Health Benefits Of Oregano Tea


Herbal teas are traditionally known for their medicinal qualities. They are one of the most popular drinks consumed worldwide. The oregano herb is traditionally cultivated in the Mediterranean. It boasts several health-promoting benefits and is commonly prepared into one of these much-admired herbal teas.

About oregano tea

Nutrients we can get from oregano tea

The main health benefits found in oregano extracts are attributed to phytochemical compounds, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. These are compounds that serve as the plant’s natural defence mechanism, which then go on to protect us against a range of diseases. The two main compounds found in oregano are:

  • Carvacrol
  • Thymol

These are two antioxidants that help prevent free radicals from causing oxidative stress to our cells. Free radicals are unstable molecules that our bodies make, which can also be gained through exposure to toxic substances. These have the potential to cause damage to our body’s cells.

The ratio of thymol/carvacrol will vary geographically. Even so, these have ample long-term benefits, including preventing conditions linked to this oxidative damage, such as cardiovascular disease.

Benefits gained from these two compounds will vary greatly depending on extraction methods and usage. For example, when consuming oregano via tea, it is diluted through water. Therefore, beneficial effects may be altered. Despite this, these nutrients seem to show promise in terms of their functionality. For example, when isolating these bioactive compounds, they could be valuable in functional foods (foods fortified with nutrients), nutraceuticals (products derived from foods for health benefits), cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals (medicines).

Health benefits of oregano tea

The health benefits of oregano have been studied relatively extensively. They have commonly been cited to show antimicrobial actions in in-vitro studies1 (studies within a test tube). This means they help in the elimination of organisms capable of causing disease. Also, some evidence suggests they help in suppressing inflammation and improve blood glucose and fat regulation.1 These are all factors important in the prevention of chronic diseases. Below are some summarised health benefits of oregano (including carvacrol and thymol research):2

  • Anticancer: Research suggests anti-tumour benefits recorded both in the lab and in person4 
  • Antiviral: Research suggests carvacrol and thymol can have viral-blocking properties, e.g., HIV-1 virus5
  • Antibacterial: Research suggests carvacrol and thymol have strong inhibitory properties against different types of bacteria6
  • Antifungal: Research shows oregano oil’s main compound is carvacrol and could have a range of antifungal uses7
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Research shows oregano oil provides anti-inflammatory and wound-healing functions8
  • Immune boosting: Research shows promising results of these compounds on the immune system9
  • Digestive health: Research shows increased thymol in diets may improve digestive enzyme activity and the optimisation of nutrients in digestion10

Conventionally, oregano tea has been used to soothe a range of basic health issues such as sore throat, cough, and nausea. Although, when oregano is made into tea, conclusive health benefits become less clear. Mainly due to a lack of investigation in humans. Even so, the health benefits of oregano extract in a laboratory setting suggest some massive health benefits which could also be gained from the tea.

Due to a lack of research in the area of oregano tea, it is important to consider other well-studied herbs and their efficiency when converted into tea. Recent scoping reviews examining herbal teas and their associations with chronic diseases have concluded an overall positive effect on human health. This is especially true of areas such as female health and chronic conditions like diabetes.11 However, further research is needed to ensure these are reliable therapeutic alternatives.

Ways to use oregano tea for our health

Not only does oregano have these historical health benefits, but it has a unique earthy flavour. It can transform into a healthy drink with the addition of nothing but boiling water in a matter of minutes.

It’s simple: 

  • boil a kettle
  • get 2 leafy oregano sprigs (stem and leaves of the plant)
  • add them both to a mug
  • allow to cool slightly
  • drink up

Oregano tea leaves specifically can also be bought commercially. Similarly, you could purchase an oregano essential oil and add a few drops to boiling water or even another herbal tea.

How much is enough?

It is important to note when changing or adding anything to your habitual diet, you should consult a specialist. Although oregano has been used for years as a soothing beverage, individual differences like sensitive stomachs or allergic reactions could mean adverse effects from oregano tea consumption. However, gastric upset and allergic reactions have been generally rarely reported.

In terms of quantity, the general limits of oregano tea consumption are yet to be determined. However, research has consistently deemed oregano safe with minimal side effects due to its natural origins.3 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have classed oregano as ‘generally recognised as safe’ (GRAS). When supplementing oregano oil to make a tea, the recommended daily consumption per specific oil bought should be followed. This is due to oils varying in concentrations and potentially containing additional ingredients.


To conclude, oregano has been readily associated with health-promoting phytochemicals, which serve as a promising deterrent for several illnesses and health issues. This is due to their anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, immune boosting and inflammation-reducing properties.

Because of these benefits, it’s possible oregano tea could do the same. Herbal tea counterparts, which have been more thoroughly studied, suggest this could be the case. More research is needed on the direct effects of regular oregano tea consumption in humans and the quantities needed to derive said effects.


  1. Singletary K. Oregano: overview of the literature on health benefits. Nutrition Today. 2010 May 1;45(3):129-38.
  2. Delgado Y, Cassé C, Ferrer-Acosta Y, Suárez-Arroyo IJ, Rodríguez-Zayas J, Torres A, Torres-Martínez Z, Pérez D, González MJ, Velázquez-Aponte RA, Andino J. Biomedical effects of the phytonutrients turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, graviola, and oregano: A comprehensive review. Applied Sciences. 2021 Sep 13;11(18):8477.
  3. Bajagai YS, Steel JC, Radovanovic A, Stanley D. Prolonged continual consumption of oregano herb interferes with the action of steroid hormones and several drugs, and effects signaling across the brain–gut axis. Food & Function. 2021;12(2):726-38. Vancouver Style
  4. Sampaio LA, Pina LT, Serafini MR, Tavares DD, Guimaraes AG. Antitumor effects of carvacrol and thymol: A systematic review. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021 Jul 7;12:702487.
  5. Mediouni S, Jablonski JA, Tsuda S, Barsamian A, Kessing C, Richard A, Biswas A, Toledo F, Andrade VM, Even Y, Stevenson M. Oregano oil and its principal component, carvacrol, inhibit HIV-1 fusion into target cells. Journal of virology. 2020 Jul 16;94(15):e00147-20.
  6. Kachur K, Suntres Z. The antibacterial properties of phenolic isomers, carvacrol and thymol. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2020 Oct 10;60(18):3042-53.
  7. Bounar R, Krimat S, Boureghda H, Dob T. Chemical analyses, antioxidant and antifungal effects of oregano and thyme essential oils alone or in combination against selected Fusarium species. International Food Research Journal. 2020;27(1):66-77.
  8. Avola R, Granata G, Geraci C, Napoli E, Graziano AC, Cardile V. Oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) essential oil provides anti-inflammatory activity and facilitates wound healing in a human keratinocytes cell model. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2020 Oct 1;144:111586.
  9. Rathod NB, Kulawik P, Ozogul F, Regenstein JM, Ozogul Y. Biological activity of plant-based carvacrol and thymol and their impact on human health and food quality. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2021 Oct 1;116:733-48.
  10. Salehi B, Mishra AP, Shukla I, Sharifi-Rad M, Contreras MDM, Segura-Carretero A, Fathi H, Nasrabadi NN, Kobarfard F, Sharifi-Rad J. Thymol, thyme, and other plant sources: Health and potential uses. Phytother Res. 2018 Sep;32(9):1688-1706. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6109. Epub 2018 May 22. PMID: 29785774.
  11. Poswal FS, Russell G, Mackonochie M, MacLennan E, Adukwu EC, Rolfe V. Herbal Teas and their Health Benefits: A Scoping Review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2019 Sep;74(3):266-276. doi: 10.1007/s11130-019-00750-w. PMID: 31243622.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Edith Varley

Master of Nutrition – University of Leeds

Edith has a health-centred background, predominantly consisting of a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in nutrition. She is interested in global health, well-being, nutrition and medical sciences. She is currently managing data administration work for Humankind charity, alongside medical writing and editing.

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