There are a seemingly endless amount of essential oils and uses for each one. Although oregano is primarily known 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
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.
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 breathe easier so you can rest. Rest is always beneficial with many common colds or even the flu. Many people suffering from bronchitis also enjoy this remedy.
Repeat daily as needed during the cold season, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
Oregano oil can effectively relieve pain 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 to make 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 it 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
- back pain
I personally use oregano oil for 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 for 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 of it after each application. Don't double-dip with the Q-tip either. This will keep 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.
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.
Oregano Essential Oil: Best Uses + Quick How To
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
Barbara Peterson on May 04, 2020:
I love essential oils and Oregano is one of the best.
Jeannie York on May 04, 2020:
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 on May 04, 2020:
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!
Lisa on May 04, 2020:
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 (author) from Newton, West Virginia on May 04, 2020:
Utauna, you are most welcome! Oregano essential oil is great for treatment and prevention of cold sores. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!
utauna hunter on May 04, 2020:
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.