Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a herb first cultivated in the Mediterranean over 2,500 years ago that has many unique health benefits. However, today we are going talk about oregano oil side effects.

First, let’s take a look at why people use oregano oil…

As a medicinal and culinary herb, oregano is from the mint, or Lamiaceae family. Medicinal grade oregano is distilled to extract its essential oil, while it takes over 1,000 pounds of oregano to make just one pound of oregano oil. Its unique and pleasant smell is due to pinene, thymol, limonene, ocimene, caryophyllene, and carvacrol.

But, the most predominant healing compound in oregano oil is carvacrol, and research indicates the antifungal, antibacterial, anti-parasite, antiviral, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties of this incredible oil.

As a result, oil of oregano and carvacrol may be able to fight bacterial infections, fungal infections, viruses, parasites, inflammation, candida, allergies, and even tumors. A 2013 study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggested that oregano exhibits anti-cancer activity, as the researchers concluded that oregano could treat and prevent breast cancer through preventing or slowing its progression.

Oregano Oil Side Effects
Although the health benefits are quite impressive, there is also oil of oregano side effects you need to know. Because of its strong potency, the medicinal use of oregano oil should be administered only under the guidance of a naturopathic doctor or natural practitioner.

The following is a detailed description of nine side effects of oregano oil:

1. Upset Stomach

Oregano oil is well known to treat digestive problems, including bloating, abdominal pain, stomach cramping, diarrhea, and intestinal parasites. This is due to the antifungal, antiparasitic, and antiviral properties of oregano oil.

However, this herbal oil is extremely strong and when taken in large amounts, oil of oregano can cause upset stomach or irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. It is recommended to dilute oregano oil with a carrier oil like jojoba oil before using oil of oregano for any reason.

2. Unsafe for Diabetics

Oil of oregano is also thought to be unsafe for diabetics, since it might lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, people with diabetes should use caution while taking oil of oregano.

In vitro and animal studies suggest that oregano extract may reduce blood glucose levels. Also, medicinal amounts of oregano may have additive effects when used with other supplements and herbs that lower blood sugar levels. This is thought to increase the risk of hypoglycemia in some diabetic patients.

Some herbs and supplements with hypoglycemic effects include Siberian ginseng, psyllium, Panax ginseng, horse chestnut, garlic, fenugreek, devil’s claw, chromium, bitter melon, and alpha-lipoic acid.

3. Inhibits Iron Absorption

Oil of oregano contains tannins that may interfere with iron absorption. Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1989 confirms that oregano inhibits iron absorption. This was thought to be due the content of galloyl groups in oregano.

Oregano oil can interrupt the regular absorption process and prevent a person’s cells from getting enough iron. If you use oregano oil on a regular basis, it is a good idea to also take an iron supplement. Better yet, consume lots of iron-rich foods like spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, and lentils.

4. Causes Allergic Reaction

Oregano oil may also cause systemic allergic reactions. Research shows that if you are allergic or hypersensitive to plants from the mint family, such as mint, thyme, sage, lavender, hyssop, marjoram, and basil, there is a good chance you will develop a minor to severe allergy to oregano oil as well.

Some of the common allergic reactions to oil of oregano include trouble breathing, itching, irritation, skin rashes, difficulty speaking, vomiting, nausea, and swelling of the tongue, face, and lips.

5. Bleeding Disorder

Oregano oil may also increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Preliminary evidence suggests that the aristolochic acid isolated from oregano leaves have anti-thrombin activity in vitro experiments. Reports indicate that oregano oil inhibits arachidonic acid-induced and ADP (adenosine diphosphate)-induced platelet aggregation. As a result, use of oil of oregano and other herbs may affect platelet aggregation and increase the risk of bleeding.

Some of these other herbs include ginger, garlic, turmeric, clove, angelica, and red clover. Oregano oil may also enhance the effects and side effects of anti-platelet and anticoagulant drugs, such as heparin, warfarin (“Coumadin”), dalteparin (“Fragmin”), aspirin, clopidogrel (“Plavix”), and enoxaparin (“Lovenox”).

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Author's Bio: 

Jon Yaneff is a holistic nutritionist and health researcher with a background in journalism. After years of a hectic on-the-go, fast food-oriented lifestyle as a sports reporter, Jon knew his life needed a change. He began interviewing influential people in the health and wellness industry and incorporating beneficial health and wellness information into his own life. Jon’s passion for his health led him to the certified nutritional practitioner (CNP) program at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.