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Origanum vulgare

Origanum vulgare (Oregano) is a spice. Its essential oil component, oil of oregano, is sold as an immune booster. The oil has various antimicrobial properties and can preserve food quality during storage. Human evidence for supplementation is lacking.

Our evidence-based analysis on origanum vulgare features 23 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Origanum vulgare

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Origanum vulgare is the botanical name for the spice oregano. It is commonly used to flavor food or brew tea. The essential oil of oregano also has several alternate uses. It is made up primarily of carvacrol. The leaves of the plant contain a variety of antioxidant compounds, such as rosmarinic acid.

Traditionally, a leaf of Origanum vulgare is taken alongside a meal to aid digestion. One of the active components, thymol, is structurally similar to menthol, which is found in peppermint and is known to relax the soft tissue of the throat and stomach.

The oil of Oreganum vulgare is antibacterial, and has been used to prolong the shelf life of food products by reducing the rate of microbe growth and reducing the spoilage of fatty acids, which occurs when food products like meat go bad.

There is not much human evidence on supplementing either the leaf or oil form of Oreganum vulgare. The oil’s antioxidant aspect seems to be comparable to vitamin C ex vivo (outside the body). Origanum vulgare hinders bacterial replication, but further research is needed to pinpoint the exact mechanism.

The antibacterial properties of oregano oil suggest it is effective at warding off infection and boosting the human immune system, but human evidence for these effects is lacking. The lone study noting substantial efficacy against intestinal infection was funded by a manufacturer of oregano oil.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The only study on using oil of oregano for oral supplementation used a dose of 600mg. To make tea, steep 15g of oregano leaves in 250mL of water.

The tea is traditionally used to aid digestion, while the oil has antibacterial properties that may boost the immune system.

Both the tea and oil is usually supplemented once a day.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects origanum vulgare has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-d Notable - See study
One lone study (potential financial influence) has noted ablation of parasites in infected humans (77% of study group) and a reduction otherwise as assessed by stool samples.

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Oregano, Oil of Oregano, Wild Marjoram

Do Not Confuse With

Origanum majorana (Sweet Marjoram)

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Click here to see all 23 references.