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How to Use Oregano Oil for Cold and Flu | Oil of Oregano to Treat a Cold

Disclaimer - The information provided in this blog, including any linked materials herein, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. For accurate and personalized recommendations, please consult with your specialists.


When the cold and flu season hits, finding effective and natural remedies becomes crucial. There are many conventional options available in the market to treat cold and flu, but these days, people are relying more on natural remedies. One such natural remedy is oregano essential oil. Essential oils are natural products that are extracted from different parts of plants like leaves, fruits, flowers, bud, stem, roots, etc. 

Oregano, a herb within the mint family, serves as the source of oregano oil, an extract derived from the plant. Many research studies state that oregano oil is rich in antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic, antioxidant, and other such properties that can help relieve colds, flu, and other cold symptoms. 

In the article below, we are going to discuss in detail how oregano oil can be used to treat colds and flu, what the different ways are to use oregano oil for cold and flu treatment, and what the possible risks and safety precautions are. In the end, there are also some DIY recipes suggested to incorporate oregano oil for treating colds

What Is Oregano Oil?

Oregano oil, a derivative of the oregano herb, traces its origins to the Mediterranean region and Western and Southwestern Eurasia. The herb itself, scientifically known as Origanum vulgare, belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. With a rich history deeply intertwined with culinary and medicinal practices, oregano has been utilized for centuries. 

The process of obtaining oregano oil involves extracting the potent essence from the leaves, stems, or flowers of the oregano plant. This extraction can be achieved through various methods, commonly involving steam distillation or cold pressing. The choice of extraction method can impact the composition and effectiveness of the resulting oil.

Historically, oregano was not only prized for its aromatic and flavor-enhancing qualities in cooking but also esteemed for its medicinal properties. The use of oregano oil, specifically, can be traced back to ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans, who recognized its potential health benefits.

In more recent times, the interest in natural remedies and alternative medicine has led to a resurgence in the popularity of oregano oil. Its purported antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties have garnered attention, making it a sought-after supplement and essential oil in various wellness practices.

Today, oregano oil is commercially available in different forms, including liquid extracts and oregano capsules. Its versatility extends beyond culinary applications to encompass a wide range of uses, from aromatherapy and skincare to immune support.

Can Oil Of Oregano Treat Cold And Flu?

Absolutely. The efficacy of oregano oil in treating cold and flu symptoms is backed by scientific research. There are many health benefits of oregano oil, some of which are highlighted below. The following are some of its constituents and properties that help treat colds and flu.

Components Of Oregano Oil To Treat Cold And Flu

1. Carvacrol

Carvacrol is a major phenolic compound found in oregano oil, known for its potent antimicrobial properties. Research suggests that carvacrol may exhibit antiviral and antibacterial effects, making it a valuable component in combating the pathogens associated with cold and flu.

2. Thymol

Thymol is another essential compound in oregano oil with notable antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Like carvacrol, thymol contributes to the oil's ability to target and eliminate harmful microorganisms, potentially aiding in the relief of respiratory infections linked to cold and flu.

3. Terpenes

Oregano oil contains various terpenes, which are aromatic compounds with potential therapeutic benefits. Terpenes contribute to the oil's aromatic profile and may have additional anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting effects, offering a holistic approach to managing cold and flu symptoms.

4. Rosmarinic Acid

Rosmarinic acid is a polyphenol present in oregano oil known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Its ability to modulate immune responses may contribute to the oil's effectiveness in alleviating symptoms associated with colds and flu, such as inflammation and congestion.

5. Flavonoids

Oregano oil contains flavonoids, which are plant compounds known for their antioxidant and immune-modulating properties. These compounds may contribute to the overall immune support provided by oregano oil during cold and flu episodes.

6. Cyamine

While less studied than some other components, cyamine is a chemical found in oregano that researchers believe may play a role in the plant's potential therapeutic effects. Its specific contributions to cold and flu relief warrant further exploration.

Properties Of Oregano Oil

1. Antiviral Properties

Oregano oil contains compounds such as carvacrol and thymol, which have demonstrated antiviral effects in research. These properties may help inhibit the replication of viruses responsible for causing colds and flu, potentially reducing the duration and severity of symptoms.

2. Antibacterial Effects

The antimicrobial properties of oregano oil extend to its antibacterial action. It may assist in combating bacterial infections that can accompany or exacerbate cold and flu symptoms, providing a broader spectrum of relief.

3. Immune System Support

Oregano oil has been suggested to modulate immune responses. By promoting a balanced immune system; it may enhance the body's ability to fend off infections and recover more efficiently from cold and flu viruses.

4. Anti-Inflammatory Action

Components like rosmarinic acid in oregano oil possess anti-inflammatory properties. This can be beneficial in alleviating inflammation in the respiratory tract, easing symptoms such as sore throat and congestion associated with colds and flu.

5. Expectorant Properties

Oregano oil may act as an expectorant, helping to loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory system. This can be particularly useful in relieving chest congestion and promoting clearer breathing during a cold or flu episode.

How To Use Oregano Oil For Cold And Flu?

Following are some of the ways to use oregano essential oil for cold or the flu:

1. Dilution 

Oregano oil is potent, and direct application can lead to skin irritation. Always dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil before use. Mix a few drops of oregano oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil to create a diluted solution.

2. Steam Inhalation

Inhaling steam infused with oregano oil can help alleviate congestion and respiratory discomfort. Boil a pot of water, add a few drops of diluted oregano oil, place a towel over your head, and inhale the steam. This method can provide immediate relief to nasal and chest congestion.

3. Topical Application

For chest congestion, create a chest rub by further diluting oregano oil with a carrier oil. Gently massage the diluted mixture onto your chest. This can help soothe the respiratory system and promote easier breathing.

4. Oral Consumption

While oregano oil is potent, it can be ingested for internal benefits. Add a drop of diluted oregano oil to a glass of water or mix it with honey for a palatable and immune-boosting concoction. Ensure the oil is properly diluted to avoid potential irritation.

5. Oil of Oregano Capsules

Commercially available oil of oregano capsules provides a convenient way to incorporate this remedy into your routine. Follow the recommended dosage on the product packaging or consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.

6. Aromatherapy

Diffusing oregano oil in your living space through aromatherapy can contribute to respiratory relief. Use a diffuser to disperse the oil, creating a pleasant and therapeutic atmosphere.

7. Throat Gargle

Create a throat gargle by adding a drop of diluted oregano oil to warm water. Gargle the solution to soothe a sore throat and target potential bacterial or viral infections in the throat.

8. Foot Soak

A foot soak with a few drops of oregano oil diluted in warm water can promote overall relaxation and potentially assist in alleviating cold and flu symptoms. This method may also enhance circulation.

Risks Associated With Using Oregano Oil And Precautions

While oregano oil, being a natural product, is safe to use, it is important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions before incorporating it into your wellness routine. Here are key considerations:

Risks Associated with Oregano Oil:

1. Skin Sensitivity

Avoid using undiluted essential oils. Undiluted oregano oil can be harsh on the skin and may irritate. Always dilute it with a carrier oil before topical application to minimize the risk of skin reactions.

2. Allergic Reactions

Individuals with known allergies to plants in the Lamiaceae family, such as mint, basil, or sage, may be at a higher risk of allergic reactions to oregano oil. Perform a patch test before use, especially if you have allergies.

3. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should exercise caution when using oregano oil. Consult with a doctor before taking oil oregano, as its safety during these periods is not conclusively established.

4. Gastrointestinal Distress

Ingesting excessive amounts of oregano oil may lead to digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, or stomach discomfort. Follow recommended dosage guidelines or seek advice from a healthcare professional.

5. Drug Interactions

Oregano oil may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners. Talk to a doctor if you are taking medications to avoid potential adverse effects or interactions.

Precautions When Using Oregano Oil:

1. Dilution

Always dilute oregano oil before applying it to the skin or ingesting it. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil to reduce the risk of skin irritation and adverse reactions.

2. Patch Test

Before applying oregano oil topically, perform a patch test on a small area of skin to ensure that you are not allergic to oregano oil. Wait 24 hours to assess any potential sensitivity.

3. Consultation with Healthcare Professionals

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have underlying health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional before using oregano oil to determine its safety and appropriateness for your circumstances.

4. Moderation in Ingestion

If using oregano oil internally, adhere to recommended dosage guidelines. Excessive consumption may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.

5. Quality of the Oil

Choose high-quality, therapeutic-grade oregano oil from reputable sources. Always research the quality of the brand from which you wish to purchase. Also, always purchase pure oregano oil to ensure its safety and effectiveness. In general, people should always purchase pure essential oils. This ensures that you are using a pure and uncontaminated product.

Other Essential Oils That Help With Cold Symptoms

In addition to oregano oil, several other essential oils offer relief and support when it comes to alleviating cold symptoms. Here's a list of essential oils known for their beneficial properties during the common cold:

1. Eucalyptus Oil

It has natural decongestant properties that help relieve nasal congestion. It also eases breathing difficulties and clears respiratory passages. Diffuse eucalyptus oil in your living space or inhale its vapor through steam inhalation.

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is rich in menthol content that provides relief from sinus congestion. It also helps alleviate the headaches associated with colds. You can inhale peppermint oil directly from the bottle or diffuse it in your surroundings.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that support overall respiratory health. It also helps boost your immune system and may help reduce symptoms of the common cold. Add a few drops to a diffuser or inhale its aroma for respiratory relief.

4. Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is rich in vitamin C, which provides immune support. It acts as a natural decongestant as well. Diffuse lemon oil or add a few drops to warm water for steam inhalation.

5. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil possesses antimicrobial properties that may combat infections. It is a warm oil, and its warming effect helps soothe throat discomfort. Dilute and apply topically or diffuse in your living space for better results.

6. Ginger Oil

Ginger oil is a warm oil that is rich in anti-inflammatory properties that help ease cold symptoms. It also supports digestion and boosts overall immune system function. Inhale ginger oil aromatically or dilute and apply topically.

7. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils that is commonly used for many purposes. It has calming properties that promote restful sleep during illness. It also possesses analgesic effects that offer relief from muscle aches. Diffuse lavender oil or add a few drops to a warm bath for a relaxing and calming experience.

8. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil contains properties that support respiratory function and soothe coughing. It is rich in anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation. You can diffuse frankincense oil or apply it topically with a carrier oil.

9. Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil improves respiratory circulation. It contains properties that help alleviate headaches and muscle aches. According to a 2011 study, throat sprays containing rosemary oil, eucalyptus, peppermint, and oregano were given to people with upper respiratory infections multiple times a day for 3 days. A positive impact was seen among the people. You can inhale rosemary oil directly or diffuse it in your living space.

DIY Recipes To Use Oil Of Oregano To Treat Cold And Flu

Recipe #1 - Oregano Throat Spray for Cold and Flu Relief 


  • 6 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/2 cup of distilled water


  1. In a small bowl, mix 6 drops of oregano oil with apple cider vinegar and honey.
  2. Add distilled water to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Pour the solution into a small spray bottle.

How to Use

  • Shake the bottle well before each use.
  • Spray directly to the back of your throat as needed.
  • Use this throat spray containing oregano oil to soothe irritation and combat symptoms of the common cold.


  • The combination of oregano oil and apple cider vinegar provides antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Honey adds a soothing effect, helping with throat discomfort.
  • This DIY throat spray treats colds and the flu by targeting symptoms directly.

Recipe #2 - Oregano Oil Gargle for Cold and Flu Relief


  • 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 glass of warm water


  1. Add 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil to a glass of warm water.
  2. Stir well until the oil is evenly dispersed.

How to Use

  • Gargle the solution for 30 seconds, ensuring it reaches the back of your throat.
  • Repeat twice a day as a part of your cold remedy routine.


  • Gargling with oregano oil helps alleviate throat discomfort associated with common cold and flu symptoms.
  • The antiviral properties of oregano oil may contribute to combating viral infections.

Recipe #3 - Oregano Oil Capsules for Immune Support


  • Oregano oil capsules (follow recommended dosage)
  • Water


  1. Purchase high-quality oregano oil capsules from a reputable source.
  2. Follow the recommended dosage on the product packaging.

How to Use

  • Take oregano oil capsules daily for immune support, especially during the common cold and flu season.


  • Oregano oil capsules provide a convenient and controlled way to incorporate oregano daily.
  • Supports immune health, reducing the likelihood of falling prey to common cold and flu symptoms.

Recipe #4 - Oregano Oil Daily Immune-Boosting Elixir


  • 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 teaspoon of elderberry syrup (optional for added immune support)


  1. Fill a glass with water.
  2. Add 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil to the water.
  3. Optionally, include 1 teaspoon of elderberry syrup for additional immune benefits.

How to Use

  • Stir the mixture well and drink once a day.
  • Incorporate this elixir into your routine during the common cold and flu season.


  • Taking 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil daily supports immune health.
  • Elderberry syrup adds an extra layer of immune-boosting properties to the elixir.

Recipe #5 - Oregano Oil Steam Inhalation for Cold and Flu


  • 6 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 pot of boiling water


  1. Boil a pot of water until it produces steam.
  2. Add 6 drops of oregano oil to the boiling water.
  3. Stir gently to disperse the oil.

How to Use

  • Place a towel over your head, creating a tent to capture the steam.
  • Inhale the steam for 10-15 minutes twice a day to relieve congestion and respiratory symptoms.


  • Steam inhalation with oregano oil helps open airways and ease congestion.
  • The antiviral properties of oregano oil may assist in treating symptoms of the common cold and flu.

Try these oregano essential oil blends for treating cold and its symptoms. 


In conclusion, using oregano oil for colds and flu can be a helpful and natural way to ease symptoms. Its powerful components like carvacrol and thymol may fight viruses, while its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe discomfort. Remember to dilute the oil, whether for inhalation, topical use, or ingestion, to avoid irritation.

Combining oregano oil with other essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, or tea tree can enhance its benefits. Always follow recommended dosages, and if you have any concerns or health conditions, talk to your doctor before trying these remedies.

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