Oregano essential oil is known to support a healthy immune system, help prevent the spread of germs and can improve respiratory conditions. However, as with all medications and essential oils, precautions should be taken when using the oil, especially because oregano is incredibly potent. Here are some basic guidelines for administering the oil but keep in mind that the effect of oregano essential oil is different for everyone.
Can you consume Oregano oil?
Oregano oil is a great substitute for dried or fresh oregano in a variety of dishes, including pasta sauce, marinades and of course pizza. It is recognized as safe for consumption, as long as the oil is 100% pure. If your oregano oil has been approved for consumption, you can add it to recipes (just remember that one drop is usually more than enough) or add a few drops to a veggie capsule to take before meals. It can also be added to water or hot tea. For some medical treatments, it might be recommended to place a drop or two below the tongue. If you can stand the strong taste, this is safe as long as you rinse with water immediately afterwards.
Can you inhale Oregano oil?
Oregano oil can provide many benefits when administering the oil through inhalation. It acts as an expectorant, helping the body release excess mucus and phlegm. While it can be taken internally to help with respiratory issues, a faster treatment is to inhale the oil. This can be done by adding a few drops of the oil to a diffuser or adding a few drops to a pot of boiling water and inhaling the steam. If you are on the go, add a few drops to a cotton pad and take a few deep breaths.
Can you put Oregano oil on your skin?
Yes, oregano oil may be applied to the skin but only if heavily diluted. It is an incredibly potent oil and if applied neat, there is a high risk for skin irritation. Always do a test patch before applying any essential oil, including oregano, over large areas of the body. Dilute the oil and add a small amount to the inner portion of your arm near your elbow. If there is no sign of irritation after a full day, your skin should respond favorably to oregano oil. If there is mild irritation, such as red skin or small bumps, dilute the oil more and try another test patch. If there is extreme irritation, involving pain and blistering, avoid the oil. Even if there is no sign of irritation, avoid contact with more sensitive areas, including in and around the eyes, ears and mucus membranes.
Can Oregano oil be used on children or infants?
Oregano oil should never be used on infants. It should be avoided in children under the age of six. When topically applied to older children it should be heavily diluted and monitored closely for reactions. If you have used a product with oregano oil, be sure to avoid skin to skin contact that may transfer the oil to a child. Always be sure to keep oregano oil and any products containing it out of the reach of children.
Should pregnant women use Oregano oil?
Oregano oil should be avoided by pregnant women. It is often a treatment used to regulate a woman’s monthly cycle and may cause miscarriage. It should also be avoided by breastfeeding women as it may travel through the breast milk.
Should oregano oil be diluted?
Oregano oil should always be diluted. It is considered a “hot” oil, which means that there is a high risk for it causing irritation to the skin. Most essential oils are recommended to be diluted with an equal amount of carrier oil but oregano oil should be diluted with at least twice as much carrier oil, and even more for people with sensitive skin. If you find that your skin is irritated by oregano oil, do not try to rinse it off with water. Instead, dip a towel in vegetable oil and rub on the skin to remove the oil.
Can pets be given oregano oil?
Oregano oil may be able to help provide relief from arthritis in dogs. It can be administered by adding some fresh leaves into their food or by adding a drop or two to their water. It may also help to keep your dog’s coat and skin looking healthy. It can also be applied topically if diluted to skin rashes and fungal infections. If there is any sign of irritation or allergic reaction, seek help from a veterinarian immediately.
Cats should never come into contact with any essential oils, as they lack an enzyme that allows their body to metabolize the oil. If you still want to use oregano to help with your cat’s overall health, look into oil hydrosols, which are a by-product of essential oils. If there is any concern with using oregano for your pets, contact a veterinarian.
What precautions should be taken with oregano oil?
Oregano is part of the mint, or Lamiaceae family, which includes basil, lavender, hyssop, mint, marjoram and sage. If you have had allergic reactions in the past to any of these herbs, extreme caution should be taken when with oregano. If you have severe allergies to any of the herbs in the same family, oregano should be avoided.
Oregano oil may act as a diuretic and can interact with certain medications, including Lithium. Discuss oregano oil use with your doctor if you regularly take Lithium to see if your dosage needs to be adjusted.
People with certain medical conditions should use oregano oil with extreme caution or avoid all together. Individuals with bleeding disorders should avoid oregano oil because of its risk of increased bleeding. For this reason, oregano oil should also be avoided two weeks prior to a scheduled surgery. Oregano oil can reduce blood sugar levels and should be avoided in people diagnosed with diabetes.
As with any medication, speak to your doctor before treating yourself with oregano oil.