Marjoram (botanical name Origanum majorana) belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is a perennial herb that is slightly sensitive to cold. It is believed that the herb derives its name marjoram, known as majorane in Old French and majorana in Medieval Latin; indirectly from the Latin term 'maior' denoting major. This herb has a blend of sweet pine and citrus essence. In the Middle East, marjoram is called as sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram to differentiate this herb from other plants of the genus Origanum. In fact, sweet marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, including Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans considered the herb as a symbol of happiness. This herb possesses a warm, woody, spicy and camphor-like scent with an herbaceous connotation. The aromatic leaves of the plant are used to prepare an essential oil whose chemical elements include camphor, pinene, origanol, sabinene, and borneol.
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Marjoram is cultivated extensively for its sweet and woody aromatic leaves. While the green or dried out leaves of the herb are used for culinary purpose, marjoram essential oil is obtained by steam distilling the flowering tops and scented leaves of the herb. When prepared fresh, marjoram essential oil has a yellowish hue or is colorless, but it darkens to brownish as it ages. The aroma of the oil lasts for a long time. In ancient times, the Egyptians cultivated and used the herb in different ways.
Apart from being used in culinary, marjoram also possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is often used in aromatherapy. Using marjoram essential oil brings about a warming effect and, at the same time, cools down the sensations. In addition, this oil provides relief from nervous anxiety and tension. It is very useful for people who are hyperactive, as it helps in quieting their sensations. Marjoram essential oil also possesses excellent analgesic and muscle relaxant properties and is, therefore, very helpful for people suffering from rheumatism. This oil also alleviates pains due to twists, strains and convulsions. Moreover, marjoram essential oil is also useful in treating swollen joints and throbbing muscles.
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Since marjoram essential oil is considered to be an all-purpose relaxant, it is widely used for healing headaches, migraines as well as sleeplessness or insomnia. This oil has a reputation for inhibiting the desire for sexual activities. Nevertheless, marjoram essential oil is very useful for women. It is highly effective in treating cases of belated, excruciating and insufficient monthly periods and also menstrual spasms.
As mentioned before, marjoram essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties. Below, find brief description of the condition specific uses of this natural oil. Hopefully, some of them may interest you and be useful for you. However, as with any other essential oil, before you start using marjoram essential oil regularly, consult a competent and qualified physician regarding the suitability of the oil for your condition.
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- Marjoram essential oil is extremely effective in healing almost all types of spasms and problems associated with the conditions. It is useful in providing relief from respiratory system spasms, cramps in the intestinal muscles as well as spasms of the muscles of the limbs. In addition, this oil is also effective for healing convulsions, cramps, muscle pulls and a condition known as spasmodic cholera that is a result of spasms.
- The analgesic properties of marjoram essential oil helps to lessen pain associated with conditions, such as fever, cold, inflammation, toothache, exertion of muscles etc. Unlike the chemical or synthetically manufactured analgesic medications, marjoram essential oil does not result in any adverse after-effects. This is said to be one of the major reasons for recommending the use of this natural oil for alleviating pain.
- Marjoram essential oil possesses potent antiseptic properties and this attribute of the oil makes it an effective medication for application on internal as well as external wounds. In addition, the antiseptic properties of this oil make it an important element in numerous lotions and creams that are used for antiseptic purposes. Applying marjoram essential oil helps to protect the wounds from becoming septic as well as developing tetanus.
- Marjoram essential oil also possesses anti-bacterial properties and, hence, it has the aptitude to protect one from conditions, such as bacterial infections in the colon, urinary tract, digestive system as well as other parts of the excretory system, including the skin. Using this oil also helps to protect from food poisoning, malaria, typhoid and colic.
- Marjoram essential oil is also effective in healing problems caused by formation of gas in the stomach and intestines as well as flatulence and bloating. In fact, using this oil helps to provide a safe downward passage for the release of accumulated gas by loosening up the muscles in the abdominal region and, at the same, prevents the formation of more gas in the stomach and intestines. This action of marjoram essential oil helps one to dispose of numerous problems related to gas formation, including stomach ache, indigestion, vomiting, nausea, flatulence.
- Marjoram essential oil is just the reverse of being an aphrodisiac and is known to inhibit sexual desires and activities. Precisely speaking, use of this natural oil extracted from the flowering tops and aromatic leaves of the sweet marjoram herb actually facilitates suppressing or controlling the desire for sexual activities. This attribute of marjoram essential oil is especially useful for people who are enduring anomalous as well as intense sexual urges.
- Using marjoram essential oil helps to promote perspiration and, thereby, keeps the body in perfect health by facilitating the removal of toxic substances, wastes, excessive water accumulated in the body as well as sodium salts. This action of the oil not only helps one to remain fit, loose excessive weight, but also facilitates in bringing down high body temperatures during fevers.
- Marjoram essential oil is highly beneficial for the brain. Regular usage of this natural oil helps to keep the brain in a healthy condition and does not allow it to become dull with advancing age.
- Marjoram essential oil also possesses anti-viral properties and, hence, it useful in treating infectious diseases caused by viruses as well as the symptoms associated with such ailments, including influenza, common cold, measles, mumps and also chickenpox.
- The essential oil extracted by steam distilling the flowering heads and tender aromatic leaves of the herb is also considered to be an excellent diuretic. Using this oil helps to increase the frequency of urination as well as the quantity of urine outflow, thereby helping the body to get rid of excessive water, toxic substances, wastes and sodium salts. In addition, this oil is also effective in eliminating uric acid and bile salts from the body. This action of marjoram essential oil helps to treat hypertension or high blood pressure, clean the kidneys, decrease fat accumulation in the body and facilitate weight loss. However, while using this oil, always bear one thing in mind. In case you are not suffering form any condition like swelling owing to accumulation of excessive water in the body, you ought to drink more water and other fluids whenever you are taking marjoram essential oil. This is important because loss of water through frequent urination may often result in dehydration.
- Marjoram essential oil is known to be especially beneficial for women, especially those enduring irregular, hindered or excruciating menstruations. Since this oil possesses emenagogue properties, it not only helps to clear the menses and make them regular, to a certain extent, it also provides relief from the other symptoms associated with troubled menstruation, including headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness and others. In addition, using marjoram essential oil also helps women to avoid premature menopause.
- Marjoram essential oil possesses stomachic properties, which denotes that using this oil internally helps to keep the stomach in good health and maintains its normal functioning. This oil is useful for treating all stomach disorders as well as ulcers. At the same time this natural oil ensures the steady flow of bile and other gastric juices and acids in the stomach. Occasionally, the inner lining of the stomach wears away owing to extended periods of acidity and this may often cause ulcers in the stomach. This condition usually occurs owing to the absence or scarcity of bile that helps to neutralize the acids in the stomach. Marjoram essential oil is useful in preventing this condition since it helps to sustain the appropriate secretion of bile as well as the different acids in the stomach.
- Use of marjoram essential oil brings about a warming effect on the system. It not only helps in augmenting the circulation system, but also helps to keep the body warm. This attribute of marjoram essential oil helps in preventing as well as curing ailments, such as cough and phlegm (mucus in the respiratory system) and also provides relief from pain to people suffering from rheumatism and arthritis.
- Apart from the essential oil extracted from the flowering tops and aromatic leaves of marjoram herb, the seeds of this plant too have been used extensively as a medication to improve digestion. In fact, the digestive properties of marjoram seeds are attributed to the marjoram essential oils. Marjoram essential oil encourages digestion by invigorating the secretion of digestive juices, including gastric juices, bile and acids in the stomach. The sweet and woody fragrance of marjoram essential oil, which resembles the scent of camphor, also invigorates the salivary glands, thereby facilitating the initial stage of digestion of the food in the mouth. Last, but not the least, this natural oil also motivates the peristaltic movements of the intestines, thereby aiding the ingested foods to move forward through the intestines. This action further helps in the digestive process.
- The anti-fungal properties of marjoram essential oil slow down the growth of fungus and, thereby, aids in healing fungal infections and related symptoms. This attribute of the natural oil also helps in treating several skin diseases - usually those owing to fungal infections. In addition, the anti-fungal property of marjoram essential oil also helps in curing dysentery that is usually a result of fungal growth inside the stomach and/or intestines.
- It has been established that marjoram essential oil is highly effectual in providing relief from getting rid of cough and phlegm. At the same time, its use helps to clear the congestion of the lungs, nasal tract, pharynx, larynx and bronchi due to cold as well as viral contagions. Marjoram essential oil has been found to be especially effective in treating recurrent coughs and colds.
- Marjoram essential oil also helps to treat hypertension by lowering the blood pressure and, therefore, reduces the risk of brain hemorrhages, heart attacks and other similar conditions.
- Owing to its stomachic property, marjoram essential oil aids in clearing bowels by stimulating the large intestine as well as relaxing the entire excretory system. This helps to avoid indigestion as well as other stomach disorders.
- The ability of marjoram essential oil to lower blood pressure is an important attribute of this natural oil and may be a blessing for people who are faced with the risks of heart attacks and/or brain hemorrhage owing to hypertension or high blood pressure. Marjoram essential oil works by widening as well as relaxing the blood vessels which, in turn, eases the blood flow through them lowering the blood pressure.
- In addition to the above mentioned benefits offered by marjoram essential oil, its use also has a positive effect on the nervous system. This oil not only fortifies the nervous system, but also tones it up helping one to remain active. Moreover, marjoram essential oil also provides protection from various nervous disorders.
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Although marjoram essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties and it is generally known to be 'comforting' oil, certain precautions needs to be exercised while using this natural oil. Marjoram essential oil should never be used during the initial six months of pregnancy. In addition, this oil should also not be used on young and/or sensitive people for it may result in adverse after effects. As is the case with all other essential oils, consult a physician before using marjoram essential oil for any therapeutic purpose. Before beginning to use marjoram essential oil on a regular basis, it is advisable to use a small amount of the oil to test whether it causes sensitivity or results in any allergic reaction.