Uses of Oil of Oregano If You're Pregnant

Oregano, besides being the favored spice in Mediterranean cooking, is also packed with beneficial properties. Besides being antimicrobial, it is also effective in fighting inflammation in the liver and colon. Oil of oregano is becoming popular to promote health, although it can cause toxic side effects and cause complications in pregnancy. If you are pregnant, use extreme caution when using oil of oregano, as with all essential oils.

Fighting Infection

Oil of oregano is often used for anti-fungal and antimicrobial uses and to treat infections, such as thrush and yeast infections. Marjoram and thyme oils possess similar benefits and experts often suggest using these in place of oil of oregano, because they lack the potential negative side effects.

Regulation of Menstruation

Oil of oregano is known to be a powerful emmenogogue, meaning it promotes menstruation, and many women, in fact, take it in an attempt to regulate their menstrual cycles. However, pregnant women should not take any supplements that can cause the lining of the uterus to shed, since in certain cases this is capable of causing complications or even a miscarriage.

Possible Effects

High concentrations of oil of oregano can cause an upset stomach, and during pregnancy, your stomach is already sensitive -- another reason it should be avoided. Oil of oregano also prevents the re-uptake of iron. Adequate iron levels are crucial during pregnancy for circulation and health of the fetus. If you're taking iron supplements, oil of oregano could counteract their effects. The oil should not be taken orally because there have been cases of burning of the mouth and throat when taking essential oils this way. A vital ingredient in oil of oregano is thujone, which is related to cedar and sage, two substances which pregnant women should avoid.


Oregano oil is a strong irritant of the skin and mucus membrane. Using a small amount externally as a massage oil, however, can help heal the joints and alleviate exhaustion, which is a welcome benefit when you are tired while pregnant.