Help Oregano Oil for Cold and Flu: Does It Work?

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Not a bad overview of Oregano Oil but it has in use for a very long time. As far as I know it can be continue usage at the safe level.
The raw oregano oil must be mix with an oil like olive before being taken


A 2017 study found that oregano essential oil, especially from the leaves of the oregano plant, has strong antioxidant properties. ... While carvacrol was more effective against certain viruses on its own, oregano oil was more effective against respiratory viruses, such as flu viruses.

Oregano Oil for Cold and Flu: Does It Work?

What is oregano oil?

As an herbal supplement, oil of oregano is known for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It contains several potentially healing compounds, such as:
  • carvacrol
  • thymol
  • terpinene
People have traditionally used oil of oregano for respiratory health. It’s also become a popular alternative remedy for cold and flu symptoms.
Oregano oil is used to treat cold and flu symptoms, but it can be consumed in different forms depending on your preference. It can be purchased as an herbal supplement, tincture, or essential oil.
You can find it at most health food stores as a tincture or softgel capsule. You can also buy it in the form of a highly concentrated aromatic, volatile (tending to evaporate) essential oil for external use and aromatherapy.
Keep reading to learn more about the research behind the benefits of oregano oil for cold and flu symptoms and how to safely use it.

What does the research say?

There have been several recent studies looking at the health benefits of oregano herbal oil, and most of the findings are promising.
A 2017 studyTrusted Source found that oregano essential oil, especially from the leaves of the oregano plant, has strong antioxidant properties. The researchers noted the traditional use of oregano oil in treating fevers and respiratory symptoms, which are both associated with the flu.
Research conducted in 2011Trusted Source found that oregano essential oil can inhibit both human and animal viruses in vitro.
The researchers noted that this action is likely due to carvacrol, one of the main compounds in oregano oil. While carvacrol was more effective against certain viruses on its own, oregano oil was more effective against respiratory viruses, such as flu viruses.
People with upper respiratory infections participating in a 2011 study used a throat spray containing oregano oil as well as diluted eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils. They used it 5 times a day for 3 days.
Compared to those in the placebo group, those who used the spray had reduced symptoms of sore throat, hoarseness, and cough 20 minutes after using it.
However, there wasn’t a major difference in symptoms between the 2 groups after 3 days of treatment. The researchers noted that this might be due to symptoms naturally improving in both groups during those 3 days.
In addition, a small 2013 studyTrusted Source found that oregano oil reduced pain in rats due to its analgesic effects. This suggests that oregano oil might help with more painful flu symptoms, such as body aches or a sore throat, but larger human studies are needed.

Is it safe?

Oregano oil is generally safe to use, but it can have some side effects.
Avoid using it if you’re allergic to mint, sage, basil, or lavender. If you’re allergic to any of these, you’re likely allergic to oregano as well.
Don’t use oregano oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Talk to your pediatrician before using it on a child.
Don’t take oregano oil if you have a bleeding disorder or are on any medications that alter clotting of your blood.
Supplements and herbs aren’t closely monitored by the FDA, and there may be issues regarding such attributes as purity, contamination, quality, and strength. Research the brand and be an informed consumer. It’s always wise to talk to your healthcare provider before using any herb, essential oil, or supplement.
Even if you don’t have an allergy, taking oregano oil may cause:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach problems
  • fatigue
  • increased bleeding
  • muscle pain
  • vertigo
  • headache
  • difficulty swallowing
  • excessive salivation
  • inappropriate talkativeness
Read more about the side effects of oregano oil and when you should see a healthcare provider.

How do I use it?

There are several ways to use oregano oil.
If you are using the pure essential oil form, remember to never ingest essential oils. Instead, follow these steps:
  • add a few drops to a steam diffuser or bowl of hot water
  • apply to your skin after adding about five drops to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil
Learn more about how to use essential oils for the flu.
You can also shop for an oregano oil tincture, which is an extract and essential oil blend formulated to take orally. Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.
Alternatively, you can purchase oregano herbal oil in capsule form. Carefully read the dosage instructions on the bottle.
Regardless of why you’re taking oregano oil, make sure you take at least a weeklong break for every 3 weeks of use.
Oregano oil is a powerful substance, so it’s best to start with the smallest possible dose to see how your body reacts. You can slowly increase the amount you take once you see how your body responds.
Just make sure you don’t take more than the recommended amount listed on the package. Also keep in mind that recommended dosages can vary between manufacturers.

The bottom line

Oregano oil has several health benefits that are backed by research, though larger studies are needed to fully understand how it works.
If you find yourself dealing with a cold or the flu, try using oregano herbal oil for relief. Just make sure you don’t go over the recommended dosage.

Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, COI on January 28, 2020 — Written by Emily Cronkleton


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During preclinical trials, researchers found oil of oregano had anticancer properties and other disease-fighting abilities. (Africa Studio/Shutterstock)
During preclinical trials, researchers found oil of oregano had anticancer properties and other disease-fighting abilities. (Africa Studio/Shutterstock)
How to Use Oregano Oil for Colds and Flu
Carvacrol gives this essential oil disease-fighting super powers

September 22, 2019 Updated: February 22, 2020

With cold and flu season around the corner, it’s a good idea to prepare in advance as much as we can. Oil of oregano could win an award as one of the most effective natural preventives and treatments for the common cold and flu.
Many have also reported great results using oregano oil for sore throats. And in case you’re wondering, this oregano isn’t the same as the herb you put in your pasta sauce.
One reason oil of oregano is considered an essential oil hero is the presence of carvacrol, one of the most bioactive components of this herb. Carvacrol has demonstrated its anti-disease potential in preclinical trials, but human trials are still lacking. That said, its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer properties have been documented by researchers.


Oil of oregano, which is made from the leaves and flowers of the herb, also contains some other potent compounds that can be helpful when you want to prevent or treat a cold or flu. Here are four reasons why this herb is so potent:
  • Thymol: a natural antiseptic that can enhance immune system function and promote healing
  • Beta-caryophyllin: known for its anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Naringin: enhances the antioxidants in oregano oil, which in turn can improve its ability to fight cold and flu viruses
  • Rosmarinic acid: an antioxidant that also is a natural antihistamine
To enjoy the health benefits of oregano essential oil, it’s important that you choose an oil produced from wild oregano (Origanum vulgare), which is native to the Mediterranean, or from Thymus capitatus, a variety found in Spain. More than 40 other oregano species are available, so be sure to read the label and buy from reputable manufacturers only.
How Powerful Is Oil of Oregano?
For those who want to see what the scientists say, there’s a study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in which researchers exposed a mouse norovirus (a human norovirus surrogate) to oregano oil and carvacrol. Both treatments were effective against the virus, but carvacrol was better, inactivating the virus within one hour of exposure.

Using Oil of Oregano for Colds and Flu
If you want to help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses on your hands and household surfaces, then you may want to use a liquid soap that contains oregano essential oil or add the oil to an all-natural brand you are using now.
An investigative team looked at the use of liquid detergent solution with added oil of oregano (0.5 percent) and found that it was as effective as a commercial antimicrobial soap, but without the harmful ingredients such as triclosan and chloroxylenol. And since the FDA recently banned many antibacterial chemicals, it makes sense to use a safer homemade alternative.
How to Use Oregano Oil for Colds and Flu
A woman suffering from flu. (Shutterstock)A woman suffering from flu. (Shutterstock)

Since the taste can be strong, I have found the best way to take oregano oil is by diluting several drops of the oil in orange juice, olive oil, or coconut oil. However, according to Theresa Ramsey, NMD, if you place a few drops under your tongue and keep them there for several minutes, the strong taste will be minimal and the results will be faster and stronger because it gets absorbed faster. If you prefer not to taste anything, then you can purchase oil of oregano capsules at natural product stores.
The general dosing for oil of oregano for adults is two to three drops, three to four times daily once you have a cold or flu. For preventive or maintenance purposes, take two to three drops twice a day.
Oil of Oregano Capsule Dosage
If you prefer to take supplements, use 100 to 150 mg oregano oil capsules in place of the three to four doses daily. To treat a sore throat, you can add five to six drops of oregano oil to a glass of water and gargle several times a day. I like to place the drops directly in my throat so I’m sure they are doing their magic.
Oil of oregano can be given to children, although the strong taste makes convincing them a challenge. Fortunately, there are oregano oil supplements specially formulated for youngsters, including natural cinnamon or mint oil to mask the taste of the oregano. They should be dosed as recommended by the manufacturer. You can also add a couple of drops of the liquid to the bottom of their feet and then cover with socks to trap the vapors. We call this “pizza feet” in our house.
You also can add a few oregano oil drops in a diffuser or vaporizer to help clear up a stuffy nose and sinuses. Breathe in the pleasant aroma for a few minutes several times a day.

Oregano Oil and Breastfeeding?
You should limit your use of oregano oil to only seven to 10 days. Oil of oregano is not recommended for infants or pregnant women. As you should also conclude, using oregano oil while breastfeeding is not recommended. Also, avoid if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or are on lithium.
Andrea Donsky, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University, is an international TV Health Expert, Best Selling Author, Nutritionist Podcast Host, and Founder of—a recipient of Healthline’s Best Healthy Living Blogs for 2019. This article was originally published on


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Oregano oil as an aid for colds and viral infections
  • February 4, 2020
  • Featured

Oregano is a plant with very strong healing properties. It contains many antioxidants that protect the body from free radical influence and valuably stimulate the immune system. Oregano oil is famous as one of the most powerful essential oils which can substitute antibiotic!
The Greeks were the first to discover the effects of oregano oil and the first to use this oil for medicinal purposes. They mainly used it to eliminate inflammation and pain, since it acts as a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral drug. In fact, even the father of medicine Hippocrates used oregano oil as an antibacterial agent.
Oregano essential oil contains carvacrol and thymol. These compounds have a strong antibacterial and antifungal effect. The oil is extracted from carvacrol, and the leaves contain phenols, ursolic acid, triterpenes, rosmarinic acid, and oleanolic acid.
Carvacrol is a phenol with a wide spectrum of action, ranging from the elimination of pathogenic fungi, yeast, and bacteria. It destroys microorganisms, even drug-resistant ones.
Oregano oil can destroy at least several types of bacteria. It is effective against E. Coli and Listeria, which means that it can be used to promote the health of the gastrointestinal tract and prevent fatal food poisoning.
Oregano can replace the synthetic chemicals that we use today. It inhibits the growth of seven tested bacterial strains and is more potent than other plant extracts.
The most important benefits of oregano oil:
  • Oregano oil acts as an alternative medical drug capable to kill certain pathogens resistant to antibiotics.
  • Beneficially affecting the production of leukocytes, oregano oil effectively fights against viral infections, with the herpes virus in particular.
  • This effective remedy will help to quickly and effectively cope with respiratory diseases, relieve sore throat, relieve swelling of the nasal sinuses, and help expel phlegm from the respiratory tract.
  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties determine its use in dentistry to treat gums and relieve toothache.
  • Oregano oil helps get rid of dangerous intestinal parasites: Giardia, tapeworms, and roundworms.
  • Protecting the body from bacterial infections, oregano oil does not destroy the natural intestinal microflora, unlike drugs with similar effects.

Oregano oil is an affordable product. The content of antioxidants in it is much higher than in most fruits and vegetables. In addition, it contains phenols – extremely useful compounds for the body. Oil can help you fight bacterial and fungal infections, inflammations, and pain. A wonderful natural antibiotic substitute.
Cold And Flu


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15 Impressive Herbs with Antiviral Activity


Oct. 26, 2019 12:00PM ESTHEALTH + WELLNESS


By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD
Since ancient times, herbs have been used as natural treatments for various illnesses, including viral infections.
Due to their concentration of potent plant compounds, many herbs help fight viruses and are favored by practitioners of natural medicine.
At the same time, the benefits of some herbs are only supported by limited human research, so you should take them with a grain of salt.
Here are 15 herbs with powerful antiviral activity.
1. Oregano

Oregano is a popular herb in the mint family that's known for its impressive medicinal qualities. Its plant compounds, which include carvacrol, offer antiviral properties.
In a test-tube study, both oregano oil and isolated carvacrol reduced the activity of murine norovirus (MNV) within 15 minutes of exposure (1Trusted Source).
MNV is highly contagious and the primary cause of stomach flu in humans. It is very similar to human norovirus and used in scientific studies because human norovirus is notoriously difficult to grow in laboratory settings (2Trusted Source).
Oregano oil and carvacrol have also been shown to exhibit antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1); rotavirus, a common cause of diarrhea in infants and children; and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes respiratory infections (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

2. Sage

Also a member of the mint family, sage is an aromatic herb that has long been used in traditional medicine to treat viral infections (6Trusted Source).
The antiviral properties of sage are mostly attributed to compounds called safficinolide and sage one, which are found in the leaves and stem of the plant (7Trusted Source).
Test-tube research indicates that this herb may fight human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which can lead to AIDS. In one study, sage extract significantly inhibited HIV activity by preventing the virus from entering target cells (8Trusted Source).
Sage has also been shown to combat HSV-1 and Indiana vesiculovirus, which infects farm animals like horses, cows, and pigs (9, 10).

3. Basil

Many types of basil, including the sweet and holy varieties, may fight certain viral infections.
For example, one test-tube study found that sweet basil extracts, including compounds like apigenin and ursolic acid, exhibited potent effects against herpes viruses, hepatitis B, and enterovirus (11Trusted Source).
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has been shown to increase immunity, which may help fight viral infections.
In a 4-week study in 24 healthy adults, supplementing with 300 mg of holy basil extract significantly increased levels of helper T cells and natural killer cells, both of which are immune cells that help protect and defend your body from viral infections (12Trusted Source).

4. Fennel

Fennel is a licorice-flavored plant that may fight certain viruses.
A test-tube study showed that fennel extract exhibited strong antiviral effects against herpes viruses and parainfluenza type-3 (PI-3), which causes respiratory infections in cattle (13Trusted Source).
What's more, trans-anethole, the main component of fennel essential oil, has demonstrated powerful antiviral effects against herpes viruses (14Trusted Source).
According to animal research, fennel may also boost your immune system and decrease inflammation, which may likewise help combat viral infections (15Trusted Source).

5. Garlic

Garlic is a popular natural remedy for a wide array of conditions, including viral infections.
In a study in 23 adults with warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), applying garlic extract to affected areas twice daily eliminated the warts in all of them after 1–2 weeks (16, 17Trusted Source).
Additionally, older test-tube studies note that garlic may have antiviral activity against influenza A and B, HIV, HSV-1, viral pneumonia, and rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. However, current research is lacking (18Trusted Source).
Animal and test-tube studies indicate that garlic enhances immune system response by stimulating protective immune cells, which may safeguard against viral infections (19Trusted Source).

6. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a lemony plant that's commonly used in teas and seasonings. It's also celebrated for its medicinal qualities.
Lemon balm extract is a concentrated source of potent essential oils and plant compounds that have antiviral activity (20Trusted Source).
Test-tube research has shown that it has antiviral effects against avian influenza (bird flu), herpes viruses, HIV-1, and enterovirus 71, which can cause severe infections in infants and children (8Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

7. Peppermint

Peppermint is known to have powerful antiviral qualities and commonly added to teas, extracts, and tinctures meant to naturally treat viral infections.
Its leaves and essential oils contain active components, including menthol and rosmarinic acid, which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity (24Trusted Source).
In a test-tube study, peppermint-leaf extract exhibited potent antiviral activity against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and significantly decreased levels of inflammatory compounds (25Trusted Source).

8. Rosemary

Rosemary is frequently used in cooking but likewise has therapeutic applications due to its numerous plant compounds, including oleanolic acid (26Trusted Source).
Oleanolic acid has displayed antiviral activity against herpes viruses, HIV, influenza, and hepatitis in animal and test-tube studies (27Trusted Source).
Plus, rosemary extract has demonstrated antiviral effects against herpes viruses and hepatitis A, which affects the liver (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

9. Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the most popularly used ingredients in herbal medicine due to its impressive health-promoting properties. Many parts of the plant, including its flowers, leaves, and roots, are used for natural remedies.
In fact, Echinacea purpurea, a variety that produces cone-shaped flowers, was used by Native Americans to treat a wide array of conditions, including viral infections (30Trusted Source).
Several test-tube studies suggest that certain varieties of echinacea, including E. pallida, E. angustifolia, and E. purpurea, are particularly effective at fighting viral infections like herpes and influenza (31Trusted Source).
Notably, E. purpurea is thought to have immune-boosting effects as well, making it particularly useful for treating viral infections (30Trusted Source).

10. Sambucus

Sambucus is a family of plants also called elder. Elderberries are made into a variety of products, such as elixirs and pills, that are used to naturally treat viral infections like the flu and common cold.
A study in mice determined that concentrated elderberry juice suppressed influenza virus replication and stimulated immune system response (32Trusted Source).
What's more, in a review of 4 studies in 180 people, elderberry supplements were found to substantially reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections (33Trusted Source).

11. Licorice

Licorice has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and other natural practices for centuries.
Glycyrrhizin, liquiritigenin, and glabridin are just some of the active substances in licorice that have powerful antiviral properties (34Trusted Source).
Test-tube studies demonstrate that licorice root extract is effective against HIV, RSV, herpes viruses, and severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which causes a serious type of pneumonia (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

12. Astragalus

Astragalus is a flowering herb popular in traditional Chinese medicine. It boasts Astragalus polysaccharide (APS), which has significant immune-enhancing and antiviral qualities (38Trusted Source).
Test-tube and animal studies show that astragalus combats herpes viruses, hepatitis C, and avian influenza H9 virus (39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
Plus, test-tube studies suggest that APS may protect human astrocyte cells, the most abundant type of cell in the central nervous system, from infection with herpes (38Trusted Source).

13. Ginger

Ginger products, such as elixirs, teas, and lozenges, are popular natural remedies — and for good reason. Ginger has been shown to have impressive antiviral activity thanks to its high concentration of potent plant compounds.
Test-tube research demonstrates that ginger extract has antiviral effects against avian influenza, RSV, and feline calicivirus (FCV), which is comparable to human norovirus (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source)
Additionally, specific compounds in ginger, such as gingerols and zingerone, have been found to inhibit viral replication and prevent viruses from entering host cells (46Trusted Source).

14. Ginseng

Ginseng, which can be found in Korean and American varieties, is the root of plants in the Panax family. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, it has been shown to be particularly effective at fighting viruses.
In animal and test-tube studies, Korean red ginseng extract has exhibited significant effects against RSV, herpes viruses, and hepatitis A (47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).
Plus, compounds in ginseng called ginsenosides have antiviral effects against hepatitis B, norovirus, and coxsackieviruses, which are associated with several serious diseases — including an infection of the brain called meningoencephalitis (49Trusted Source).

15. Dandelion

Dandelions are widely regarded as weeds but have been studied for multiple medicinal properties, including potential antiviral effects.
Test-tube research indicates that dandelion may combat hepatitis B, HIV, and influenza (50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source).
Moreover, one test-tube study noted that dandelion extract inhibited the replication of dengue, a mosquito-borne virus that causes dengue fever. This disease, which can be fatal, triggers symptoms like high fever, vomiting, and muscle pain (53Trusted Source, 54Trusted Source).

The Bottom Line

Herbs have been used as natural remedies since ancient times.
Common kitchen herbs, such as basil, sage, and oregano, as well as lesser-known herbs like astragalus and sambucus, have powerful antiviral effects against numerous viruses that cause infections in humans.
It's easy to add these powerful herbs to your diet by using them in your favorite recipes or making them into teas.
However, keep in mind that most research has been conducted in test tubes and animals using concentrated extracts. Therefore, it's unclear whether small doses of these herbs would have the same effects.
If you decide to supplement with extracts, tinctures, or other herbal products, consult your healthcare provider to ensure safe usage.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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