Last update June 10, 2018


Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

The leaves, flowers and essential oil of this plant are used in traditional medicine and its dried leaves are used as culinary seasoning.
It contains phenol carboxylic acids (caffeic, chlorogenic, rosmarinic), flavonoids, tannins and triterpenes derived from ursolic and oleanolic acids. The essential oil is rich in thymol, carvacrol and eugenol.

Properties attributed in traditional medicine without clinical testing (WHO 2010, Blumenthal 1998 p.358): digestive, spasmolytic, expectorant and diuretic. Antiseptic, antifungal and healing properties when used externally.

Commission E does not recommend its use due to the absence of documented effectiveness (Blumenthal 1998 p.358).

Since the last update date we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

Although it has been used topically to treat nipple candidiasis (Jacobsen 2009) tests of its effectiveness as anti-infective and antifungal agents have been unsatisfactory (Liu 2017).

The use of essential oil, due to its high content in active ingredients, may not be prudent during breastfeeding.

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Ensure that they are from a reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusing one plant with another with toxic properties, poisonings due to the fact they contain heavy metals that are extracted from the soil and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi (Anderson 2017).
2. Do not take too much; follow recommendations from experienced phytotherapy professionals. "Natural" products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which a large part of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause intoxication or act as endocrine disruptors (they contain phytoestrogens: Powers 2015, Zava 1998) if they are taken in exaggerated quantity or over long periods of time.

CULINARY USE: It is used in many western cuisines as a flavouring and does not produce toxicity when consumed at culinary doses. Oregano in its culinary use is therefore compatible during breastfeeding.


We do not have alternatives for Orenga.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Orenga is Oregano in Catalan.

Is written in other languages:

Orenga is also known as


Main tradenames from several countries containing Orenga in its composition:


  1. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  2. Liu Q, Meng X, Li Y, Zhao CN, Tang GY, Li HB. Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Spices. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Abstract
  3. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. WHO. World Health Organization. WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). WHO monographs. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Jacobsen PJ. Candida versus breastfeeding--which is winning? Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2009 Abstract
  6. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract
  7. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, editors. The American Botanical Council. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Integrative Medicine Com; Boston, MA, USA: 1998

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