Consumer’s Guide to Buying Oil of Oregano
This guide to buying oil of oregano looks at plant sources, purity and quality, concentration of active ingredients and choosing between liquid or capsules
Oil of oregano is a popular essential oil. The oregano herb has been used for hundreds of years in the Mediterranean diet. It was also used by the early Romans for medicinal purposes.
Oregano oil contains the active ingredients carvacrol and thymol. Since this plant oil is a natural extract produced from the leaves, you’ll want to ensure the product you buy is highly-purified and safe to use.
If you’re buying Oil of Oregano, it’s suggested you look for the FOUR following factors::
- The actual amount of Active Ingredients
- What is the Plant Source?
- What’s the overall Purity and Quality?
- What form do you want: Liquids or Capsules?
1. How Much Active Ingredients Are You Getting?
Our report on oregano oil’s ingredients discussed the benefits from the volatile oils, carvacrol and thymol. Oregano also contains polyphenols, flavonoids and tocopherols.
Research has shown that carvacrol is responsible for the biological activity of oregano.
Therefore, the higher the carvacrol concentration, the stronger its anti-microbial effects.
We found that commercially available oregano oil supplements contained carvacrol concentrations ranging from 50% to over 85%.
If you’re buying oil of oregano for its antiseptic properties, then you should look for products that contain high concentrations of carvacrol.
However, not all manufacturers will list or disclose this information on the ingredient label.
Some oregano oil producers claim that the thymol level should be as low as possible. However, holistic health care practitioners tend to disagree with this because thymol has also been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity.
2. What’s the Plant Source for the Oregano Oil?
Oregano oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant.
The most effective method for extracting the oil is through a process called steam distillation. This method produces a high purified oil that retains the active ingredients.
You should also look for oregano oil that is made from organically-grown plants. Organic farming helps reduce your exposure to pesticides or chemicals that may be used to grow the plant crops.
The majority of high quality oregano oils will only use plants that are:
Grown wild on native soils
Pesticide and Herbicide-free
Has conservation programs in place
3. What about Purity and Quality?
Generally speaking, the more pure an essential oil is, the better the anti-microbial effects should be.
You can find oregano oils that use only organically-grown oregano flowers and adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
GMP is a set of regulations that companies follow when producing drugs, medical devices, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Many of the oils made by companies that use GMP facilities generally produce higher quality oils with higher carvacrol concentrations.
You should be aware that not all manufacturers follow these practices. You can find some higher quality oils that are not GMP-certified, so you still need to research your products.
If you’re buying Oil of Oregano based on purity and quality, you should look for the following factors:
Are the oils GMP-certified?
Is it additive-free?
Steam-distilled oils are higher purity
Free of solvents
Unprocessed and raw
The best oil of oregano will also come with some sort of ‘Product Guarantee’ backed by the manufacturer. This is a good sign that the producer stands behind their products.
4. Choosing Between Oil of Oregano Capsules or Bottle Liquids
You can get oil of oregano in bottled liquids and soft gels or capsules.
Oregano oil was traditionally used in the liquid form.
However, with modern manufacturing techniques, you can now get the oil packaged in the soft gel form.
The packaging form you choose will depend on how you plan to use the oil. Some people will use it as a healing balm and apply it topically to the affected area. Other people may choose to ingest the oil in the capsule form.
Here’s more detailed information on these two forms:
Most capsules are made of gelatin. The gelatin can be made from animal sources or plant sources.
You can get them mixed with other ‘carrier’ products such as olive oil, flax seed oil and lecithin.
We found the dosages for soft gel capsules ranged from 25 mg. to over 450 mg. and sold in amounts of 30, 60, and 90 capsules per bottle.
*Prices for capsules can range from $10 – $30, depending on the potency and how many capsules per bottle.
NOW Foods Enteric Oregano Oils is one of the most popular oregano supplements in capsule form.
The bottled oils are the most popular form.
The oils may be mixed with a ‘carrier’ oil such as: olive oils, grape seed oils, peppermint oils, capsicum oils and medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oils.
- We found bottle sizes ranged from 1/3 ounce (10 ml) up to 4 ounce bottles.
*Prices for liquids can range from $20 – $50 per ounce, depending on the brand name and quantity.
Remember that the lowest price doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the best product. We found some of the higher-priced oils are of better quality and purity, but you may find a some products that offer moderately high carvacrol percentages at a decent price.
Whichever type of product you choose, remember to compare different brands, prices and purity levels before purchasing.
Some Recommended Oil of Oregano Products:
Using the above guidelines, here’s a few samples of some oregano oils that produced by steam-distillation that provide high concentrations of active ingredients:
- This is currently a popular online product that’s received many positive customer reviews.
Made with hand-picked, Mediterranean oregano leaves and uses steam-distillation to extract the oil.
This company offers a large selection of oregano oils in soft gels, liquid oils and creams. Some of their products come blended with olive oils, cumin, sage and other herbal preparations.
Oregano P73 is their one of their flagship products and it’s available in different strengths.
At press time, the price ranges from $45 for 1 ounce to over $70 for 1 ounce Extra Strength Oreganol.
This is a product is reported to be a hand-picked, certified organic oregano oil.
Natural Factors claims to guarantee a minimum 80% carvacrol content and the formula comes mixed with virgin olive oil in a 4:1 ratio.
Suggested Retail Prices average $18 to 25 for a 1 oz. bottle
Made from wild-crafted oregano leaves native to the Mediterranean region.
Provides a standardized 70% concentration of carvacrol.
This product also has a high number of positive reviews from online customers.
Enerex Oil of Oregano
Enerex is a Canadian company that offers a hand-crafted and steam extracted oregano oils.
This product has one of the strongest carvacrol concentrations with minimum levels of 80% carvacrol per bottle.
It comes in blended oils of 40% oregano and 60% virgin olive oils.
Prices start at $25 for 30 ml bottle.
Comes packaged in a dark glass bottle and has a handy eye dropper for precise dosages.
- Readily available in Canada, and may be available online for consumers other countries.