Death By Oregano Oil

Korean Journal of Veterinary Research: “Primary dermal irritation study of oregano oil in rabbits.”

Oregano Oil: Is It Good for You?

Oregano oil, or oil of oregano, comes from the leaves of the oregano plant and has been used in folk medicine for centuries to prevent illness. Today, many people still use it to fight infections and the common cold despite its renowned bitter, unpleasant taste.

Although more research is needed into the health benefits of oregano oil, studies have confirmed that it has the following properties:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiviral
  • Antifungal
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antidiabetic
  • Cancer suppressant

Nutrition Information

One teaspoon of dried oregano leaves contains:

  • Calories: 2.65
  • Protein: 0.09 gram
  • Fat: 0.04 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 0.69 gram
  • Fiber: 0.42 gram
  • Sugar: 0.04 gram

Oregano is a good source of:

Oregano is also an excellent source of vitamin K. Studies have shown that vitamin K is important for bone health and regulating blood sugar .

Oregano oil also contains antioxidants , which help stop free radicals from causing damage to your cells that can lead to serious diseases such as cancer.

Oregano Oil Benefits

Research has found a number of potential health benefits of consuming oregano oil:

Antibacterial Properties

Several studies have shown the powerful antibacterial properties of oregano oil, even against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

In one study that tested the antibacterial effects of a range of essential oils, oregano oil was found to be the best at hindering bacterial growth.

Because it can protect against bacterial infection, topical oregano oil has been shown to be effective in wound treatment and healing, even killing off methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) .

In addition to being a powerful antimicrobial agent, oregano oil also has anti-inflammatory effects. One study showed that oregano essential oil significantly inhibited several inflammatory biomarkers in skin.

Because of its combined antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, oregano oil may help improve the appearance of acne by reducing blemishes. Since using oral antibiotics to treat acne has a range of potential side effects, oregano oil may provide a safe and effective alternative when used topically.

Cholesterol Management

Oregano oil has been found to support healthy cholesterol levels. A study of 48 people who took a small amount of oregano oil after each meal showed a significant reduction in their LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, which is one of the main causes of the clogged arteries that can lead to heart disease.

Digestive Health

Oil of oregano is commonly used to treat digestive problems like belly cramps, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome, among others. While more research continues, experts have found that oregano is high in carvacrol. This is known to be effective against types of bacteria that cause digestive discomfort.

Oregano Oil Side Effects

Because oregano oil has such potent ingredients, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following before using oregano oil either internally or topically:


Because oregano oil is such a powerful antimicrobial agent, it can also be toxic to humans. Taken in large doses, it can even be lethal. Only use the recommended amount of oregano to yield its benefits. Further studies into its toxic effect on humans is needed.

Skin Irritation

Although oregano oil can help with some skin ailments, like acne, it may irritate sensitive skin. Don’t apply undiluted oregano oil directly to your skin. Patch test any products containing oregano oil to ensure they won’t cause any adverse effects. Additional research on skin irritation caused by it on humans is required.

Pregnancy Concerns

Research on the effects of oregano oil on someone who is pregnant or breastfeeding has been inconclusive. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding a baby, it is best to look for an alternative.

Medication Interference

Avoid oregano oil if you’re already taking a diuretic, as it may worsen medication side effects. Since oregano has natural diuretic properties, it may interfere with the action of lithium and similar medications.

How to Make Oregano Oil

Oil of oregano can be purchased at just about any grocery or health food store. It’s also common for people to make it at home by blending oregano leaves with olive oil or another oil of your choice.

To prepare your own oil of oregano at home, follow these steps:

Wash and chop your oregano leaves.

Place them in a clear jar, then add warmed oil and stir it all together.

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Seal the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks, giving the jar a shake every day or so.

After 2 weeks, strain the oil and discard the leaves. Seal and refrigerate the now-infused oil of oregano and use it as desired. As you can see, making your own oil of oregano is quick and easy.

Show Sources

Biochimie Open: “Anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano ( Origanum vulgare) essential oil in a human skin disease model.”

Frontiers in Microbiology: “Bactericidal Property of Oregano Oil Against Multidrug-Resistant Clinical Isolates.”

Korean Journal of Veterinary Research: “Primary dermal irritation study of oregano oil in rabbits.”

Molecules: “Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties.”

Molecules: “Origanum vulgare L. Essential Oil as a Potential Anti-Acne Topical Nanoemulsion-In Vitro and In Vivo Study.”

Moscow University Biological Sciences Bulletin: “Cytogerontological studies of biological activity of oregano essential oil.”

Open Heart: “The Health Benefits of Vitamin K.”

Pathogens: “Antimicrobial Activity of Six Essential Oils Against a Group of Human Pathogens: A Comparative Study.”

The Korean Journal of Laboratory Animal Science: “Acute Toxicity Evaluation of Oregano Oil in Rats (2004).”

Review of Nutrition: “Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease.”

USDA FoodData Central: “Spices, Oregano, Dried.”

Will Oregano Oil Kill Probiotics? (what research says)

will oregano oil kill probiotics

Oregano oil is long considered a germ killer. Many people regularly take oregano oil for gut health. But because probiotics are bacteria and yeast, can the oil components tell the difference, or will they also kill the probiotics? Studies using oregano oil and probiotics have conflicting results. So, you might see some gut health blogs or books promoting the use of these two together, while others recommend that you quit either (you can choose which one to stop taking) because oregano oil just cancels the good effects of probiotics. But according to my research, timing is your best friend when taking these two useful, gut-friendly products. How does timing work? When to take oregano oil and probiotics so they won’t affect each other? What’s the oregano oil effect on gut flora? Let’s take a look at each one below.

Is Oregano Oil Good For Your Gut?

Yes. Oregano oil has long been documented to be good for the gut, thanks to its anti-microbial properties. A 2011 study in the Research in Microbiology journal showed that this oil is effective against pathogenic bacteria, particularly some Gram-positive and Gram-negative food-related bacterial strains. This oil can also help prevent damage to your gut walls, helping prevent the so-called “leaky gut.” A leaky gut happens when the gut walls are damaged, creating holes that can leak toxins into your body. It leads to various problems, including inflammation. Pathogens suffer death from oregano oil, thanks to its carvacrol components, the 2011 study explained. Carvacrol can significantly alter the bacterial cell wall, damaging it in such a way that the bacteria’s defenses (the shield wall) are lowered. Once the defenses are down, it becomes easier for other oregano oil components, such as calcium and intercellular substances, to attack the rest of the bacteria. But what’s the oregano oil effect on gut flora and probiotics? Let’s dig deeper into this in the next section.

Will Oregano Oil Kill Probiotics (Good Gut Bacteria)?

Glass bottle with oregano oil

So, does the oil of oregano kill probiotics aka good gut bacteria? Sadly, the answer is yes, it’s possible. Based on the 2011 study above, there’s really no way that oregano oil can tell the difference between pathogenic and good gut bacteria.

Reasons Why Oregano Can Kill Probiotics

  • The carvacrol components attack the cell walls
  • The damaged probiotic cell walls allow other oregano oil components in, leading to their destruction

Some Good News: Oregano Might Not Kill All Probiotics

It’s possible that some probiotics might survive the effects of oregano oil.

In this recent 2021 study, oregano essential oil supplementation is shown to reduce the colonization of harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter jejuni, but allow or promote the growth of probiotics like Enterococcus, Bifidobacteria, and Bacillus.

The study results lead us to the next question: does that mean you can take them together? Let’s dive deeper into this topic below.

Can You Take Probiotics and Oregano Oil Together?

The answer to this question is actually a bit complicated, especially because of the conflicting study results. It’s possible to take probiotics and oregano oil together, but it’s best to pick probiotic products that have a protective coating so that they’re delivered and released in the intestines where they can be more effective.

By choosing probiotic supplements with a protective coating, you can help them survive better and avoid the potent effects of the oregano oil in their journey. Still, there are other ways to help your probiotics survive, without suffering death from oregano oil.

Let’s take a look at these options below.

How To Take Oregano Without Killing Probiotics

So, there’s really no telling whether the oregano oil might accidentally kill the good bacteria along their journey together.

Some tips to remember to reduce the risks of oregano killing off your probiotics:

Tip #1: Take Them At Different Times (Intervals)

The best thing to do is to keep them as far apart as possible to keep your probiotic bacteria safe.

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Remember that the best time to take probiotics is early in the morning or at least 30 minutes before a meal. So, you can take them first.

The transit from your mouth to the intestines can take up to around 6-8 hours. But you don’t have to wait that long to take the oregano oil dose after taking probiotics.

It’s best to wait at least 2-4 hours after taking probiotics before you take the oregano oil.

Tip #2: Use Oregano Oil Sparingly

Oregano oil can be useful against infections, but it’s best to use it sparingly. That means that you shouldn’t take it every day. Instead, you can boost your immune system by taking probiotics daily, and only using oregano when you’re fighting a viral or bacterial infection.

If possible, stick to taking oregano for just around 2-4 days to let your probiotics work better in keeping your gut and immune system healthy.

Is Too Much Oregano Harmful to Probiotics?

Since you want the oregano oil to kill the pathogenic bacteria, you might think that it’s better to take it in large quantities.

Well, that’s not a good idea!

An oregano oil overdose can increase the risks of killing off your probiotics and affecting your normal gut flora.

Unlike herbal concoctions you prepare at home, commercial oregano oil is highly concentrated. So, it’s easy to take too much of the oil, even if you are only taking a small amount.

Taking too much oil can also upset your tummy, causing diarrhea, stomachache, and other issues. It can even be toxic – not just to the probiotics but also to you. WebMD warns oregano oil can even be deadly if taken in large doses.

How Much Oregano Oil Is Too Much? (or they will kill all probiotics)

Research has shown that most people can take as much as 600 mg of pure oregano oil daily without negative effects. However, manufacturers often recommend a smaller dosage

Because there are limited data on the upper limits of oregano oil use, it’s best to stick to this dose (600 mg) or lower. Often, this dose can be spread throughout the day as 200 mg every eight hours (or three times a day) instead of taking the supplement all at once.

Going beyond the studied 600 mg might cause ill effects on the probiotics you’re taking and take a toll on your body.

As a rule of thumb, don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommended dose (you can find that on the label). If in doubt, consult your doctor.

How Many Times A Day Can You Take Oil Of Oregano? (to keep probiotics alive)

It depends on the dose you’re supposed to take, but it will usually be up to 200 mg per intake, up to three times a day. Try not to exceed this recommended dose.

Remember that there’s a recommended intake window for probiotics (at least 30 minutes before meals), so they can have a higher chance of surviving and reaching your intestines. Plus, it’s recommended that you wait 2-4 hours after probiotic intake before taking oregano oil.

Always keep these recommendations in mind, and adjust the oregano intake accordingly.


Probiotics are live microorganisms, often bacteria, that offer health benefits when consumed. They are found in fermented foods and supplements. Some people take probiotics to maintain gut health or prevent gastrointestinal issues.

Oregano oil is a natural substance that contains chemicals that may have antibacterial and antifungal properties. A recent study investigating the effect of oregano oil on gut flora found that it may reduce the number of good bacteria in the gut. This could have implications for gut health. However, some probiotics may survive the effects of oregano oil.

That said, I’d say more research is needed to understand the potential risks and full benefits of using oregano oil and probiotics. If you’re considering taking oregano oil, speak with your healthcare provider first to weigh the risks and potential benefits.

Hi, Brenda here, I have been a health advocate and writer with 10 years of experience in health and nutrition. I also hold a BS in Nutrition Science and am based in Massachusetts with my family. My mission is to impact the world using my health and nutrition experience by sharing, writing, and educating on the internet – and offline too when possible. When I’m not busy writing or engaging in health forums and groups – you’ll find me spending time with my 3 kids, eating, or reading literary fiction books.

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About me

My name is Brenda Mosley, and I’m a health, wellness, and nutrition writer with over a decade of experience in the Industry. I created this site specifically to document, share and educate on things I’ve personally experienced on gut health improvement. I’m passionate about gut health because 80% of our immune system is in our gut and one of my mission is to help you. With of course well-researched, fact-checked, up-to-date and expert studies.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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