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Guide To Marjoram Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Marjoram essential oil comes in several varieties. The one usually used in aromatherapy is sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana). If an aromatherapy blend includes marjoram as an ingredient, use Origanum majorana.

"Marjoram calms the senses and allows peacefulness to come into a frantic world," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She states the emotional benefits of the essential oil are to encourage calm, balance, integrity, perseverance, and sincerity.

A Guide To Marjoram Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Basic Marjoram Facts

Plant family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae

Production: Steam distilled from flowering tops, leaves, and stems of the plant.

Aroma: Warm, sweet, herb-like, spicy

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is marjoram safe to use during pregnancy? No, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby.

Is marjoram essential oil safe for children? Do not use on babies.

Cautions: Do not confuse sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) with Spanish marjoram (Thymus mastichina), which is a stronger oil from a different plant family.

Main components:

  • terpinen-4-ol            16.4–31.6%
  • (Z)-sabinene hydrate   7.1–13.8%
  • linalyl acetate            7.4–10.5%
  • gamma-terpinene        7.3–9.8%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.

Marjoram Aromatherapy Benefits

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Marjoram eases muscle spasms, stiff joints, menstrual cramps, excessive coughing, headaches, and migraines. The oil may slightly lower blood pressure and help relieve colds and flu. The scent helps people who feel emotionally unstable or have a tendency to experience irritability, depression, shock, or hysteria, especially as a result of an external stimulus. The essential oil can help ease insomnia, grief, loneliness, and rejection.

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies: Testing shows marjoram is one of the most effective scents to relax brain waves.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Uses for marjoram essential oil include helping relieve muscle spasm and pain, general aches, numbness, stiffness, menstrual problems, bruises, headache, indigestion, constipation, insomnia, stress-related conditions, and anxiety.   

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Marjoram helps relieve arthritis, muscle aches and stiffness, strains, sprains, coughs, constipation, flatulence, lack of periods, painful periods, colds, headaches and migraines, high blood pressure, insomnia, nervous tension, and stress-related conditions.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine marjoram tonifies and circulates Qi-energy, clears cold phlegm, and calms the mind. The oil soothes the flow of Qi-energy in the chest and also restores the Qi-energy of the Spleen-pancreas while calming the nerves. It is a balancing oil that "helps calm obsessive thinking, ease emotional carving, and promote the capacity for inner self-nurturing."

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, marjoram promotes emotional stability and renewal and also calms the mind and promotes relaxation. Physically, the oil relaxes tense conditions and acute stress-related conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of marjoram oil is to activate the Qi, calm the Liver, and harmonize the Shen.

Subtle Aromatherapy: Marjoram has a comforting and warming effect that eases loneliness and grief. The essential oil is also associated with celibacy and can help anyone living a celibate life.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Marjoram comforts, calms, and warms. The oil is especially useful for the fourth chakra to promote sincerity and the ability to give and to ease loneliness, especially after loss.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Marjoram eases sorrow, supports healing, and helps retain memories. The oil protects the home and, used before ritual, balances personal energy and releases negativity. This essential oil also supports development of psychic skills and provides focus for that work.

Marjoram Essential Oil Uses and Blends

To make a basic massage oil with marjoram, add 3 to 8 drops of the essential oil to one tablespoon carrier oil.

Massage Oil Blends for Pain Relief

Blend #1

To a 5-ml dark glass euro-dropper bottle, add these essential oils:

  • 50 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
  • 50 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 50 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 to 10 drops helichrysum essential oil (optional)

For best results blend the essential oils and let sit for 8+ hours. Then add some of the blend to your favorite massage carrier oil (at the rate of about 3 to 6 drops for each tablespoon of carrier oil).

Source: Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Library by KG Stiles

Blend #2 from Stiles

To a small, dark bottle add:

  • 12 to 14 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
  • 1 to 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 1 to 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  1. Close cap tightly and shake bottle vigorously to blend essential oils. Let set for eight or more hours before using.
  2. To make a ready-to-use calming blend add the blend to one ounce (2 tablespoons) of your favorite carrier oil. Shake well before using.

Back Pain Blend

  • 10 drops sweet marjoram
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops helichrysum essential oil

Use 4 to 5 drops of the blend in one teaspoon of carrier oil. Massage into back muscles.

Source: The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Bruise Oil

Add the following ingredients to a one-ounce (30-ml) bottle.

  • 2 tablespoons Trauma Oil
  • 7 drops sweet marjoram
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 3 drops geranium essential oil

Shake. Apply a little of the oil gently over the bruise several times a day.
Source: Aromahead

Body Lotion to Promote Sleep

Use this sleep-promoting lotion before going  to bed.

  • 5 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
  • 6 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons unscented natural body lotion

Add the lotion to a small glass jar. Stir in the essential oils gently using a glass stirring stick or the handle of a stainless steel spoon. Source: Aromahead

Diffuser Blend for Headaches

To relieve headaches, make the following blend and use a few drops in an essential oil diffuser:

  • 8 drops marjoram essential oil 
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil 

Source: Suzanne Banks

Bath Blends

For a soothing bath, blend the following essential oils:

  • 3 drops marjoram
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops bergamot essential oil

Option 1: Add the essential oils to one tablespoon of cream or honey. Stir into your bath water.

Option 2: Combine 1/2 cup Epsom salt and 1/2 cup baking soda and add the essential oils. Stir into the bath water.

Relaxing Compress

Make a hot compress to relax sore, tense, or cramped muscles or to relieve constipation and congestion.

  1. Add 4 drops each of marjoram and lavender to a teaspoon of cream or honey.
  2. Stir the mixture into a small stainless steel bowl of hot water.
  3. Wearing protective gloves, use a wash cloth to absorb the hot water mixture, wringing out excess water.
  4. Apply the compress to area of discomfort.
  5. As desired, repeat this process when the compress cools.

Source: KG Stiles

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia