Oregano is very well known to most of us as one of the condiments served along with pizza. It is a herb belonging to the family of mint. The oil we are talking about is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the plant from which the oregano condiment is derived.
The oil is said to be very beneficial in several ways, but just as nothing is perfect, even this is not. There are a few side effects of oregano oil that you must know if you wish to reap the therapeutic benefits of oregano oil. Here we are going to discuss the side effects only.
Firstly, it is important that we tell you beforehand that oregano oil is not to be used in concentrated form. Dilute it in a carrier oil while using it and maintain a ratio of 1:3 where one portion of oregano oil is to be mixed with around three portions of carrier oil. Coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oils are examples of the oils that can safely be used as the carrier oil with oregano oil.
14 Oregano Oil Side Effects
1. Upset Stomach
In some people, ingestion of oregano oil could possibly cause the stomach to get a little upset. Such people should just avoid oregano oil regardless of the benefits they have heard of, as there is no point in trying to reap some benefits if it is going to entail a constantly upset stomach.(1)
2. For Diabetes Patients
It is said that oregano oil lowers the level of sugar in the blood. If you wish to start using oregano oil but are on diabetes medications, make sure to consult your doctor for sure before using oregano oil.(2)
3. Decreased Iron Absorption
Studies suggest that regular consumption of oregano oil (or even oregano for that matter) reduces the natural absorption of iron in our body.
It is thus suggested that if you are going to consume oregano oil on a regular basis, then you must supplement iron in your diet alongside.(3)
4. Possible Severe Reaction
If you suffer from any kind of allergy from mint or anything similar, it would be best to stay away from oregano oil or oregano herb. Oregano belongs to the same family as mint and if you are allergic to the mint family, chances are that regret consuming oregano oil too.
It may lead to severe rashes, swelling of various parts such as face, mouth, throat, itches, etc. there may even be a more severe reaction and hence this warning for allergic people must not be ignored at any cost.(4)
5. Potentially Toxic in High Doses
There is a constituent of oregano oil called Thymol which is potentially toxic. In small dosages, it may not affect us at all, but in high dosages it can be life threatening for us. Hence, make sure to use oregano oil in small dosages only or else it could prove lethal.(5)
6. Burnt Skin
Oregano oil is very intense and using it in concentrated form could cause the skin to burn. It should specifically be avoided around the soft and gentle areas and as a rule it must be diluted in a carrier oil as discussed earlier.(6)
7. May Kill the Unborn Child
It is known, as discussed earlier, that high doses of oregano oil might prove to be lethal. While it may be non-lethal for an adult, but even a much smaller dose could prove lethal for the fetus growing inside a pregnant woman.
8. Interaction with Pharmaceuticals
Like mentioned earlier, oregano oil has certain properties which may enhance or inhibit the effects of certain pharmaceuticals. This could prove to be a potentially risky proposition in that case and we suggest that before using oregano oil for any purpose you must consult your doctor to check whether it is safe for you.
Here we have discussed all the commonly known adverse side effects of oregano oil and we hope it will enlighten you in some way about how to use it properly for your good.(9)
9. May lower the Hemoglobin Count
As we explained above, prolonged use of oregano oil without consuming Iron supplement will likely cause a deficiency of iron in our body, which will translate into anemia.
This anemia will result in a lower production rate of hemoglobin in our body, meaning that our blood’s oxygen carrying capacity will get lowered and we will face symptoms such as fatigue and the ensuing headache, etc.
10. May Cause Inflammation
It is a very strong oil and in many cases it may cause inflammation, both internal and external. Since inflammation is the root behind most of the disease, it would be best to avoid it if you feel any sort of inflammation or irritation.
11. Symptoms of Sickness Similar to a Detox
When we consume oregano oil, one of the benefits is that it kills harmful microbes in our body. When these microbes are killed and toxins are released, they are let off through the blood.
When this takes place, we feel a little sick and the manifestations are vertigo, nausea and vomiting and headaches. These are temporary and normal side effects though and should not worry you much.
12. Palpitation in the Heart
Acting as a stimulant, oregano oil can increase the heart rate all of a sudden. They might also feel a little dizzy, nauseated and may even start sweating for no good reason.
These could be signs of severe palpitation in the heart. Cardiac patients must consult their doctor prior to using oregano oil or not use it altogether.
[ Read: Side Effects Of Tea Tree Oil ]
13. Causes Thinning of the Blood
It is said to act like an anticoagulant and it thins the blood. If you about to undergo a surgery, it would be best to stop using oregano oil at least 2 weeks in advance. It could create complications and a lot of bleeding if this piece of advice is not heeded to.
14. Weakens Uterine Lining
Oregano oil is said to increase the blood flow inside the uterus which weakens the uterine lining and may be very harmful especially if the woman in carrying.
- Labiatae allergy: systemic reactions due to ingestion of oregano and thyme : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8630713/
- Carvacrol partially reverses symptoms of diabetes in STZ-induced diabetic rats : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918264/
- Iron absorption and phenolic compounds: importance of different phenolic structures : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2598894/
- Herbs : https://pulmonary.pediatrics.med.ufl.edu/files/2013/08/Herbs.pdf
- Thymol : https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Thymol
- Oregano : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30000904/
- Herbal infusions used for induced abortion : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12807304/
- Drink Me and Abort Your Baby :The Herbal Abortion Tea : https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1146&context=gj_etds
- Are Essential Oils Safe? : https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/are-essential-oils-safe
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