Quick Navigation

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.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:
⚡ Try for FREE: Examine Personalized — easily stay on top of the latest research.

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.

Get trusted information to level up your health

Getting an Examine.com subscription make it easy for you to stay-on-top & understand the latest research.

If you’re overwhelmed with all the possibilities and want step-by-step directions on what to take (how much, when, and in what combinations), then our Supplement Guides are perfect for you.

Your support keeps us 100% independent, so that there is no conflict of interest.


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.

📝 Don't fall for outdated information: Get Examine Personalized and acquire the latest research on 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health outcomes.

Already a member? Click here to login.

Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Origanum vulgare has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
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.

Become an Examine Personalized member can access the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Becoming an Examine subscriber not only unlocks the Human Effect Matrix for supplements, but also all health topics on Examine.com. We neatly summarize all the latest research so you can make the best decisions for your health based on what's accurate and not out-dated information.

Plus, you get a monthly summary of the latest research in the health topics you care about.

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)

Get our free five-day course on the essentials of supplementation.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. It’s why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who’ve learned about effective versus overrated supplements, supplement buying tips, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 23 references.