Oregano Essential Oil vs. Oil of Oregano Supplement

Oregano essential oil vs. oil of oregano supplement

What is the difference between oregano essential oil and oil of oregano (herbal supplement)? Definitely a hot topic when it comes to immune health.  The answer is real simple and comes down to 3 key points- dilution, potency and usage. You need to know why you would need oregano in order to determine which form you need it in, how much you need and how often.

Oregano Essential Oil, Origanum vulgare; compactum

Oregano essential oil has gone through a steam distillation process and is a full concentrate of that procedure. Oregano contains a phenol called carvacrol with which the potency varies between essential oil and the herbal supplement of Oil of Oregano (many supplement companies use a standardized dilution). Essential oils are much more potent than its herbal counterpart. When it is extracted and used in its whole form, without any alterations, it provides very powerful properties such as antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic. More is not always better as it can enhance your body’s detoxification ability, as sometimes, it is more that you actually can handle.

Your skin is your third kidney, so if toxins cannot get out through normal elimination channels (colon and lungs), it start pouring out of your skin.  This also affects immune function and overall health. If it does this, you may experience a rash, skin irritations and lots of itching.  It is not a reaction, but a response.  Thus, a small amount, even 1-2 total drops in an ounce of cream may be enough to help you accomplish your health goals of why you are using it in the first place. Since it is potent, I personally use caution with children under 6 or 7 years old, as they bodies (and mind) are still sensitive. You should understand what you are doing, why you are doing it and have the education to use it responsibly. Safety first. Always combining in a carrier before applying to the area of concern. Use caution if you have nut allergies. Know which ones are from nuts and which ones are nut-free.

Topical application of oregano essential oil in a carrier oil using use a 1-2% dilution ratio, can be applied to the bottoms of the feet or area of concern. Benefits include respiratory concerns, cold and flu issues, yeast or fungal concerns, digestion and lymphatic congestion. Also serving as an  anti-parasitic and antifungal, so mixed in a carrier oil and applied to the abdomen area can be beneficial.  They work from the outside in.  As a supplement, Oil of Oregano can be taken for the same reasons, to work from the inside out.


Immune Supporting Blend for the Diffuser

In an ultrasonic diffuser, combine the following essential oils into the reservoir containing water:

2 drops Oregano essential oil, Origanum vulgare; compactum
3 drops Lemon essential oil, Citrus limonum
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil, Cinnamomum zylancium

Antifungal Cream

In a 2 ounce jar (glass preferably, or BPA-free plastic), combine the following ingredients in the order listed:

1 ounce Shea Butter
.5 ounce Arnica oil
.5 ounce Calendula Oil

Mix well and then add in these essential oils.

5 drops Oregano essential oil, Origanum vulgare; compactum
5 drops Lavender essential oil, Lavandula angustifolia
5 drop Patchouli essential oil, Pogosteemon cablin
5 drops Tea tree essential oil, Melaleuca alternifolia

Directions of use: Apply as needed to area of concern.


Oil of Oregano Supplement

Oil of Oregano supplement, is usually sold for internal use either distributed in a soft gel or liquid form (read the label).  Choosing a reputable company is very important, along with making sure it is always be emulsified in a fat carrier such as safflower or olive oil, usually an extract. It is not a full concentrate, as it could burn membrane linings, tissues, muscles and organs if taken internally undiluted. You should follow certain safety guidelines that cross reference precautions, sensitivities, allergies and contraindications.


Oregano Health Benefits

Oregano has many health benefits, regardless of which form you use. Both oregano essential oil and oil of oregano offer powerful antifungal, antibacterial, immune-supporting, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties (parasites, lice, fleas, ticks, ringworm). They can strengthen intestinal integrity and help modulate gut bacteria (source).  They also help heat up cold conditions such as a dry cough, stiff or sore muscle and lymphatic stagnation.

Mentally it can help combat confusion, mental fatigue, headaches and self-doubt. Emotionally it helps people who have been abused, in a toxic relationship and overcoming rejection.

Common in many food dishes, oregano lends an herby-spice flare to the flavoring.  It was customary for Greeks and Romans to crown young newlyweds with oregano, as a symbol of joyous love. Pliny used to help with spider bites.


Want more training on how to use specific essential oils for respiratory & immune health?

Click here to get access to a Masterclass Training.


Scentillect™ information provided by Clinical Aromatherapists, Jennifer Pressimone of the JennScents Aromaversity.

Train with Jennifer at the JennScents Aromaversity.



Disclaimers: Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. It is recommended that if serious health issues exist, you consult a licensed medical provider. JennScents does not assume liability or responsibility for the use and/or misuse of this information.

References: This blog contains excerpts from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.



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13 thoughts on “Oregano Essential Oil vs. Oil of Oregano Supplement”

  1. I use oregano oil every day if I can and it works very well at prevention of illness. Also stops a virus in its tracks if you forget to take a few drops during the cold and flu season and do not get sick. I think everyone should have this oil in their home. Since the day I read about oregano oil, I always keep a bottle at home. Oregano Oil has become our family doctor.

    1. You should be aware that Oil of Oregano contains Thymol that can have toxic effects with long term use. For acute conditions it is very beneficial but is not recommended for oral use beyond 2 weeks. Doug Benbow CCN

  2. Daniela - Oregano Essential

    Believe me oregano oil is what I will never lack in my house. We use oregano oil daily, right down to even our laundry and it is quite amazing what oregano has done for me and my family. I first used oregano oil a few years after I was diagnosed of Hepatitis C type II in a rare form. This is after I have tried so many type of medical treatments but failed. With the medical treatments the side effects were terrible to bare. I followed the popular Hep C program advertised regularly on TV. There was not a single thing I didn’t do but still nothing seemed to help. I was always at the hospital for new trials and treatments until a nurse referred me to oregano. I said to my self why not give it a try I decided to buy the Gel capsules and was told to place under the tongue 3 to 4 four times daily and I was shocked when it put the Hep C in remission. Multiple tests were conducted and several examinations and there was not a trace of Hep C virus. Since then I have been free and never been diagnosed of Hepatitis of any form.

    I use oregano on a daily basis and we use it for almost everything. I have introduced oregano to many others and have received calls and endless thank you messages. There are many out there who still don’t have a clue and are in pain from different illnesses. And I will say, give oregano a try as I was told to, and you won’t believe the wonders it will work for you. Since then I have been reading about oregano and sharing the word and the goodness of oregano to any I come across.

    Not all essential oils are made equally. This is so very true when it comes to oregano essential oil. With over 40 species of oregano a poorer quality of oregano can be harvested and used in essential oils. You want and need to be sure you are getting the best quality essential oil to ensure optimal health benefits when you use it. Be sure you purchase wild oregano or Origanum Vulgare harvested from the Mediterranean. This is the purest form. Thymus capitatus harvested from Spain is also pure form. Look for a bottle with 80% carvacrol content as this is the main ingredient in oregano. Look for organic products to ensure its purity and reducing the risk of unwanted chemicals. Never use oregano oil without diluting it with a carrier oil and consult a doctor before you use oregano oil.

  3. Hi, my dog has digestive issues & a lump on his butt that leaks, is oregano essential oil or oil of oregano better to give him internally as well as washing his outer body?

    1. Jennifer Pressimone

      Hi Cheryl, oregano oil is very potent. If it were my dog, I would combine 1 drop of 100% oregano essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut or hazelnut oil (both are stringent) and apply topically to the area twice daily. if there is a pet supplement you like with oil of oregano, you can incorporate that as well into his diet. Have you checked his anal glands to see if they are clogged or infected?

  4. Hi I have a reoccurrence of BV (Bacteria Vaginosis ) is the supplements the same as the oil in droplet form? I am literally about to throw up everything I take 2 drops by mouth and want to switch to the supplement but want to still get rid of this bv..

    1. Hi Amka, the supplement (softgel or liquid tincture) is different from the essential oil. You might want to consider a topical application of an antibacterial cream, and/or look at the supplement form. Some people are sensitive to high amounts, so you can start with a small amount and work your way up according to the instructions on the bottle. Another suggestion is a multi-strain probiotic.

  5. I want to put essential oil mixed with a carrier oil on my dogs infected wounds ( stitched) instead of giving antibiotics but was told essential are toxic to dogs.
    What should I do please?

    1. Jennifer Pressimone

      Hi Carol, aromatherapy can be safe for animals, when used in the right dilution, limited frequency and used in a well-ventilated area. Here is my latest blog with some helpful tips – https://jennscents.com/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-for-pets/.

      The key with skin irritations & wounds, is to never put anything inside or right on top of the wound…only around it. Oregano is strong so it needs to be well diluted adn balanced with lavender and/or roman chamomile.

      If you’d like to try our Boo Boo Balm, here is the link – https://jennscents.com/shop/pet-boo-boo-balm/. Sending well wishes to your dog.

  6. Does oregano oil essential oils come in different potencies? Some I have had burns the skin and some don’t. The ones that don’t, are they weak?

    1. Jennifer Pressimone

      Hi Jonny, yes, the do come in varying potencies. Having a quality oregano essential oil and supplement is very important, as oregano can be irritating (as you have experienced). It is one that I highly recommend you only use after being diluted in fat-based carrier oil. If properly diluted in a carrier, it should not burn the skin. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s weak. Just means it is probably diluted.

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