Is it Safe to Use Oil of Oregano During Pregnancy?

Having a safe and healthy pregnancy is important for you and your unborn baby.

Some mothers prefer to take a more holistic approach to prenatal care and may avoid, or try to limit, the use of traditional pharmaceutical drugs or medicines.

This holistic approach may involve the use of natural herbs or essential oils to soothe and balance the body.

Essential plant and seed oils contain a wide range of active ingredients and compounds that could have an effect during your pregnancy. 

Many of these oils are taken internally, applied topically to the skin or inhaled through an essential oil diffuser or steamer.

Some oils may be used to relieve nausea, muscle spasms, swelling of the ankles, stress, insomnia and more.


However, using essential oils during pregnancy may be a controversial topic because there hasn’t been a whole lot of studies and research in this area.

You may be wondering if it’s safe to use oil of oregano during your pregnancy.

Oil of oregano is popular essential oil known for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Many people use the oil for naturally treating colds or sore throats, nail fungus and even herpes sores.


Possible Risks from Using Oregano Oil during Pregnancy

According to the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapist Pregnancy Guidelines, there is a possible risk that the essential oil’s constituents may cross over the placenta.

The guidelines also state that care should be used when handling any oil that contains high levels of phenols. According to, phenols may be toxic to the liver and could irritate the your skin and mucous membranes.

Essential oils high in phenol include oil of oregano, thyme, clove, cinnamon and cumin. 

Some of the reported dangers of using oil of oregano during pregnancy include:

  • may cause uterine contractions or affect blood clotting which could increase the risk for miscarriage.
  • could negatively affect breast milk production in susceptible mothers. 

Now it is true that what what you eat can be passed through your breast milk to your baby. However, there’s unfortunately little to no evidence available that ingesting oil of oregano by mouth, or applying it to your skin, will cause uterine contractions, increase your menstrual flow or reduce breast milk supply.

Furthermore, The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy advises that toxicity during pregnancy is almost exclusively due to a pregnant woman taking large toxic doses

They go on to further state that it’s unlikely that taking a nightly bath with a few drops of essential oil will cause problems for an unborn child.  They also claim that there are no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses due to the ‘normal’ use of any essential oil by topical application or inhalation.

Nevertheless, if you wish to err on the side of caution, it’s advised that you consult with your OB/GYN before using any essential oil and avoid using oil of oregano during pregnancy (particularly during the first 3 month trimester period).  



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Author Details
Author Details
Kevin is a full-time blogger with a passion for functional, whole food nutrition. A former Registered Respiratory Therapist with over 25 years experience in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, he also has additional training as a Certified Natural Products Advisor. He enjoys a vibrant lifestyle that includes healthy foods, workouts focusing on core strength with flexibility and longboarding to stay fit and agile.