Diet  Nutrition  

Marjoram – All Health Benefits!

Written by M. Macdonald

Updated May 10, 2023

Have you heard about the amazing healing properties of marjoram?

In this article, we will tell you all about the benefits of marjoram and how it can improve your joints and overall health. We’ll even give you some tips and tricks on how to incorporate it into your daily routine through the use of this wonderful natural remedy.

If you’re not too familiar with marjoram, you probably know more of about its close cousin, oregano. Marjoram is native to the Mediterranean area, and has been used since 1000 A.D., by the ancient Greeks and ancient Egyptians for cooking, cleaning and disinfecting and preserving food.

It is still used today in cooking – fresh or dried – or even in teas, but it is also often found in essential oil form and is widely used in aromatherapy. Inhaling marjoram oil has been used to improve the cardiovascular system, to calm the nervous system, to treat cold symptoms, digestive problems, and much more.

Here are some of marjoram’s most notable benefits:

Pain relief: Marjoram has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and swelling in the joints caused by muscle tightness or spasms. This makes marjoram a popular natural remedy for people suffering from joint pain or arthritis, and is even used for this purpose for tension headaches.

A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine testifies on the effectiveness of Marjoram in reducing pain and anxiety in patients when administered by nurses.

Digestive health: Marjoram has been shown to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes. Just inhaling the scent of marjoram oil can stimulate the production of saliva, which produces enzymes involved in the primary digestion of foods taking place in the mouth. The digestive aid effect continues by helping food through the intestines into the bowels. Marjoram has also shown to help relieve digestive issues like nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating and cramps.

Research in the Journal of Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine showed that compounds found in Marjoram also have gastro protective and anti-inflammatory effects.

Respiratory health: Marjoram has expectorant properties that can help loosen phlegm and mucus in the respiratory system, making it useful for people suffering from coughs, colds, and other respiratory issues.

Stress relief: Marjoram has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. It is also believed to improve sleep quality and promote relaxation.

Cardiovascular and blood health: Since marjoram can calm the nervous system, it has shown to, in turn, positively impact the cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure.

Another study from Evidence Based Complement Alternative Medicine highlights the ability of marjoram and other essential oils to lower blood pressure and lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels in hypertensive individuals.

Are there any beauty benefits?

While marjoram is primarily known for its health benefits, since it is packed with antioxidants and has antiseptic properties, the essential oil can be used to help improve the appearance of skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used to promote healthy hair growth and reduce dandruff.

How to use marjoram

Marjoram can be used in several ways to reap its health benefits. Here are some of the most popular methods:

Aromatherapy: Marjoram essential oil can be used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Simply add a few drops to a diffuser or oil burner and inhale the aroma.

Topical application: Marjoram essential oil can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, and applied topically to the skin to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints.

Culinary use: Marjoram is a versatile herb that can be used to add flavour to a wide variety of dishes. Dried or fresh, you can use it to season meats, vegetables, sauces, and marinades.

Tea: Simply steep the leaves (preferably fresh to get all the goodness!) in some hot (not boiling) water for 5 minutes and drink hot or cold.

Potential side effects

Marjoram’s aromatic leaves are safe in common food amounts and are safe for the majority of adults, but could be considered unsafe if used medicinally and orally for long periods of time. It is important to be aware of potential skin irritation if applied topically. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it would be best to simply use marjoram in seasoning amounts. Children should also avoid being exposed to essential oils, as they can be very strong. If you have an allergy to oregano, basil, lavender, mint or any other member of the Lamiaceae plant family, then you might also be allergic to marjoram.
Always do a patch test before applying on larger areas, and speak with your doctor before using marjoram (especially orally) if you are concerned or suffer from any chronic diseases.

Conclusion

Marjoram is a versatile herb with several potential health benefits, particularly for people suffering from joint pain. Research studies have shown that marjoram can help reduce inflammation, improve digestive health, and promote relaxation. Whether used aromatically, topically, or in culinary applications, marjoram is a natural and safe way to improve overall health and wellness. However, it is important to be aware that there are potential side effects, even if we are dealing with natural ingredients, so speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Johnson JR, Rivard RL, Griffin KH, Kolste AK, Joswiak D, Kinney ME, Dusek JA. The effectiveness of nurse-delivered aromatherapy in an acute care setting. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Apr;25:164-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.006. Epub 2016 Mar 7. PMID: 27062964.

Bina F, Rahimi R. Sweet Marjoram: A Review of Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Biological Activities. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):175-185. doi: 10.1177/2156587216650793. Epub 2016 May 26. PMID: 27231340; PMCID: PMC5871212.

Kim IH, Kim C, Seong K, Hur MH, Lim HM, Lee MS. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:984203. doi: 10.1155/2012/984203. Epub 2012 Nov 19. PMID: 23259002; PMCID: PMC3521421.

Michalak M. Plant-Derived Antioxidants: Significance in Skin Health and the Ageing Process. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 6;23(2):585. doi: 10.3390/ijms23020585. PMID: 35054770; PMCID: PMC8776015.


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