I think I might have candida (symtoms are yellow coated tongue, itching, black circles under eyes, perhaps brain fog).
I know oregano oil is effective in killing candida.
How much is a safe dose that won't disrupt my friendly gut flora? The bottle says 4 drops, or 120 mg.
Honestly, I don't have enough good science that I'm comfortable writing the answer that I would like to write on this subject, but I'll give you what I've got. In short: I feel that essential oils are too potent for internal ingestion.
Oregano oil, for example, contains thujone - the same neurotoxic compound found in absinthe/wormwood. I'd like to write a lot more here about thujone's activity in relation to GABA receptors, and the damage one might do by ingesting this - but I just don't understand enough of the neurochemistry to do so. This study has a good amount of info: http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94
It will likely damage your gut flora, and is generally inflammatory in the system. If you place an extract on the skin, it will ulcerate - it's that strong.
If you're going to use it, make it a short cycle, and make sure you stick to a brand that is standardized 70%+ carvacrol. I would highly recommend considering grapefruit seed extract (also fairly caustic, but less toxic) and a sugar-free/ketogenic diet instead; if candida is your problem, you should start to see die off symptoms within a week or so of starting a GSE regimen and taking away the yeast's fuel source.
I tried oil of oregano a couple of years ago for yeast overgrowth. After taking it twice, I had a horrible anaphylaxis reaction to it - we're talking full body hives, edema, & an ambulance ride to the E.R. After that reaction, I understood why eating food with oregano usually made me queasy. Since then, I caution anyone with food sensitivities, and even environmental allergies, to be careful with herbal remedies because they can cause more harm than good.
I have taken it in the past to ward off a cold when I felt one coming on. It seemed to work, however I found it harsh on my gut (i have IBS). Even just a couple drops a day and i had loose bowels and cramping the next day.
As far as I understand it, oil of oregano is antimicrobial on contact. I would avoid eating the stuff and I haven't seen any proof it's antimicrobial once metabolized (if someone knows of one please feel free to correct me here) but my understanding of it is that it's akin to eating a tube of polysporin.
I use it with a little breath mister mixed with clove tea for a sore throat to reduce the colonization of my oro/nasopharynx by bacterial or viral nasties, since that's where they tend to hang out and replicate at the onset of illness. This method is based only on my own logical leap though.
Try eating raw garlic instead. If you find it hard to get down, coat the pieces in a little unpasturized honey, it makes it WAY easier.
I have been using oil of oregano for years.It cures strep,flu,toothaches and gums.I take 4drops 3 times daily for 7 days.Also give it to my child.Never noticed anything wrong with my stomach and I have a sensitive one.Make sure you put it under your tongue to get it in your bloodstream.I am surprised everyone here is against it.You could replenish your gut flora afterwords with probiotics or kefir,no big deal
I agree with the others who have said that Oil of Oregono is NOT for internal use. As others have said, it can nuke an infection. My experience using it: I had a painful infected sty on my eye near the tear duct. Dr. said there was nothing they could do for a sty. I put a couple drops of Oil of oregono and other anti-microbial oils in my hand and cupped it under the infected eye, making a seal so the fumes could get to the eye, not putting the oils in my eye. The next day the sty was gone. From the fumes alone, essential oils are that powerful.
I have been taking oil of oregano for flu/cold symptoms over the last two years. By the next day, my cold is on it's way out the door. A few months ago I cut my leg open pretty bad (no health insurance) and I took an entire dropper of oil of oregano (under the tongue) before bedtime (to help prevent infection in my leg). 2 months later my leg finally healed up and no infection. And the kicker? The IBS I had been suffering from (which is such an ambiguous term - so in reality, whatever it was that I was suffering from) disappeared about 2 weeks into taking the oil of oregano every night for my leg. I recommend it to everyone. I'm sorry that not everyone has had the amazing experiences I have with the stuff. I love it. LOVE IT.
I took it internally to try to clear up Small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It didn't increase my gut issues (or help), but it did cause female issues (breast pain, bleeding out of the bounds of my period). So I stopped taking it, not sure if it was messing with my hormones.
I tried taking Oil of Oregano for about 2 months and it did nothing for me. I have Fibromyalgia Syndrome (a chronic pain/fatigue disorder). I researched it before I started taking it and it seemed to be a "cure-all" for everything including FMS. I bought what I found to have a high percentage of the oil mixed with olive oil and would put a few drops in a capsule, then swallowed it with water. Just putting the drops in water would make me gag, so it was easier for me to consume it this way. You can buy the empty capsules on Amazon.
After a couple of weeks, I began to get heartburn on a regular basis again which I haven't had for the past 6 months or so, so I stopped taking it. It caused me to have heartburn even when I didn't eat and even had it when I ate bread.
It didn't change how I felt at all.
I also have a problem with some sort of staph infection below my mouth on my chin on a regular basis (I've recently been swabbed for MRSA and am awaiting the results). At the time, it looked like some infected pimples and turned into impetigo. I was putting the oil on these sores with a q-tip several times daily and it didn't help at all. They would get very red during the first 10 minutes or so then the redness would subside, but it didn't help the healing process at all. I had to go to the doctor and get an antibiotic along with some Bactroban to get it to heal.
I have crowns on some of my teeth that smell badly at times. I've heard that this is due to the dentist not putting enough cement under the crown and there's not a good seal between the tooth and the crown, allowing bacteria to get in. I brush my teeth 2-3 times a day and it still smells. I'm a very clean person, so this really bothers me. I would put the oil on a Q-tip and rub directly on the bottom of the tooth and gum to try to rid it of bacteria. It didn't help.
So I have not had any success with using this oil at all, no matter how I've tried using it. I'm all for natural healing and prefer natural over pharmaceuticals any day, but in my case, it's done absolutely nothing to help me.