How to Use Oregano Oil to Fight Bacteria
Best known for its tasty flavor in sauces and on pizza, oregano offers a lot more uses than just in cooking. When made into oil, oregano can provide many medical possibilities that are particularly useful to fight against bacterial infections. Oregano oil is also used for SIBO treatment.
What is Oregano Oil?
We are all very familiar with the food seasoning oregano that is found in every standard spice rack. Wild oregano grows in Mediterranean countries and is typically dried in order to add flavor to food. But when made into an oil, oregano can provide many medical benefits.
Oregano oil, scientifically known as origanum vulgare, is an essential oil with a variety of therapeutic uses and has been used for thousands of years outside of western medicine. But now oregano oil has become a more popular remedy for those suffering from SIBO, thanks to recent studies that found it to be effective at treating various conditions.
Oregano oil contains a special compound that is perfect for gastrointestinal illnesses. This compound is called carvacrol, and it can be found in many other herbs, like marjoram, thyme, and savory. However, it has the highest concentration in oregano.
The carvacrol in oregano oil gives it the ability to be a potent antibiotic against numerous strains of bacteria. The carvacrol does this by destroying the cell membranes of bacteria and stopping replication. And what makes oregano oil particularly interesting as a natural antibiotic is that it is shown to destroy harmful bacteria while keeping helpful probiotic bacteria intact.
Taking Standard Antibiotics vs Oregano Oil
When taking any antimicrobial most people usually want to be careful not to cause too much havoc to their microbiome. So, does oregano oil kill good bacteria? Is oregano oil really a safe and effective antibiotic?
Because of carvacrol’s discovered ability to kill bad bacteria over good bacteria, the benefit of oregano oil should not be understated. Research shows that oregano oil dosages that cause 97% to 100% of inhibition of pathogenic bacteria will only inhibit 3% to 5% of probiotics, AKA the good bacteria.
When you take a pharmaceutical antibiotic, it destroys all the bacteria in its path – including the bacteria that you need for things like digestion and regulating mood. In fact, researchers and doctors now have to find solutions to problems that have come from standard antibiotics, like antibiotic resistance.
Bacteria are relatively simple organisms, which means that they can evolve very easily and quickly change to survive a threat (such as exposure to an antibiotic). These bacteria then go on to proliferate, resulting in a new, evolved strain of the bacteria which is resistant to your pharmaceutical antibiotics.
When you’re SIBO symptoms are flaring, it is tempting to just pop an antibiotic pill and be done with the problem. Except that things aren’t that simple and there is a smarter way to go about fighting SIBO, like using natural antibiotics like oregano oil instead.
Natural antibiotics are much more effective because they work on many levels. A pharmaceutical antibiotic is just one compound, thus making it easy for bacteria to adapt to it. By contrast, bacteria have a harder time adapting to the many compounds and their mechanisms of action in oregano oil.
How to Choose Oregano Oil
When you are looking to get oregano oil, it’s important for you to look out for a few important things.
Carvacrol is the antibacterial compound found in oregano oil, but it also contains many other helpful compounds (such as thymol). Like with all supplements, quality matters. You are going to want to look for one with a high carvacrol percentage to get the antibacterial benefits. Wild P73 oregano oil is considered the most potent.
Look for carvacrol percentages between 50% and 85% and only buy pure, additive-free oregano oil. You also want to make sure your oregano oil is GMP-certified. (GMP stands for the Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines in which growers only use organic oregano).
Before you start taking oregano oil, it’s important for you to remember that even though it is natural, oregano oil is still an antibiotic – and antibiotics should only be used for the short term (7-10 days for standard infection, but can be used in SIBO protocol for 4 weeks) so you don’t risk gut dysbiosis.
Oil of Oregano Dosage & Instructions for Taking
How to Take Oregano Oil Orally in Drops
- To help with absorption, oregano oil should be taken with a “carrier oil,” like coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. You should dilute the oregano oil with a carrier oil at a ratio of at least 1 drop oregano oil to 1 drop carrier oil.
- Put 1 or 2 drops under the tongue and leave it there for a few minutes. Then rinse with water.
- To get the full benefits of oregano oil, use a dosage of 50 mg oregano oil 3-6x per day.
How to Take Oregano Oil Orally in Capsules
You can also take oregano oil as capsules.
- The oregano oil capsules dosage is 50 mg 3-6x per day.
- Make sure to pay attention to the manufacturer’s dosage instructions because different brands contain different amounts of carvacrol.
Recommended Oregano Oils to Buy
Usually when you treat with herbal remedies, it’s best to use 1-3 different types of herbal antibiotics for a short period of time (4 weeks) to treat the symptoms of SIBO. If you’re treating SIBO check out the herbal section of the treatment page for more information. If using for a standard infection it can be used for 7-10 days. Since oregano oil is one of the most popular herbal medicines used against SIBO and other bacterial infections, here are a few of my favorite products: