Are you feeling stressed? Are your muscles sore and tired? Don’t rush to your medicine cabinet. What you need is a bottle of marjoram essential oil.
This woodsy essential oil, also known as the joy of the mountains, is known to help you with your nerves, improve cardiovascular and digestive health and provide pain relief.
In this article, you will learn about marjoram essential oil and its health benefits.
What is marjoram essential oil?
Marjoram essential oil, also known as the sweet marjoram essential oil is made through steam distillation of the leaves and flowering tops of the marjoram plant (Origanum majorana).
This perennial herb is native to the Mediterranean region and is now grown in Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and Tunisia.
This pale yellow-colored essential oil has a sweet, woody and herbaceous scent.
The major constituents of marjoram essential oil include a-terpinene, sabinene, y-terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, Linalool, cis-sabinene hydrate, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, y-terpineol.
These provide marjoram essential oil analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant and sedative properties.
History of marjoram essential oil
Marjoram has been a symbol of love since ancient times. According to Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of love, brought marjoram to earth as a reminder of her beauty.
The Greeks considered marjoram to be the herb of happiness and offered it to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
In ancient Greek and Roman societies, the bride and the groom wore crowns made from marjoram during the wedding ceremony.
Marjoram has also been used for its healing properties since ancient times. Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Pliny the Elder and Galen, the most famous ancient writers on botany, mention marjoram and its uses in their writings.
While Dioscorides used this herb to treat the nervous disorder, Pliny the Elder suggested it should be used to treat stomach disorders and flatulence.
During the Renaissance, jams and perfumed sachets were made from marjoram and used for chest infections. This herb was also mixed with honey and used for coughs.
In the 17th century Fabricius, a famous Danish physician cured cold and rheumatic pains of a soldier using marjoram.
In 1720, J B Chomel, the head of the Academy of Medicine in France, recommended that dried and powdered marjoram be inhaled to fortify the brain and reduce fatigue.
In 1876, J Cazin prescribed marjoram for nervous disorders such as apoplexy, paralysis, dizziness, epilepsy, and loss of memory in his History of Natural Drugs.
Health benefits of marjoram oil
1. Improves heart health
Marjoram essential oil is a vasodilator, which means it helps to relax and widen the blood vessels. It eases the flow of blood, reduces blood pressure, and eases the pressure on the heart.
Marjoram oil is also rich in antioxidants, which are highly beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
A 2012 study from the Republic of Korea, researched the effects of a blend of marjoram, neroli, ylang-ylang, and lavender oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects.
The results showed that the essential oils had immediate and continuous effects on the home SBP, daytime BP, and stress reduction. Of the essential oils used in this study, marjoram decreases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and stimulates the parasympathetic system (1).
2. Promotes healthy digestion
Marjoram oil plays a vital role in preventing digestive disorders and boosting healthy digestion. Be it flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, or nausea; marjoram oil can help with it all.
It stimulates the salivary glands, which helps begin the digestive process. It also stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices in the digestive tract and helps break down the food faster.
It encourages the peristaltic movement in the intestines, which allows the food to move towards the colon. Marjoram oil is extremely beneficial for people with constipation.
Marjoram oil is also a stomachic, which means it prevents ulcers and other stomach disorders. Since this oil stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices in the digestive tract, it keeps the pH levels in the stomach normal, and this prevents acidity and ulcers.
According to a study from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg of body weight, marjoram can significantly decrease the incidence of ulcers, basal gastric secretion and acid output (2).
3. Helps in diabetes management
Diabetes is one of the most common and costly diseases. Around 23.1 million people in the US are diagnosed with diabetes at the cost of more than 245 billion dollars per year (3).
Fortunately, we can reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes with the help of a healthy diet, active lifestyle and natural supplements. Marjoram oil is one such natural cure for managing diabetes symptoms.
According to a 2014 study from Egypt, when rats with diabetes were given marjoram oil at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight, it significantly decreases the levels of blood glucose and improved body weight.
The increased levels of lipid peroxidation in tissues of diabetic rats also reverted to normal after treatment with marjoram oil (4).
Another study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed that greenhouse-grown marjoram extracts, along with Mexican oregano and rosemary were best inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV).
Commercial rosemary, Mexican oregano, and marjoram were also the best inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphate IB.
The reduction of these enzymes improves insulin signaling and tolerance (5).
4. Restores hormonal imbalance
Marjoram oil restores the hormonal imbalance in women, which helps in regulating the menstrual cycle, prevents symptoms of PMS and menopause depression, insomnia, irritability, and hot flashes.
This oil is also an emmenagogue, which means it helps stimulate menstruation. It has been used traditionally to promote breast milk production as well.
According to a study from Jordan published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, marjoram tea improves insulin sensitivity and reduces the levels of adrenal androgens, which can treat polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility in women (6).
5. Relieves pain
Marjoram essential oil has analgesic and antispasmodic properties which help to reduce pain and relieve sore muscles. The sweet fragrance of this oil also helps to relieve stress, which helps reduce tension headaches.
During one study by Hungkuang University, Taiwan, patients with primary dysmenorrhea were given a blend of marjoram, clary sage, and lavender oil to be massaged on to their lower abdomen from the end of the last menstruation to the beginning of the next menstruation.
This aromatic oil massage helped reduce the duration of pain (7).
Marjoram oil can also reduce pain associated with colds, toothaches, and fevers.
6. Improves respiratory function
Marjoram essential oil has expectorant properties which help remove phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract. It also helps treat many respiratory problems like cold, flu, cough, bronchitis, asthma and allergies.
Its antiviral properties help to get rid of any illnesses that may lead to respiratory problems.
You can diffuse marjoram oil in your home to treat respiratory problems. Massaging diluted marjoram oil in the neck and chest also helps provide relief.
7. Removes toxins
Marjoram essential oil can cause sweating which helps remove toxic buildup in the body. The sweat contains toxins, sodium, and excess water. Removing these from the body also helps in reducing fever and weight loss.
Marjoram also works as a diuretic, which means it increases the frequency and quantity of urine. The body eliminates uric acid, sodium, bile salts, and excess water from the body, which cleanses the kidneys and helps in weight loss.
8. Relieves stress
Prolonged stress can lead to health problems. So, it is essential that we keep our stresses and anxieties in check. Marjoram essential oil has a calming effect on the body and the mind, which is very helpful in lowering anxiety.
This oil is known for producing feelings of calmness and happiness. It is highly beneficial for people suffering from shock, or PTSD. It also helps to treat people with insomnia.
Ways to use marjoram oil
You can use marjoram essential oil topically, aromatically, and internally. However, you must always use certified organic and pure essential oils.
- To cure digestive ailments, dilute marjoram oil with a carrier oil and massage it on to your lower abdomen. You can add one or two drops to a glass of water and drink it.
- To improve heart health and relieve stress, diffuse marjoram oil in your home.
- To relieve muscular pain, massage diluted marjoram oil on the sore areas.
- Massage your neck and chest with this oil to relieve respiratory conditions.
Side effects and precautions
Marjoram essential oil is safe if used appropriately. Do not use it for an extended period as it may lead to cancer. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and small children should avoid using this essential oil.
If you have diabetes, bleeding disorders, UTI, slow heart rate, seizures or ulcers, you must check with your doctor before using marjoram oil.
Always mix marjoram essential oil with a carrier oil before using it topically. You must conduct a patch test to ensure that you do not get an allergic reaction.
Marjoram essential oil is made through steam distillation of the flowering tops of the marjoram plant. This pale yellow-colored essential oil has a sweet, woody and herbaceous scent.
Marjoram essential oil has analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant and sedative properties, which benefit health in several ways.
It promotes heart health, improves digestion, relieves pain, helps in diabetes management, restores hormonal imbalance, improves respiratory function, reduces stress and removes toxins.