Essential oils (EOs) from Origanum vulgare subsp. vulgare (OW) and O. vulgare subsp. hirtum (OVH) were evaluated for antioxidant activities (DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, CUPRAC, beta-carotene/linoleic acid, phospho-molybdenum and metal chelating), antimicrobial and inhibitory properties against acetylcholinesterase, butrylcholinesterase, tyrosinase, alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. Thymol and linalool were identified as major component in OW and OVH essential oils, respectively. O. vulgare subsp. vulgare exhibited a strong free radical scavenging, reducing power, antimicrobial and acetylcholinesterase, butrylcholinesterase, alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Interestingly, OVH possess a significant metal chelating and tyrosinase inhibitory activities. The EOs of both species exhibited moderate antibacterial and antifungal activities. The MIC values of the EOs ranged from 85.3 to 426.7 mu g/mL. O. vulgare subsp. vulgare showed higher activity against Sarcina lutea with the lowest MIC (85.3 mu g/mL), whereas OVH indicated strong activity for Candida albicans with MIC value of 85.3 mu g/mL. The data suggest that the Origanum EOs could be used as valuable new natural agents with functional properties for food and pharmacology industries. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.