Materia Medica: Oregano Essential Oil and Herb for Skin Care
Both oregano essential oil and the herb can be used for many infectious, fungal and antiseptic purposes. The oil is stronger and therefore can act more quickly and surely than using the whole herb; however, the herb is useful for milder conditions and general cleansing and toning uses. Below are the skin care uses for both whole herb and the oil.
Habitat: Native to the Mediterranean, oregano likes a hot, sunny and dry location. It grows as a perennial and makes a fine groundcover here in Pennsylvania. Being useful also as an insectary plant, it is a star in permaculture.
Parts used: leaves and flowers
Pertinent Information About Oregano for Skin Care
Oregano is a well-known culinary herb and has an ever-growing popularity for its medicinal and cosmetic uses. It is an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal both in the herb form and the essential oil. Oregano oil was found to have the highest and broadest antibacterial, antifungal activity out of 5 tested essential oils. It is also a very strong antioxidant and was found to have the highest antioxidant activity among the same selection of herbs.
The oil being extremely concentrated makes it potentially more potent and to be used with greater caution. Oregano essential oil is to be used diluted only. The dilution rate should never be higher than 3%. Being that the oil is high in phenols, it can burn the skin and mucous membranes, as well as act as a liver toxin. If using the essential oil treat it like an antibiotic and use the preparations for 12 days maximum to kill the cause of the condition.
The following applies to both the whole herb and oregano essential oil, with the oil being a more potent source of the following properties.
The properties & actions of oregano:
- Warm and stimulating
- Analgesic (pain-relieving)
- Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, and antifungal
Oregano is useful for the following skin conditions:
- For acne, it will assist with its antibacterial actions and as an antiseptic as well.
- In wound healing, use oregano to stave off infections.
- If infection is present, oregano will help to heal as it is an antibacterial and antifungal herb.
- Used for fungus infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, Tinea versicolor and skin yeasts
- External parasites like scabies
- Warts (best when mixed with castor oil)
- Large pores
Ways to Use Oregano
For skin care uses, oregano can be prepared in many ways, including as an infused oil, a tincture, a vinegar and a tea. The dried herb can be added to a cleansing grains mix for skin conditions like acne or over oil production. Alternatively, oregano essential oil can be added to other preparations for its extremely powerful properties. It is like oregano to the 10th power so is used in small amounts. The highest quality organic oregano essential oil can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Oregano-Aloe Acne Toner
Aloe vera gel 1 ounce
Oregano essential oil 4 drops
Tea tree oil 4 drops
Lavender essential oil 3 drops
Simply pour aloe into bottle and add the essential oils. Shake well and apply with cotton or clean fingers twice daily.