When we think of essential oils, we often don’t think of the herbs of essential oils. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowers and leaves of the plant and used to treat colds/flu, inflammation, yeast infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, allergies, painful menstrual cycles, parasites, respiratory problems, and pain.
Often people confuse oregano oil with oregano essential oil. Oregano oil is a gentle base oil that has been infused with oregano. Oregano essential oil is not diluted and comes with a host of safety concerns. However, when used wisely it is a great essential oil to have on hand.
Oregano essential oil is from the phenol chemical compound family. Phenols are one of two chemical families (aldehydes being the other) that come with a host of safety concerns. They are some of the strongest microbial oils. The concern with oregano oil is with two of the constituents (components) within the phenol chemical family, thymol and carvacrol, making up about 65% of the oil’s structure. (1)
But with the safety steps we cover in this article, you can reap the benefits without these issues being a concern.
1. Treat Skin Infections
Oregano essential oil has shown anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, and immunomodulatory properties, which makes oregano a great oil for your skin when used properly. One study concluded the following: “We suggest that OEO, with carvacrol as the major active component, is a promising candidate for use in skin care products with anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.” (2)
Oregano comes with some concerns and, with such oils, we approach them cautiously so we can enjoy them without the possibility of creating irritation and, in turn, cause sensitization to the oil. There are three main factors that will determine skin reactivity no matter what the type of reaction.