Origanum (generic name)
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SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to oregano. Possible cross-sensitivity with other herbs from the Lamiaceae family including hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), basil (Ocicum basilicum), marjoram (Origanum majorana), mint (Mentha piperita), sage (Salvia officinalis), and lavender (Lavendula officinalis).
Itching and swelling of the lips and tongue, difficulty speaking and breathing, and face swelling have been reported following the ingestion of pizza containing oregano.
Side Effects and Warnings
Based on historical use, it appears that oregano is well tolerated in recommended doses. However, there are no available reliable clinical trials demonstrating safety or efficacy of a particular dose or for a recommended treatment duration.
Oregano may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Oregano is not recommended at doses above those normally found in food due to a lack of available scientific evidence. An over-the-counter product containing oregano as one of four herbal ingredients (Carachipita® - pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), yerba de la perdiz (Magiricarpus pinnaus) and guaycuru (Statice brasiliensis)) has been linked with case reports of induced abortion.
Interactions with Drugs
Oregano may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Oregano may have phytoestrogenic effects. Interactions with hormonal agents are theoretically possible.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Oregano may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Because oregano contains estrogen like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered
Oregano may have anti-thrombin effects. Interactions with anticoagulants are theoretically possible.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Heather Boon BScPhm, PhD (University of Toronto); Jo Thompson Coon, PhD (Peninsula Medical School); Nicole Giese, MS (Boston University); Dana A. Hackman, BS (Northeastern University); David Kiefer, MD (University of Arizona); Lisa Scully, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); Isabell Syelsky, PharmD (Northeastern University); Brian Szczechowski, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).