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Swollen Lymph Nodes

Oregano Oil and Swollen Lymph Nodes

What causes lymph glands to swell?
The lymph nodes are important components of the immune system. When the lymph glands swell, it’s usually signals an infection, but an inflammatory condition, abscess and cancer can also cause it. While the soreness that accompanies the enlargement usually disappears after just a couple of days with no treatment, it may take weeks for the lymph nodes to return to its normal size.

Unless it remains or gets larger after a few weeks, turns red, feels hard, irregular and tender or you are also experiencing other symptoms like fever, night sweats or unexplained weight loss, it doesn’t need medical attention.

How can oregano oil relieve swollen lymph nodes?
It is widely accepted that oregano oil can strengthen the immune system (Walter & Bilkei, 2004). When oregano oil is taken internally, it can fight off infection, as well as reduce the pain (Valnet, 1982) and inflammation (Landa, et al., 2009) caused by the swollen lymph nodes. Oregano oil’s main component carvacrol has been proven effective against Escherichia coli (Xu, et al., 2008), Staphylococcus Aureus (Lopez, et al., 2007), and a lot of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria (Hersch-Martinez, et al., 2005).

A study conducted by researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center in 2001 proved how effective oregano oil is as an antimicrobial agent and compared its effect to potent antibiotics such as Streptomycin, Penicillin and Vancomycin that can also cause serious side effects.

How should oregano oil be used against swollen lymph nodes?

Diluted oregano oil can be applied topically to painful swollen lymph nodes 2 to 3 times a day. Use a 1: 3 dilution for this. Dilute 1 teaspoon of pure oregano oil in 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. You can also take it by mouth either by placing 2 to 4 drops inside a gel capsule or diluted in a glass of water or fruit juice.

Before using oregano oil, do a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic to it. Otherwise, it may cause a severe allergic reaction if it turns out that you are indeed allergic to it. Do not take oregano oil if you’re pregnant or nursing or being treated for a serious medical condition. It should also not be given to very young children and the dosage should be adjusted for children under the age of 12 or the elderly. Consult a naturopath for more details.

Oregano oil is a wonderful herb that produces a wide range of health benefits. To get its full effect, make sure you’re using the real wild oregano with the scientific name Origanum vulgare and not the herb commonly used for cooking, Origanum marjoram.


Hersch-Martinez P., Leaños-Miranda B.E. and Solorzano-Santos F. Antibacterial effects of commercial essential oils over locally prevalent pathogenic strains in Mexico. Fitoterapia. 2005; 76(5): 453-457.

Landa P., Kokoska L., Pribylova M., Vanek T. and Marsik P. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of carvacrol: Inhibitory effect on COX-2 catalyzed prostaglandin E(2) biosynthesis. Archives of Pharmacal Research. 2009; 32(1): 75-78.

Lopez P., Sanchez C., Batlle R. and Nerin C. Vapor-phase activities of cinnamon, thyme, and oregano oils and key constituents against foodborne microorganisms. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2007; 55(11): 4348-4356.

Valnet J, The Practice of Aromatherapy. The CW Daniel Company Ltd, Saffron Walden.

Walter B.M. and Bilkei G. Immunostimulatory effect of dietary oregano etheric oils on lymphocytes from growth-retarded, low-weight growing-finishing pigs and productivity. Tijdschrift voor Filosofie. 2004; 129(6): 178-181.

Xu J., Zhou F., Ji B.P., Pei R.S. and Xu N. The antibacterial mechanism of carvacrol and thymol against Escherichia coli. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 2008; 47(3): 174-179.