Although well versed in the benefits of essential oils, for one reason or another, oregano essential oil was nowhere to be found on my radar. Although I grow oregano in my yard and use it in pasta dishes and on pizza, I had never considered it to have healing qualities.
Moving forward in time, as I began to toss out conventional over-the-counter remedies, I discovered that Oregano essential oil has some amazing qualities. Not only that, it is inexpensive and can be effectively used in so many ways that like lavender, it should be called the Swiss army knife of essential oils.
A Brief History of Oregano Oil
Although oregano oil did not make its North American debut until the early 20th century, it was widely used in ancient times. Hippocrates wrote extensively about oil of wild oregano, singing its praises as a cure for digestive ailments, skin conditions and respiratory diseases. There is also evidence that in ancient Greece, oregano oil was used for the treatment of headaches, wounds, snakebites, spider bites and even the common cold.
In modern times, oregano oil is considered to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. Perhaps most notably, oregano essential oil is a powerful anti-microbial with a demonstrated ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. (Think natural hand sanitizer!)
With that background, let me share 25 ways you can use Oregano essential oil for health and wellness purposes.
25 Uses of Oregano for Health and Wellness
Warts and skin tags: Apply one drop morning and night using a Q-tip applied to the affected area. Keep at it and within a few weeks, the warts will shrink appreciably and the skin tags will fall off. Another way to do this is to add a mixture of half oregano oil and half fractionated coconut oil to a roller bottle and dab twice daily until they are gone.
Psoriasis: Mix with a carrier oil or salve (see more about carrier oils below) and apply topically twice a day. There is also some medical evidence that drinking a glass of water twice daily with 2–6 drops of Oregano oil added helps with the symptoms of psoriasis.
DIY Hand Sanitizer: Combine 10 drops of oregano oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil. Rub it into your hands as a natural hand sanitizer.
Natural Insect Repellent: Mix a few drops in a carrier oil or salve and rub over your skin to repel insects. You can also mix oregano oil with water in a spray bottle to create your own insect spray. Be sure to shake it up before using since the oil will separate a bit in the water.
Control Itching: Apply diluted oregano oil to insect bites and skin rashes to relieve itching.
Diaper Rash: Mix with coconut oil or plain ole salve (naked salve) to sooth and heal diaper rash.
Fight infection: Rub a few drops of oregano oil into your gums to fight an infection.
Sickness and Flu: Diffuse Oregano essential oil in your favorite diffuser to help quickly get rid of the flu or any other sickness.
Sinus infections and colds: Place a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water. Carefully inhale the steam, being careful not to get burned. You can also dilute in carrier oil then place under the nostrils to provide additional relieve for sinus infections.
Sore Throat: To ease the pain of a sore throat, simply add one or two drops of oregano essential oil to a glass of water of juice and drink it.
Arthritis: Dilute in a carrier oil and rub onto painful joints to decrease swelling.
Dandruff: Add a few drops to your regular shampoo being mindful to keep the shampoo and oregano oil out of your eyes.
Eczema: Control eczema by blending oregano oil with carrier oil or salve and applying topically.
Athlete’s foot: Dilute in a carrier oil and apply directly 2-3 times a day. You can also add a few drops to baking soda to sprinkle inside your shoes for added protection.
Nail Fungus: Soak hands or feet in a basin of water with a few teaspoons of oregano oil added. You can also rub diluted oil (1 drop of oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil) directly onto your nails.
Relieve Sore Muscles: Dilute in carrier oil or lotion then gently massage on the affected area. Repeat up to three times a day.
Congestion: Dilute in your favorite carrier oil or lotion and apply to the chest area. For nasal congestion, try adding one or two drops of oregano essential oil on a clean handkerchief and inhale the vapor.
Treat Parasites: Combine 1 drop of Oregano oil with 1 drop of a carrier oil. Place under the tongue and hold it for a few minutes before rinsing the mouth with water. Repeat up to four times a day.
Acne: Dip a Q-tip into the oil and apply directly to zits aka acne. The oil will kill the bacteria and reduce the inflammation. For the very best results, do this twice a day morning and night immediately after washing your face.
Mouthwash: Add a few drops to a glass of water to sweeten your breath and kill the bacteria that can lead to gum disease and gingivitis.
Ringworm: To kill ringworm, apply 3 to 6 drops of oregano oil to the effected area.
Skin Infections: Dilute in coconut oil and apply topically to boost the healing of skin infections.
Cleaning Supplies: Add a few drops to your DIY cleaning supplies to give them an antiseptic and disinfectant boost. This is especially effective in the kitchen and in the bathroom.
Laundry: Add a few drops to your load of laundry to kill bacteria or parasites and also to leave your clothes smelling nice and fresh.
Fungus and Mold: Mix with water and spray the shower to prevent fungus and mold from growing. This also works in other warm, humid areas of your home.
A Word of Advice
Oregano oil is considered a hot oil. What this means is that it can burn or cause some irritation when used undiluted. Other hot oils include cinnamon or clove oil. When using Oregano oil “neat” (undiluted) apply carefully with a Q-tip and do not spread it beyond the affected area. For most applications, my recommendation is that it should be diluted for all but spot treatments (such as warts and skin tags). See below for common dilutions.
One more thing. The therapeutic use of oregano oil should be avoided in infants and children, and pregnant or nursing women. That is not to say that something bad will happen but that to be safe, the use of oregano oil should be avoided without first consulting with a qualified medical professional.
A Note About Carrier Oils and Dilution
In order to effectively use essential oils, it is often necessary to dilute them in another oil so that they can be easily spread or massaged on the affected area. These oils are called “carrier” oils.
Common carrier oils include coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil and of course, Plain Ole Salve that you make yourself (also known as “naked salve”). In practical use, any oil can be used as a carrier oil but I like to stick with coconut oil or salve for ease of use and therapeutic value.
In terms of dilution, I made up the following chart. I typically start with a 2% or 5% dilution although is some cases, I go as low as 1% and as high as 10%. Remember, less is often more so start conservatively and move up only as needed to get the desired results.
|1 Teaspoon||1 drop||2 drops||5 drops||10 drops|
|1 Tablespoon||3 drops||6 drops||15 drops||30 drops|
|1 fluid ounce||6 drops||12 drops||30 drops||60 drops|
The Final Word
Individuals at all stages of prepping are beginning to recognize that to be self-reliant, they need to get a bead on learning to use essential oils to manage both the routine and not-so-routine maladies that occur in daily life.
To that end, there are about a dozen or so essential oils that belong in every survival kit including, among others, lavender, peppermint, clove bud, rosemary and lemon or other citrus oil. I definitely include Oregano essential oil in the list of must-haves. It is inexpensive, effective and readily available. Not only that, along with lemon, it is considered to be one of the safest essential oils to ingest. I encourage you to give it a try — You will be glad that you did.