Sweet marjoram essential oil (Origanum majorana) is quite underrated. Of course, this herb has been used for centuries for medicinal and culinary purposes. As I came to love this beautiful herbaceous oil, I realised just how useful it is in aromatherapy.
The origins of Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
The name ‘origanum’ comes from the Greek ‘oros’ and ‘ganos’, meaning splendid or joy. Marjoram was known as a symbol of happiness to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The herb was planted on graves to bring spiritual peace to the dead. Marjoram is balancing to the body and the mind, so the aroma of the herb probably comforted those at the graveside, too.
To make the essential oil, the leaves, and sometimes the flowers too, are steam distilled. The plant is sourced from France, Spain, and South Africa.
Uses for Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
The many monoterpenes (such as α-terpinene) and monoterpenols (including terpinene-4-ol) lead marjoram essential oil to have antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects for therapeutic use. Linalyl acetate is another chemical component (also found in lavender and bergamot) that adds to these actions, as well as bringing a calming nature. The balance of these components leads marjoram to be an excellent choice for tummy cramps due to either digestive upsets or period pain. The oil can be used to strengthen the nervous system and is a great choice if you need to find some self-assurance. Diffuse marjoram or use in a topical blend for this support.
The aroma of Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
Marjoram essential oil smells herbaceous and sweet, woody and warm. This warm nature will bring warmth to your body and soul, too. The oil combines well with other herbaceous oils, in particular, lavender and clary sage; this is likely due to the linalyl acetate that they have in common. My favourite blend with marjoram includes orange and the essential oil of fragonia – it is very uplifting to spirit. The oil also blends nicely with the floral scents of rose and neroli, strengthening the heart chakra.