sore throat. If the taste is too bad, you could add it in juice instead.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Although studies are not conclusive, oregano oil may be able to fight virus and fungus and may also be potentially useful in maintaining gastrointestinal health. There’s also evidence that it may help fight parasites in the gut.

Oregano Oil vs Candida

In lab experiments, oregano oil is seen to help control the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. A more detailed discussion on how to fight yeast infections can be found here and here.


The University of Maryland Medical Center lists oregano oil as one of the herbs that can potentially help with the symptoms of psoriasis.

Side Effects of Oregano Oil

WebMD says that you are “likely safe” when you take the amount of oregano found in food. It also says that you are “possibly safe” when you take the amounts recommended for medicinal uses both orally or topically. The site also warns about possible allergic reactions when taking oregano supplements if you are allergic to plants such as sage, lavender, and basil – plants in the Lamiaceae family.

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