The most abundant volatile compound found in different species of oregano is carvacrol — a fragrant phenol that gives oregano its signature smell and many of its medicinal properties, according to .

That way the 1 percent [of bacteria] that wasn’t susceptible to the oregano oil will be susceptible to perhaps the next agent that you try.” Like conventional antibiotics, oil of oregano may also kill off healthy bacteria in the body, which leaves the immune system vulnerable.

“You always, always, always want to get probiotics,” Dazey said. You can have some die off of that bacteria, but actually you’ll feel worse before you feel better.” .

Due to a lack of research, however, how and when to use oil of oregano is often unclear for those who are interested in the oil as a safer, more natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.

“The most important thing to inform some of your decision on some of the herbs and a lot of supplements that are out there — they’re FDA approved but not FDA researched, which has its own pros and cons — is how you feel,” said Artemis Morris, N.

If you’re using a non-organic, possibly pesticide-laden local oregano, versus a highly concentrated organic oregano from somewhere else, you’re better off with that organic higher quality one.” Concentrated Benefits, Increased Risks While with oil of oregano, oregano’s volatile compounds are diluted in a carrier oil — like olive oil or coconut oil — oregano essential oil consists purely of the volatile compounds.

This far more potent substance has a broad range of medicinal uses.

Oregano essential oil is used frequently among holistic health practitioners.

Alisha Olivier Park, founder of Tranquility Wellness Center in Encinitas, CA, uses oregano essential oil for several healing techniques.

Practitioners use only the most powerful antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial essential oils, one of which is oregano, in this process.

When the essential oils penetrate the skin, they detoxify the body and provide an emotional and sometimes spiritual release, Park said.

According to a 2011 study published in the , oregano essential oil distilled from a Moroccan species of oregano demonstrated antimalarial activity in addition to being a powerful antioxidant.