Oregano oil contains a high concentration of carvacrol, a botanical compound with powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. While James T. Li of Mayo Clinic warns that there is still relatively little evidence to support the medicinal use of oil of oregano, many natural health enthusiasts use it to treat ailments ranging from sinusitis to the common cold. Orally administered oregano oil is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Talk to a licensed practitioner before taking oil of oregano if you have a serious infection such as methicillin-resistant s. aureus (MRSA). In October 2001, Science Daily reported that oregano shows strong promise as a treatment for these drug-resistant strains of bacteria. However, because these infections can be life-threatening, they require expert evaluation and guidance. Avoid oil of oregano if you have ever had an allergic reaction to oregano or marjoram.
Determine whether you will take oregano as a capsule or a liquid. In the form of a pure liquid, oregano oil is extremely cost-effective. However, because it has a bitter, slightly spicy flavor, some people prefer to take the product in the form of a softgel capsule. Understand that softgel capsules cost significantly more per dose.
Take the manufacturer's recommended daily dose of oregano oil. Note that the recommended dose may vary depending on the manufacturer's extraction process and the product's carvacrol concentration. Consider mixing a few drops of oregano oil into a full glass of juice. This can mask the product's pungent flavor. Oregano oil can be taken with or without food.
Consider taking an iron supplement if you take oil of oregano on a long-term basis. The University of Notre Dame warns that oregano is one of many products known to inhibit the absorption of iron. Notify your health care provider if you experience symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, such as dizziness, fatigue or headache.
Juniper Russo, an eclectic autodidact, has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in several online and print-based publications, including Animal Wellness. Russo regularly publishes health-related content and advocates an evidence-based, naturopathic approach to health care.