As I research essential oils that are good for pain relief, Marjoram oil kept showing up. If you google Marjoram, there is this idea that Marjoram and Oregano are the same. This is confusing as to why they are labeled as two different herbs but are the same? Sally Bernstein blog article titled “Oregano….Or Is It Marjoram” clarified this confusion beautifully. In summary, all oregano is marjoram because they stem from the mint family, however, NOT all marjoram is oregano.
Marjoram comes from the genus Origanum and part of the mint family. It’s mainly made up of Terpinen-4-ol, sabinene hydrate, borneol, and γ-terpinene. A study that looked at Sweet Marjoram showed its many uses for digestion, sinus and colds, skin disorders, anti-clotting, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and rheumatic (joint related) issues. Marjoram has been named “wintersweet” or “joy of the mountains”, due to its benefits in calming the nervous system. A calm nervous system can help relax muscle tension and hence the pain relieving property. The Greeks and Romans referred Marjoram as a symbol of happiness.
In regards to joint pain and tightness, Marjoram analgesic and antispasmodic benefits can help in allowing one to move more freely. I recommend taking Marjoram for people who have pain from an overactive nervous system like stress or over-training. The saying “help the mind and the body will follow” holds true for this essential oil. An emotional and exhausted mind can impact our immune system and digestion. If the body is under a state of “fight or flight”, our body does not care about what we ate or how sick we are. The body wants to protect you at all cost. If you calm the mind, we will have more vitality. This charming property is a reason for the lowering blood pressure effect of our heart.
Terpinen-4-ol is a compound that is miticidal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effects. This compound is highly concentrated in tea tree oil, which is another oil that is popular for its wound healing and antiseptic uses. There are research studies that have demonstrated the beneficial use of this compound for skin disorders like blepharitis, rosacea, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), acne, demodicosis and chalazia. There is a 2016 study that looked at its effectiveness in dealing with certain liver cancer. Be aware that projecting cause and effect of a compound may not be accurate.
Marjoram compounds can have an adverse effect on multiple systems like the heart, ulcers, lung or urinary tract issues when used over a prolonged period of time. The relaxation effect may result in a maladaptive state to the body. I am not concerned as long as you are smart in using the oil. Marjoram is safe for short term solution until you implement a relaxation or a mindfulness program into your daily routine.
To test if you are sensitive to sweet marjoram oil, dilute the oil with coconut or jojoba oil and apply to a small area of your wrist first. I am a believer of “nothing in extreme” so even if marjoram essential oil is a “miracle” oil for you, use it sparingly to avoid a maladaptive effect.
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