Oil of Oregano Safety
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Jon Penoi
Posted on: June 24, 2006

I have heard of using oil of oregano for bacterial infections, especially for the sinus areas. Upon reading a commentary of the value of oregano, your name was mentioned and a possible contraindication of using it internally surfaced. I would like an alternative to antibiotics for sinus infections. Thanks for your help.

"Essential Oil Safety" by Tisserand R, Balacs T (Churchill Livingstone Press) lists oil of oregano as a strong mucous membrane irritant. When taken internally, irritation can occur to the mucous membranes anywhere along the intestinal tract, starting at the mouth. I have encountered users who have developed health problems that include abdominal cramping, gas, bloating and diarrhea after taking even small, well-diluted doses for short periods of time.

Although oregano leaf is a herb with traditional uses, the internal use of oregano essential oil is not traditional. Internal uses have been publicized recently by a naturopath, Dr Cass Ingram in his book "The Cure is in the Cupboard: How to Use Oregano for Better Health". Its safety has not been proven.

There are many effective herbs for sinus problems. I don’t believe that it is worth taking the risk of oregano oil’s side effects. For information on natural remedies for sinus problems, please see our website at www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "sinus" for the search.

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