You might not have heard of Sweet Marjoram oil, but you have probably heard of its cousin wild marjoram or oregano. In fact, Sweet Marjoram is sometimes called “mild oregano”. While they are sometimes used interchangeably in cooking, they have different properties and thereby different applications as essential oils. In this article, we’ll be covering Sweet Marjoram oil.
We’ll talk about the Sweet Marjoram plant including a brief description and history, then cover how the essential oil is extracted along with its uses and benefits, and we’ll finish up with some high-quality sweet marjoram essential oil options that you can purchase for your essential oil needs!
Table of Contents
What is Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil?
Sweet marjoram’s scientific name is Origanum majorana , which as you may have guessed, means that it is a close cousin of oregano! Origanum, oregano, potato, po-tah-to. Well, not quite. As we teased in the intro, although these two plants are similar the essential oils they produce along with the benefits of these oils are not one and the same. They do both belong to the Lamicae plant family, which includes a lot of the herbs we know and love such as mint, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and more. So let’s dive in and learn more about this wonderful plant and the healing essential oil that it produces.
History and Origin
Marjoram is thought to be native to the Mediterranean area and Eurasia, like many medicinal herbs. In fact, the first part of sweet marjoram’s Latin name “origanum” is theorized to have come from the Greek words “oreos” and “ganeos” meaning “mountain” and “joy” respectively. It is sometimes even referred to historically as “joy of the mountains” for this reason and because it was found in abundance on the mountainsides in its region of origin.
Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil Extraction
So we’ve talked about the plant, now let’s get into how the oil is extracted. Sweet marjoram essential oil is made primarily from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant, making it perfect for the process of steam distillation. Most marjoram essential oil is steam distilled. During the process of steam distillation, the plant matter is heated in a still with water so that the oil can come out of the plant without it being damaged.
The essential oils produced through steam distillation tend to vary based on a variety of factors, but in the case of sweet marjoram, the color of the essential oil varies from pale yellow to yellow-green. If your essential oil falls into this color range, take it as a sign that you have purchased a quality oil.
Early Medicinal Use
Sweet marjoram has shown up in many ways throughout history. Unsurprisingly, it was also used medicinally by our ancestors. From menstrual irregularity and urinary tract issues to treating toothaches and cold sores, we see sweet marjoram show up throughout history as a medicinal plant.
Marjoram essential oil uses & benefits
Now we’re getting to the good stuff- all of the benefits of sweet marjoram essential oil and some of the major ways in which you can use this essential oil in your daily life.
May Improve Digestion Issues
Research has shown that sweet marjoram aids in digestive problems this is due to this oil’s anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
One study looked at sweet marjoram and other herbs for their anti-microbial properties in treating a food-borne illness, and the researchers found that sweet marjoram along with basil and thyme were effective in fighting against the particular foodborne illness that was looked at in this study.
How to Use
Add one or two drops of marjoram essential oil to a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, and massage all over the abdominal area when you have a stomach ache.
You can also add sweet marjoram in herb form to a vegetable soup to improve digestion.
Essential Oil Safety
When applying topically, always perform a small patch test before applying the oil all over the desired area, especially if you are new to this oil or carrier oil.
May Help with Gastric Ulcer Prevention
A study conducted on animals in 2009 helped to evaluate sweet marjoram’s potential ability to prevent and heal gastric ulcers. In this study, it was found that at doses of 250 and 500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, sweet marjoram significantly decreased the incidence of ulcers, basal gastric secretion, and acid output.
Even further, the study showed that the sweet marjoram essential oil replenished the depleted gastric wall mucus. If you’ve experienced gastric ulcers, you know that this is a big part of the healing process.
In this study, marjoram healed and prevented gastric ulcers but it was also proven to be generally safe for use. This is important, as many ulcer treatments can have unpleasant side effects.
May Assist in Balancing Hormones
This benefit or marjoram comes from traditional medicine, but there is not a lot of modern research to back it up yet. In traditional medicine, marjoram was used to regulate menstrual cycles. If you are a subscriber of traditional medicine, you might try a drop or two or marjoram essential oil in tea to regulate your menstrual cycle.
There is scientific evidence for marjoram essential oil being able to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce levels of adrenal androgens in women with PCOS. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, so the scientists’ aim was to begin research on marjoram to see if its traditional medicine use for this purpose had any quantifiable validity. Since they did yield results, the scientists recommend that Sweet Marjoram be used for this purpose.
How to Use
Since sweet marjoram essential oil has not been researched internally for this purpose, it is best to use it topically.
For topical application, add 1 to 2 drops of sweet marjoram oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil to a carrier oil, perform a small patch test, then apply all over the desired area.
May Assist in Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is an illness that is totally preventable with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Some individuals are at a higher risk, so along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, individuals can consider adding marjoram into their routine.
Specifically, it’s been shown that commercial dried varieties of sweet marjoram, along with Mexican oregano and rosemary, and, can act as an extremely effective inhibitor of the enzyme known as protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). Additionally, greenhouse-grown marjoram, Mexican oregano, and rosemary extracts were the best inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV). What this means to those of us who don’t speak fluent biochemistry is that the reduction or elimination of PTP1B and DPP-IV helps improve insulin signalling and tolerance. This means that fresh and dried marjoram can help improve the body’s ability to manage blood sugar. Although the essential oil directly has not been researched for this benefit, we can certainly still consume it in a tea or capsule.
May Promote Cardiovascular Health
Marjoram might be a helpful natural remedy for people at high risk for or currently dealing with high blood pressure symptoms and/or heart problems. Sweet marjoram is naturally high in antioxidants, which are excellent for the cardiovascular system as well as the whole body. This essential oil is also an effective vasodilator, which means that it can help widen and relax the blood vessels. Vasodilation can help reduce blood pressure.
Scientific research supports that the inhalation of marjoram essential oil lowers sympathetic nervous system activity and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn vasodilates. This helps both calm the body and relax the smooth muscles, which is also why sweet marjoram is said to be good for digestion.
Another study observed the effects of essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in hypertensive and prehypertensive subjects.
One group inhaled a placebo, while the other group inhaled a combination of ylang-ylang, marjoram, neroli, and lavender essential oils. It turned out that the subjects who inhaled the essential oil blend showed a significant decrease in both blood pressure and concentration of salivary cortisol. Although this isn’t direct proof that marjoram can promote cardiovascular health, it is certainly worth a mention.
May Help Relieve Pain
Marjoram essential oil can help reduce the pain that can come with muscle tightness and massage therapists frequently include the essential oil in their massage oil or lotion for this very reason. The usage of marjoram essential oil for this purpose is based on traditional usage, but it is still important to note that this can be a benefit.
There is one study that offers promising evidence of marjoram as a pain reliever in conjunction with other herbs. In this study, one group of individuals inhaled a synthetic fragrance, while another group inhaled a mixture of lavender, clary sage, and marjoram. The results showed that those who inhaled the true essential oils experienced a significant decrease in pain compared to the synthetic group and the control group.
How to Use
To use this oil to relax, you can diffuse 1-3 drops in a diffuser for calming benefits. In fact, research shows that just the inhalation of marjoram essential oil may calm the nervous system and may lower blood pressure.
You can also use sweet marjoram essential oil to relieve sore muscles. Add a few drops of marjoram essential oil to your favorite carrier oil and massage it onto sore areas.
Essential Oil Safety
For topical application, always perform a small patch test before applying the oil all over the desired area, especially if you are new to this oil.
May Help Maintain Healthy Respiratory Function
This use of sweet marjoram essential oil is not backed by a lot of research but had a presence in traditional medicine so it is certainly worth a shot if you are dealing with respiratory issues or bronchial congestion. This oil had a traditional usage as an expectorant, which means that it may help expel excess phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract.
How to Use
To use sweet marjoram essential oil for this purpose, you can diffuse marjoram essential oil throughout the home. You can also add a few drops to a bowl of steaming water, then inhale the vapors. If you’d prefer to use this essential oil topically, you can make a sweet marjoram vapor rub by adding a few drops to a carrier oil and massaging the solution onto the chest and neck.
As always, please perform a small patch test if you are new to this oil.
Our Picks for Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
Your body readily absorbs essential oils, so it is important to make sure that you are putting the good stuff onto and/or into your body. There are many brands to choose from when it comes to essential oils, but these are a few options that we like because they hit several high-quality checkboxes for us.
We like Plant Therapy because their oils are priced fairly, they come with batch-specific GC/MS results, and their oils consistently get rave reviews from their customers.
Sweet marjoram is generally an inexpensive essential oil, but you can get a 10ml bottle from Plant Therapy that is USDA-certified organic for a low price compared to other essential oil brands that offer certified organic oils.
This company has a strong reputation for offering pure and clean essential oils. Their prices are affordable as well. You can feel good about purchasing from a company that operates on a five standard business model that is a part of their quality assurance program. The company’s attention lies constantly and consistently on effectiveness, dedication, education, natural sources, and safety.