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Oregano Essential Oil Uses for Skin,
Hair, and Aromatherapy

Overview Of Oregano Oil

An herb originating from the mint family, oregano has been used for thousands of years as food seasoning. However, in its concentrated oil form, oregano is imbued with antioxidants and vitamins that boost body and skin health.

What Is Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano, or Origanum Vulgare, is a small, bushy plant that is popular among Italians, especially when it comes to their cuisine. In fact, oregano’s use has been recorded since the days of ancient Greece because it was believed that oregano could be used as an antidote for poisons.

During the middle ages, oregano was commonly used for remedial purposes throughout Europe, and people would chew on oregano leaves to treat practically anything such as rheumatism, toothaches, indigestion, and coughing. Today, oregano oil is kept in households to fight bacterial and fungal infections, and buff up skincare routines with all its anti-oxidative goodness.

The oil of Oregano is often extracted through the steam distillation of its dried leaves and shoots of the oregano plant. This extraction method is the most effective way to harness the benefits and the “essence” of the plant and ensure its potency in scent.

Oregano oil has many health benefits including fortifying the immune system, improving digestion, and avoiding infections, both fungal and bacterial. The health benefits of oregano are due to the presence of its active ingredients including linalool, pinene, carvacrol, terpinene and thymol. These compounds give the oil its many properties including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal.

Oregano essential oil contains phenolic compounds, sesquiterpene, terpinene and flavonoids. The health benefits of oregano oil are due to the presence of these compounds that have been medically proven to have therapeutic nature.


Oregano Essential Oil

Botanical Name

Origanum vulgare

Native to

Mediterranean region


Antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, digestive, emmenagogue

Main ingredients

Carvacrol, beta-fenchyl alcohol, gamma terpinene, thymol, p-cymene, thujene


Sharp and herby

Blends well with

Bergamot, cypress, petitgrain, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, cedarwood, rosemary and chamomile essential oils




Cajeput, marjoram or basil essential oil

Uses & Benefits of Oregano Essential Oil for Skin, Hair & Aromatherapy

11 Oregano Essential Oil Benefits

Highlighting just one benefit of oregano oil wouldn’t do it proper justice. So here’s a quick guide to inform and help you better understand this plant’s powerful benefits.


It’s An Antifungal

Oregano oil is a potent antifungal agent, and this is due to having high levels of thymol. Research has found that the thymol content of oregano is an effective treatment for common candida infections and can help with concerns like oral thrush and athlete’s foot.(1)


It Has Antioxidant Properties

Oregano oil is imbued with anti-oxidizing properties that can help protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals. Breathing in its scent can also help boost immunity for better health and fewer days under the weather.

Antioxidants present in oregano oil were found to be effective in lab mice and is one of the best properties of oregano oil.

Different methods (analytical, nutritional and clinical) were used to test the antioxidative activities of oregano oil. This test was done at the University of Split in Croatia and published in 2004. The result ensured the antioxidant nature of the oil. (2)


It Clears Respiratory Congestion

Imbued with high levels of carvacrol, oregano oil’s scent can help fight off germs that cause congestion. Diffusing it into the air can help ease breathing difficulty and stuffy noses. (3)


It has Antiparasitic properties

There are different parasites both inside and outside the human body. Some of the examples of these parasites are bed bugs, mosquitoes, tapeworms and roundworms. Parasites make use of human bodies and spread diseases.

Research has shown that the oil of oregano can inhibit or hinder the growth of the parasites residing in the stomach. (4) Applying oregano oil on the stomach can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal diseases and leaky gut. The aroma of oregano is also used to drive away external pests including mosquitoes and bed bugs.

Oregano oil has antibacterial properties, so when you mix oregano oil and massage the skin, biofilms would be eliminated. 


Useful as an Anti-allergenic

The anti-allergenic nature of the oil extracted from oregano is due to combined effects of its sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. External factors trigger a hyper reaction by the body. The sedative nature of the oil soothes the hyper sensitivity of the body, which gives relief from allergic reactions. The intensity of the allergies is reduced due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil.


Lowers Inflammation

Being an anti-inflammatory agent, oregano oil is applied on the parts of the body suffering from inflammation. It is generally applied on joints to treat arthritis pain.(5)


Regulates Menstruation

Oregano oil regulates the hormone related issues in women. When rubbed on the abdomen it can reduce menstrual pain, better that certain OTC drugs. It is also used during menopause to deal with physical and emotional discomfort.


Eliminates Bad Odor

Oregano essential oil has a sweet and minty aroma. It is used as an ingredient in perfumes and deodorants. Diluted oregano can be applied directly on the body to remove odor. In ancient times, the oregano plant was planted in gardens to fill the house with its aroma.


Calms Anxiety And Improves Sleep Quality

Oregano’s scent is perfect for helping ease restlessness and tension. According to a study, it is found that Clary Sage can help manage cortisol levels and calm the mind, improve self esteem and boost sleep quality as well as mood. Cortisol is a stress causing hormone which also indirectly affects sleep patterns. By regulating the level of this hormone in the body, oregano lowers high blood pressure and calms the senses.


Natural Antidepressant

Perfect for uplifting the mind and improving moods, Oregano’s aroma naturally uplifts the mind and keeps negativity away.

A small study conducted with menopausal women found that when inhaled, the scent of oregano reduced stress, and its calming scent when inhaled has an uplifting sensation.


Natural Antibacterial

Oregano has the compound carvacrol which is responsible for giving the oil its antibacterial properties. The oil has been proven to eliminate the two bacteria - Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Rubbing the oil on the skin (after dilution) eliminates bacterial growth from the skin.

The antibacterial properties of oregano oil and its compounds were established in a research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in 2001. The components carvacrol and thymol in the oil gave it its antibacterial properties.(6)

Oregano Essential Oil For Skin

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It Brightens The Complexion

When used in skincare and cosmetics, oregano’s antioxidant-rich properties are a powerhouse that helps fight off signs of aging. Due to these properties, when applied with a skin-friendly carrier oil, it can help brighten dull skin and restore a flawless complexion.

It also has astringent properties that helps tighten the skin and delay the effects of ageing.

The oil should be rubbed on the skin at least twice a week to see good results. It can be mixed with vegetable oil or other cosmetic products including face creams and face washes. It is better to leave the pack on the face and skin overnight before washing it off in the morning.

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It Nourishes The Skin

Oregano oil is being used because it is loaded with natural nutrients that offer many benefits for the skin. Rich in vitamin A, C, E, and K, this concentrated oil can improve skin elasticity, making you look even more youthful.

Oregano essential oil is concentrated oil and applying it directly on the skin will result in side effects.

Hence concentrated oils are applied after diluting it with carrier oil. Two of the common and effective carrier oils for topical application are coconut oil and jojoba oil.

The antioxidant properties of oregano extract are good for the hair and skin. It controls hair fall and benefits the skin by maintaining its elasticity and soothing skin irritation. The oregano oil for skin and hair can be used as follows – 3 drops of oregano oil mixed with one and half table spoon of carrier oil of your choice is massaged into the skin and scalp. The skin benefits of oregano oil take about two to three weeks to be effective.

Prevents Skin Infections

It is one of the anti-inflammatory essential oils, which when applied on wounds help prevent the wounds from becoming septic and also prevent tetanus germs from entering the body through the wound.(7)

It is these antiseptic qualities that help protect the body during surgical recovery as well as all other types of wounds that typically brings about infection.

For Weight loss

Oregano oil is mixed with olive oil and applied on the body. The molecules of the oils are absorbed in the body. These molecules increase the metabolic rate and digestive process. It is hence used to lose weight when inculcated in daily routine. However, not many studies have been conducted to prove this benefit of oregano. In some places the oil is also mixed with food for a healthy diet. However, the consumption of the oil.(8)

Oregano Essential Oil For Hair

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It Refreshes The Scalp

Minty and herbaceous, applying oregano oil to the scalp provides a refreshing, cooling sensation. Oregano oil’s antifungal and anti-infective properties can also help remove dandruff as well as improve scalp health to keep flakes at bay.

Another irritation that bothers people is itchy scalp. It may be caused by hives, dandruff, side effects of products and scabies. Applying oregano oil on the scalp after diluting it with olive oil soothes the skin and reduces inflammation.

A woman is touching her long hair

It Boosts Hair Strength

Rich in antioxidants, oregano oil, is perfect for promoting healthier, shinier, and smoother hair. The antioxidants available in oregano oil also stimulate blood flow in the scalp, thereby strengthening hair for less breakage and possibly more volume.

Use of oregano oil for hair oil is done because oregano oil has antibacterial and the oil has antioxidant properties useful for hair maintenance.

Boosts Blood Flow In The Scalp

Imbued with antioxidants, Oregano hair oil is great for boosting blood flow in the scalp when massaged. This makes hair stronger as well as encourages new hair growth for reduced hair loss and a fuller crown. You can also check our guide to essential oils for hair growth, read here.

Steps :

  • Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply it to your hair for silky hair.
  • Mix 1-2 drops of oregano oil with carrier oil and apply on scalp as a solution to tangled hair or knotted hair. The carrier oils can be olive oil or coconut oil.

How To Use Oregano Oil

There’s a multitude of ways to experience the many benefits of oregano oil. Many do it through direct inhalation to harness its health-boosting benefits, while others use it with skin- and hair-friendly carrier oils.

Here’s a quick and simple guide on how you can incorporate this refreshing oil into your everyday life.

Oregano Essential Oil For Skin Tags and Warts

Skin tags and warts dampening your confidence? Remedy it with oregano oil. Its antiviral properties offer an effective solution to help remedy skin tags and even remove warts. Here is a recipe on how you can make a wart and skin tag remedy.


  • 1 Tbsp Sea Buckthorn Carrier Oil
  • 3–4 Drops Oregano
  • ½ Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Warm Water


  • Simply mix the following ingredients in a cup or bowl and apply it over the skin tag or wart using a towel.
  • Press on the skin tag or wart for 5–10 minutes and repeat three times a day until the skin tag or wart falls off.

Oregano Essential Oil For Toenail Fungus

The thymol content in oregano oil is a potent antibacterial and antifungal property that can help treat fungal infections. One of the most typical places that fungus grow on the body is on the toenails, and it often comes with symptoms like itching and flaky skin.

Here is a recipe on how you can treat this infection before resorting to more pharmaceutical remedies.


  • 1 Drop Oregano
  • 4 Drops Prickly Pear Seed Carrier Oil
  • 1 Small Bowl


  • Simply mix the ingredients in a bowl and dab using a cotton ball, applying generously onto the infected toenails.
  • Apply twice a day and keep feet dry to prevent relapse of infection.

Oregano Essential Oil For Menstrual Health

If you are having troubles with irregular, obstructed, or painful periods, you can try Oregano Oil before spending your hard-earned money on the gynecologist. There is no need to worry about the adverse side effects of the oil, since it organic oil.

This oil is an emmenagogue that helps stimulate the opening of obstructed menses to make them regular as well as ease the pain. Besides that, this oil is also perfect for reducing the symptoms of menstruation like cramping, bloating, mood swings as well as cravings. To experience its pain-relieving properties, simply massage over the abdomen for relief.

Oregano Essential Oil for Cold Sores

Oregano oil has antiviral properties due to the presence of the compound carvacrol, which is found in aromatic plants. The effect of oregano and its ingredients on herpes simplex virus was established way back in the year 1996. Apply the diluted oil on a clean cotton ball and rub it on the affected region to reduce the inflammation due to cold sores.

Oregano Essential Oil for Aromatherapy

We find that many people inhale essential oils directly from the bottle. Though it is absolutely okay to do so, diffusing it into the air is a more effective way to help calm and destress the atmosphere. Here’s how you can use oil of oregano with a diffuser.

  1. Set it up according to the manufacturer's instructions
  2. Place it at least 2-feet above the ground to get the full benefits
  3. Fill the tank with filtered water to reduce mineral buildup and to prolong the life of your diffuser
  4. Don’t skimp on the essential oil! Remember, adding more oil makes the scent last longer. Most people add about 3 to 15 drops per 100ml of water
  5. Experiment and mix & match oils to tailor your own unique blend of scent
  6. Take time to explore your own diffuser and find a spray setting that suits your fancy

To experiment and make your own blend, here’s a list of oils that oregano oil blends well with. Have fun!

  1. Peppermint
  2. Lavender
  3. Rosemary
  4. Bergamot
  5. Cypress
  6. Cedarwood, and
  7. Tea Tree Essential Oils

Safety When Using Oregano Oil

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects. Generally essential oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid any side effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to certain compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
  3. The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These maybe made from substandard sources.
  4. Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
  5. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  6. Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
  7. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  8. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  9. Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
  10. Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
  11. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  12. Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
  13. Always do a small patch test before topical application.
  14. The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  15. If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.

Recommended Oregano Essential Oil Products

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