How to Use Oregano Essential Oil

Updated on May 2, 2020
Cynthia Hoover profile image

Cynthia is a homesteader who grows and harvests food for her family. Cynthia prefers using home remedies when she can.

This guide will provide information on the many uses and applications of oregano essential oil.
This guide will provide information on the many uses and applications of oregano essential oil.

There are a seemingly endless amount of essential oils and uses for each one. Although oregano is primarily know for its culinary attributes, the essential oil derived from it can be used in many home remedy applications to treat common afflictions with successful results.

Oregano is likely something you have heard of before now, as it is used widely in pasta dishes, pizza, and even Italian dressings. Many of you have likely consumed oregano at some point in your life. Eating at your favorite Italian restaurants usually means dishes contain oregano, even if you failed to realize it. But in essential oil form it has many uses, including for:

  • treating skin infections,
  • fighting colds,
  • providing pain relief, and
  • treating cold sores.

Before we go any further with how to use oregano essential oil, I feel it is important to point out some people may need to avoid using it. While most essential oils are tolerated by most, there are some people who should avoid oregano oil.

Who Should Not Use Oregano Oil

  • pregnant women
  • women breastfeeding
  • people who are allergic to or react to basil, lavender, sage, or mint
  • anyone with clotting issues


Please note that while generally safe for use at times, there are people who should not use specific essential oils. Oregano is no different. The following people should avoid use: any pregnant or nursing women, those who are allergic to or react to basil, lavender, sage, or mint, and those who have blood clotting issues.


Skin Infections

Oregano oil is an essential oil that falls under the "dilute" category. Some oils are perfectly safe for use without dilution. Oregano oil and its various applications will all require you to dilute.

Treating skin infections with oregano oil is not a complicated process. Do make a point for due diligence and check with a medical provider prior to self-treating. While some infections are small and easily treatable at home, some do require medical professionals—especially in cases where you have a deep cut or wound that may have become infected. I do enjoy home remedies and treating at home, but with some injuries, consulting medical advice is best.

How to Use Oregano Oil for Skin Infections

To treat a skin infection, dilute 1 drop per 5 milliliters of olive oil (1 teaspoon) or another carrier oil, such as coconut. Apply directly to the affected area once a day, either in the morning or at night—the choice is yours.

Oregano oil can be used on several varying types of skin infections, including:

  • small cuts and scrapes,
  • festering splinters,
  • cellulitis, and
  • poison ivy.

Have you ever used oregano oil for a home remedy?

See results

Fighting Colds

Another use for oregano oil is fighting the common cold and its symptoms. This remedy is another easy, non-complicated method for use.

Boil a small pot of water on your stove, tap is fine. Then add 5–7 drops of oregano oil to the boiling water. Drape a towel over your head while situating yourself a safe distance above the pot. Inhale the steam for 5–10 minutes.

Antibacterial properties of oregano oil will aid in killing off cold-causing bacteria, while steam breaks up mucus. Breaking up mucus helps you to breath easier so you can rest. Rest is always beneficial with many common colds or even the flu. Many people suffering bronchitis also enjoy this remedy.

Repeat daily as needed during cold season, and be sure to get plenty of rest.

Oregano oil can be used for pain relief when massaged into the affected area.
Oregano oil can be used for pain relief when massaged into the affected area.

Pain Relief

Oregano oil can be used as an effective pain relief when used topically. Mix 2 drops of oregano oil to 2 teaspoons of your preference of carrier oil. Apply topically to any areas that you are experiencing pain.

If you have commonly occurring pain issues, you may choose making larger batches. Store any unused remedy for use later in a dark container—amber glass is best. As with most remedies you can make ahead of time, the more light that comes in contact with the oil, the more it can reduce potency.

If you do not have amber glass containers, store the oil in an air-tight container and leave in a cool dark place. This will allow the mixture to remain potent until you have used it all. Oregano oil is often effective pain relief for the following:

  • sprains and strain injuries
  • muscle cramps
  • arthritis
  • back pain
  • bursitis

I personally use oregano oil for a topical pain relief. I have chronic back pain from several car wrecks, as well as bursitis. It's not a cure, of course, as these are ailments that do not go away. But using oregano oil helps make my day-to-day activities much more bearable. I can tolerate more activities when using it as a pain relief than I can when I am without it.

Cold Sore Treatment

Treating cold sores and herpes at home no longer is an expensive endeavor. Though cold sores are unsightly and can be an embarrassing affiliation for sufferers, over-the-counter lip treatments for cold sores can be very pricey.

To treat a cold sore with oregano oil, you want to create a balm. This application is best used with coconut oil for diluting purposes since it is solid at room temperature, whereas other carrier oils are not.

Oregano Oil Cold Sore Balm Recipe

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4–5 drops oregano essential oil

Combine coconut oil and oregano oil and mix thoroughly. You may find warming the coconut oil initially is helpful for easy mixing. Once mixed, store it in a small container, as a little goes a long way when applying to the lips.

I have battled many cold sores over the years and you often get a feel for when you have one coming. The moment you notice that tingling or itching on or near your lips is the best time to start treating. If you brushed off the initial sign a cold sore was coming, you can begin treating as soon as you see the evidence of one as well.
You can apply a few times a day until the cold sore is gone.

Cold sores are contagious, however. So do not dip your finger into the balm. Use a Q-tip and dispose after each application. Don't double dip with the Q-tip either. This will keep any of the virus from reinfecting you later. Also, remember to sanitize your toothbrush or any dental tools you use regularly.

It is possible to continue to get cold sores back-to-back because of tools touching your mouth. Avoid touching your mouth at all times when you have a cold sore. This also helps to limit transmitting the cold sore virus back to yourself.

Will you use oregano oil cold sore balm the next time you have a cold sore?

See results
SVA Organics 100% Natural Oregano Essential Oil –Therapeutic Grade Aromatic Oil, 4 Fl Oz with Dropper
SVA Organics 100% Natural Oregano Essential Oil –Therapeutic Grade Aromatic Oil, 4 Fl Oz with Dropper
I use this oil because it is a pure, therapeutic-grade oil. Even with frequent use, the 4-ounce bottle lasts a long time. It is properly bottled within amber glass to eliminate potency degrading. If you are just starting out with remedies and oils, please be sure that you are getting a pure, undiluted, therapeutic-grade oil. Not all oils on the market are the same, and some are prediluted and not what you would want to use on your body.

A Final Thought About Oregano Oil

There are numerous essential oil brands on the market today. Take the time to look into oils prior to purchasing. Some are prediluted, nonorganic and not therapeutic grade.

Oregano oil is a cost-effective remedy for many ailments, including those listed here and many others as well. Never use an oil for treatments if they are not therapeutic grade. It is sad to say in this day and age that companies will dilute the oils to try and gain more profits. After all, carrier oils in general are much cheaper than organic essential oils.

Lastly, a word of caution. Essential oils and home remedy applications are not meant to substitute medical advice. If you have medical concerns, it is always a good idea to consult with your physician or holistic practitioner before pursuing a home remedy.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cynthia Hoover


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Barbara Peterson 

      2 months ago

      I love essential oils and Oregano is one of the best.

    • profile image

      Jeannie York 

      2 months ago

      I have tried several different topicals for pain due to osteoarthritis. Thank you for this information. I had no idea that oregano essential oil even existed and that it can be used to help with pain management. I will try this. Thank you, again for this information.

    • Ann Lemke profile image

      Ann Lemke 

      2 months ago

      I love oregano oil and use it mainly when making roller ball recipes to combat both colds and flus. I had no idea it was also effective to naturally treat skin infections- thank you for this tip!

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      My husband uses the oregano oil for his cold sores! It’s the only remedy that works for him, as soon as he feels it coming he starts to use the homemade balm.

    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Utauna, you are most welcome! Oregano essential oil is great for treatment and prevention of cold sores. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • profile image

      utauna hunter 

      2 months ago

      I use Oregano oil when I start to get a cold but I didn't realize there were so many other uses for it. I never thought about cold sores. Thanks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)