Essential Oil of the Day: Marjoram


Origanum marjorana

Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae

The scent of Marjoram has always made me hungry because it reminds me of fried chicken. In no way does Sweet Marjoram smell like fried chicken, but I add the herb when cooking so it triggers this weird reptilian part of my brain when I am blending - I often feel like I need to get up and eat a cracker… or chicken.

Marjoram essential is seam distilled from the flowering tops and dried leaves of the plant which produces a warm and spicy, slightly woody smell that has a camphorus undertone. I remember someone once describing the smell to me as a light and herbal eucalyptus - it works?

When using oils its it important not to get your Marjorams confused - I am talking about SWEET Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) not SPANISH Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) which actually belongs to the thyme species, Oregano.

Marjoram comes from the Greek word, oros and ganos which means “joy” - knowing the etymology gives us a better understanding of the use of the plant. Yay words. The Greeks used the herb during times of grief and funerals as it was said to bring spiritual peace to the dead. Fun fact - if you are trying to increase the heat in the bedroom, Marjoram is most certainly not for you. This libido killing essential oil is an Anaphrodisiac - meaning, any desire you once had to do the horizontal shuffle is now dead. One aromatherapist once claimed that if you were looking for a life of celibacy, Marjoram was the oil for you. Makes you think twice about using it on your cooking now doesn’t it?

Why I have found the oil so useful is it’s power of diminishing bruises. I am a Ginger with nearly translucent skin. I bruise like a peach. Marjoram prevents me from looking like a leopard. I use Marjoram in my pain balms because it has the ability to reduce muscular spasms and relieves the pain caused by sprains and strains. I also use it because it reduces the pains caused by rheumatism. When used in combination with Clary Sage - Marjoram is able to calm uterine and nerve spasms in women. So essentially…. a lifesaver. But caution does need to be exhibited - Marjoram should not be used during pregnancy, for those with hypotension and asthmatics.

What I favour most about Marjoram are its subtle uses - as described by Battaglia - Marjoram can help calm obsessive thinking and ease emotional craving. Worwood described Marjoram as a person - a warm and friendly person who can comfort you when you really need it.

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