Oregano is a fragrant herb used in cooking and baking. The oil from the plant has been used to help the body fight illness and ease cold and flu-like symptoms. Oregano oil can be taken by mouth as a pill or oil. It can also be used as an essential oil.
100 to 200 milligrams 2 times daily.A1
There is not enough data to support that oregano oil is helpful in treating health problems. We will review future studies as they are published.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to use oregano oil on the skin or take it orally in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should limit their intake of oregano oil to food sources.A2
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A1. Force M, Sparks WS, et al. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):213-214.
A2. Ahmed M, Hwang JH, et al. Safety classification of herbal medicines used among pregnant women in Asian countries: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Nov 14;17(1):489.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 6/29/2020