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Generic Name: Origanum


Herbs & Supplements


Dostenkraut, Mediterranean oregano, mountain mint, oil of oregano, oregano oil, Origani vulgaris herba, origanum, wild marjoram, Zaatar.


Oregano is a perennial herb. The leaves, stems and flowers are used medicinally. Oregano has been recognized for its aromatic properties since ancient times. In ancient Greece, oregano was called 'Joy of the Mountain' and was considered a symbol of joy and happiness. Ancient Egyptians considered Origanum species to be sacred to the god Osiris, and wove it into crowns or wreaths worn during rituals.

Oregano is commonly used as a food flavoring and preservative. Traditionally, oregano has been used to treat respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders and menstrual irregularities. Modern herbalists recommend topical application of oregano oil for the treatment of infection.

Early study suggests that oregano may have antiparasitic, antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial and insect repellent activities. There is limited scientific evidence to support any of these suggested uses for oregano.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Parasites: Early study shows that taking oregano by mouth may help treat parasites. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Grade: C


WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abortion inducing, acne, antibacterial, antifungal, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antiparasitic, anti-thrombin, arthritis, asthma, athlete's foot (topically), bloating, bronchitis, canker sores (topically), carminative, colds, cough, croup, dandruff, diaphoretic, dysentery, dysmenorrheal (orally), dyspepsia, expectorant, flavoring, food preservative, gastrointestinal disorders, gum disease (topically), headaches (orally), heart conditions (orally), high blood sugar, increased insulin sensitivity, insect and spider bites, menstrual stimulant (orally), menstrual irregularities, metorrhagia (painful menstruation), mild tonic (orally), muscle pain, phytoestrogenic, preservative, psoriasis, respiratory disorders, rheumatoid arthritis (orally), ringworm (topically), rosacea, seborrhea, superficial and systemic infections (topically), toothache, ulcers, urinary tract infections, varicose veins, warts weak, insect repellent.


Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven effective dose for oregano. Oregano has been taken in doses of 200 milligrams of emulsified oil three times daily with meals for six weeks for the treatment of enteric parasites. As a dietary supplement, two capsules (dose unknown) once or twice daily has been recommended with meals, or a few drops of oil of oregano can be added to milk or juice.

Oregano oil has also been applied topically (on the skin), and shampoos and teas (gargle, mouthwash) are commercially available. For use as a bath additive, 100 grams of dried oregano leaf may be steeped in one liter of water for 10 minutes, strained and added to a full bath.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven effective dose for oregano in children.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
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