See also general page on essential oil SAFETY.
To buy cedarwood oil visit the ONLINE
This oil is sometimes called origanum, and misspelt as oreganum.
Botanical name is Origanum Vulgare - though note there has been
much confusion over naming of marjoram, oregano and thyme
OREGANO OIL, SAFETY AND
WARTS - In 2004 I began to get orders for oregano
from people who saw a TV item about using it for warts - though
tea-tree oil already has a good reputation for warts, and is
safer and cheaper. Tisserand and Balacs (Essential Oil Safety,
Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1995) list oregano as a
moderate skin irritant and strong mucous membrane irritant,
which is why I had not stocked or used it in the past. (The
other caution is not to use it if pregnant). I have found a
little information about this on the net - several US sites are
selling "oregano oil" for a variety of complaints; some of it is
neat, some appears to be diluted 25% to 50% in a carrier and to
be used as sold in that concentration. Most of it is very
Since writing the original version of this page,
I have had e-mails from two people who have successfully used
neat oregano to remove warts or verrucas. I had previously
suggested that unless you have other reliable instructions for
warts, you try diluting in a vegetable oil base at a maximum 5%
(roughly 5 drops per 5ml of base) and keep off surrounding skin
- apply using a cotton bud or similar method, or let some soak
in to a cotton wool ball and tape it to the wart. But now I
think you might as well try a little neat to start with - only
on the wart itself - and if there is no irritation, keep using
it neat. Otherwise dilute it, bit starting with 25% and diluting
further if there is still irritation.
For any other skin application of oregano I would
not go over 1%-2%. Normal aromatherapy dilution for oils on skin
is maximum 3%, though the US diluted products mentioned above
are much stronger and they recommend putting it on the skin at
that concentration. So there is still a query in my mind as to
whether a higher than normal concentration is actually needed to
kill warts - before tea-tree became popular in the UK,
aromatherapy books recommended neat lemon oil, which one would
not normally put neat on the skin, but which presumably knocked
out the wart safely as long as you kept the oil off the
surrounding skin. Tea-tree can be used similarly but for most
people is safer on the skin, though a few people find it does
I would like to hear from anyone who has used
oregano for warts, especially as to what instructions for use
they have been given and what actually worked (or not!).
I can supply oregano diluted in a carrier if
required - I will consider putting this up as a stock item in
the future. I currently stock neat oregano oil for
purchase online or mail
order. As of March 2007 I will be switching from a Turkish
to a Spanish oil, as existing stocks are used up. This is due to
a large increase in the price of the Turkish oil from my
previous supplier. The Spanish is much lighter in colour than
the Turkish, or indeed than the previous Spanish I stocked a
couple of years ago.
There is a further query over that, though, as the
diluted oregano oil marketed in the US is supposed to be taken
internally for some problems, which raises a whole load of other
issues for an aromatherapist! I have personally had no adverse
reaction on taking a 2% dilution in sunflower oil, or 2 drops in
a little honey and hot water (though the latter was not very
pleasant!). But the terms of my professional aromatherapy
insurance do not permit me to recommend internal use of oils to
WHAT MAKES OREGANO WORK?
Most sources say that oregano's strong antiseptic
action is due to carvacrol - one of the many chemicals which it
contains. Some also mention thymol - also a main constituent of
thyme oil. Aromatherapy tends to stress the synergistic
interaction of the various compounds within an oil (often
without any supporting evidence!), though it often accepts that
one or more particular chemical constituents have been shown
separately to have some similar healing properties to the whole
oil. Percentages of carvacrol can vary widely according to
species and/or country of origin of the oil. Some American
websites proclaim a high carvacrol content on the assumption
that that means better healing properties.
Not all of my aromatherapy suppliers even stock
oregano oil. Those who do all list the species as O. Vulgare -
countries of origin include Spain, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria,
France. Some websites from Greek or Turkish interests claim that
oil from those countries is the best - but this is not always
substantiated. Some, however, claim that the best (Greek or
Turkish) oil - or the one with the highest carvacrol content -
is O. Vulgare subspecies Hirtum, which one source says is also
known as Origanum heracleoticum. Another species mentioned is O.
Just to bring things full circle, Tisserand and
Balacs (Essential Oil Safety, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh,
1995) suggest that irritant properties of oils containing some
phenols, including carvacrol, are specifically related to those
chemicals - the implication is that the higher the carvacrol
content, the more irritant the oil may be.
OREGANO LINKS (IN
der Dissertation von Möller, Thomas Partly in German,
partly in English. Description of an experiment involving adding
oregano oil to the feed of piglets.
Oregano Fact Sheet at NaturalHub.com has good information
on different species, inc. subspecies Hirtum, and on chemicals
found in the herb and oil.
Baharat Turkish supplier of dried oregano, exporting about
3000 tons per year. Details of the production process for the
have an article "Oregano oil may protect against drug-resistant
Staphylococcus" (original source: Georgetown University Medical
Pharmacists have some good background information on the
plant and research and uses both as a herb and an oil.
have some links to research on this oil, including pdf files on
experiments showing effectiveness against strains of influenza
(flu) and avian influenza (bird flu). These latter files are the
original technical papers, rather than summaries for the
layperson. Note that just because an oil is effective in vitro
(in the test-tube) does not mean it will necessarily work in
vivo (in a living organism). Relevant factors include dosage,
method of use, toxicity and other safety issues.
For A Future has a lot of background information about the
plant, its uses and cultivation.
Aromatherapy has some more info from a professional
aromatherapy viewpoint - they say they have heard from several
people who have burned their mouth and throat trying to take
oregano oil orally.
Harry's Natural Products has a good page on experiments on
oregano's antiseptic powers form the early 1990's onward,
including some by the pioneers of aromatherapy. He says "after
careful study they (Belaiche and colleagues) decided to identify
a maximal therapeutic Oregano oil as containing a phenol total
above 50% with a minimum of 40 % Carvacrol and the rest Thymol."
- i.e. not one with the highest possible carvacrol
for other aromatherapy and general health websites.
BACK TO TOP
OREGANO OIL, SAFETY AND
WARTS - INTERNAL USE -
WHAT MAKES OREGANO WORK? -
Paul Boizot. Page update 28.10.14.
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My address from 30.04.12 is 14 Holly Bank Grove,
York YO24 4EA, U.K.
contact me on: 01904
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