5 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin
Marjoram Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Fresh, herbaceous marjoram is known to help regulate hormones and relieve pain.
Identifying marjoram essential oil can be confusing.
The oil is often mixed up with oregano, which itself is sometimes known as wild marjoram, but it should be noted that oregano is a separate oil with very different properties. There are also two types of marjoram oil commonly sold: sweet marjoram and Spanish marjoram. The most famous is sweet marjoram, which we will be focusing on more heavily in this article.
Although the two types of marjoram are very similar, they come from different plants and as such vary slightly in benefits. Whilst can be used to support heart health and relieve pain, sweet marjoram is said to be more effective at regulating hormones, whilst Spanish marjoram is often used for its anti-fungal properties, and is suggested as a home remedy for athlete’s foot.
Marjoram essential oil can aid digestive health.
A 2017 review of research into marjoram oil found that the compounds in marjoram oil are known to have gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Marjoram oil may also help to stimulate the peristaltic movement of the intestines – the wave-like effect that helps to move food through the digestive tract. This can aid in the treatment and prevention of complaints such as indigestion and constipation.
Applying diluted marjoram oil topically to the stomach can help you to experience these benefits and give your digestive health a boost.
It can regulate menstruation and hormone production.
Marjoram has long been associated with the regulation of female hormones. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can promote breast milk production in nursing mothers, and research has recently suggested that it could act as a natural solution to irregular periods. A 2016 review shows that marjoram is able to act as an emmenagogue, which means that it may be able to prompt menstruation.
The incredible effect of marjoram on hormones doesn’t end there. A further study looked at the effect of marjoram oil on the hormone levels of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. They found that marjoram was able to reduce the levels of adrenal androgens in women with PCOS. This is interesting as one of the causes of hormone imbalance in women – particularly those with conditions like PCOS – can be androgen excess.
It can improve heart health.
An antioxidant-rich oil, marjoram is great for the cardiovascular system, helping to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals in the body. Not only that, but it has been found to be an effective vasodilator, which means that it can help widen blood vessels. This increases blood flow through the body and reduces blood pressure, helping to relieve cardiac strain and boost cardiovascular health.
It can relieve pain.
Considered an antispasmodic, marjoram can help to relieve the pain caused by tight muscles and muscle spasms by relaxing the muscles in question. A study in 2016 found that marjoram could also contribute to a decrease in pain and anxiety in hospital patients. Try applying diluted marjoram oil topically to muscles to feel these effects, or alternatively diffuse and inhale.
Tied into Greek folklore through associations with Aphrodite, this ancient remedy was used extensively in the ancient world to heal and disinfect. Its numerous health benefits make it a worthwhile addition to blends, along with its pleasant, herbal scent.
Shop our marjoram essential oil here.