Edition 70: August 2014
Essential Oil of the month
Oil quells excessive sexual impulses
MARJORAM might be known as a traditional Italian herb, but it is more likely that use of the herb originated in Greece.
Ancients Greeks used it in fragrances and cosmetics and made an ointment of marjoram to strengthen the nerves.
They let their cattle graze on fields of the herb, to produce tastier meat.
The Latin name Origanum comes from the Greek, meaning ‘joy of the mountain’ and both the ancient Greeks and Romans would crown bridal couples with wreaths of marjoram to symbolise love, honor and happiness.
Marjoram has a long traditional history for its culinary use and is well known as a traditional Italian pizza herb.
In the 16th Century, it was strewn on the floor and added to nosegays to mask unpleasant smells.
For medicinal purposes, marjoram was a remedy to aid digestion and used as a steam inhalant to clear the sinuses and relieve laryngitis.
European singers preserved their voices with marjoram tea sweetened with honey while others used it blended with snuff.
Sweet oil eases muscular aches
Marjoram oil has excellent analgesic properties and is indicated for pain associated with cold, inflammation, over-exertion of muscles and headache.
It is a good muscle relaxant with naturally warming action, which makes it very useful for easing rheumatic pains as well as sprains, strains and swollen joints.
Massage into painful muscles and tense neck muscles; for this purpose, it can be included in massage-type blends at a 5 per cent concentration and applied as frequently as desired.
Being such a warming oil it helps to counter chilblains. In fact it improves circulation and warms up the whole body.
Anti-spasmodic by nature, marjoram relieves spasms in the respiratory system and intestines.
For muscular spasms in the limbs, such as muscle pulls or cramps, it improves lymph flow to the spasming muscles.
For those who do bodybuilding, marjoram assists in countering lactic acid in over-pumped muscles in the shoulder area. Stiffness and lower back pain may also be assuaged; so use marjoram oil in after-sports rubs.
What’s an anaphrodisiac?
It is paradoxical that marjoram is assigned to Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and desire, when it’s oil is an anaphrodisiac - a substance that reduces sexual desire!
Perhaps this is because it reduces hypersensitivity. Nonetheless marjoram is indicated for when you need a cuddle, not sex.
For times of sexual abstinence or for those who are suffering from abnormal and extreme sexual urges this can be a helpful property.
Male sexual organs are very sensitive to marjoram, so be mindful and where and how it is used.
The antiseptic properties of marjoram oil make it a suitable application for external wounds as well as an effective ingredient of anti septic lotions and creams.
Marjoram oil’s star quality is that it effectively kills bacteria.
It can protect you from food poisoning, typhoid, malaria, colic, bacterial infections in colon, digestive system, urinary tract and other parts of the excretory system and on skin.
It can even be used to preserve foods or cosmetics.
The stomach loves marjoram; it facilitates healthy digestion, stimulating the secretion of gastric juices, acids and bile.
Its aroma alone stimulates the salivary glands, assisting in the primary digestion of the food in the mouth.
Constipation is relieved as it further stimulates peristaltic movement of the intestines and bowels.
Carminative in action, marjoram oil prompts safe downward passage of trapped gases in the digestive tract, relaxing the muscles in the abdominal region to ease indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomachache, and flatulence.
Marjoram oil is a vasodilator, which helps to lower blood pressure, relaxing the blood vessels and easing the flow of blood.
Its natural diuretic activity increases urination, prompting the removal of toxins, sodium salts and excess water from the body.
Fever may also be reduced by marjoram oil as it promotes perspiration and further toxin elimination.
Women suffering from irregular or painful menstruation can find relief with the emmenagogic property of marjoram oil.
It tends to relax cramping pains and menstrual aches, along with other associated symptoms such as headache and dizziness; and untimely menopause can be prevented.
Marjoram oil, with its expectorant action, has a beneficial action on colds, sinusitis and bronchitis.
Congestion of the nasal tract, pharynx, bronchi and lungs due to cold and viral infection are greatly relieved.
It is one of the best essential oils for a nervous cough and asthma, particularly where there is white or clear catarrh.
Marjoram is considered a fine anti-fungal agent inhibiting fungal growth externally and may be used for massage in the case of internal fungal infections such as dysentery.
An effective vulnerary, marjoram promotes the healing of wounds, protecting them from infections while helping disperse bruises. It is said to be effective on tick bites.
Potent nerve tonic
As a general sedative, marjoram oil is used for headaches, migraines and insomnia as it induces a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and the body.
A potent nerve tonic, marjoram strengthens the nervous system, relieving stress.
This oil is suitable for both chronic lethargy and nervous exhaustion, especially for conditions in which tiredness alternates with tension, or is characterised by anxiety.
The brain enjoys nice cephalic action from marjoram oil, keeping it healthy and active and protecting it from dullness with a regulating effect on the intellect.
The oil works well with hyperactive people and in cases of anger and it can pacify people suffering from shock or setback in life.
Should you find yourself falling apart and need a little help getting through an extremely stressful period, include marjoram in a blend, but do not extend this usage to beyond three or four weeks as it could create an emotional numbness.
Marjoram is associated primarily with the earth element, because of its nourishing and balancing quality.
When one feels emotional deprivation and feelings of being denied warmth, affection (either real or imagined) and that no one cares; marjoram oil addresses each aspect of this bleak psychological outlook.
Calms obsessive craving for attention
It calms the obsessive craving for healing or attention that is external from the Self and nourishes the place where this neediness arises bringing internal validation.
Marjoram recalls the joyful feelings of youth and it also stimulates the recollection of many other types of memories.
When the recollection of some experiences is attached to immense fear, marjoram brings security and in this way is of service when recovering memories of abuse.
Such people become emotionally detached and can develop a cold or aloof attitude; marjoram helps such people learn how to emotionally interact.
It releases them from the state of separation and feeling a victim.
Marjoram was a sacred plant to Shiva Vishnu in India and it stimulates memories of past lives or the collective consciousness of India.
When is it marjoram, oregano or thyme?
Marjoram oil is often confused with oregano oil, which produces a reddish essential oil similar to thymus vulgaris.
All plants called marjoram are in the oregano group, but not all oreganos are marjoram.
The genus name for both is origanum. In the past marjoram used to have its own genus. Now oregano is the genus and marjoram, or sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) is only one variety of over fifty types of the genus oregano.
Pot marjoram (Origanum onites) is another species, but even this causes confusion, sometimes being called Cretan oregano in relation to its place of origin.
In Spain, there is Thymus nummularius, and in Mexico, there is Lippia graveolens; both sold and used in place of oregano.
One last example of how it all is jumbled: Origanum vulgare, or what is taken for common oregano, is also known as wild marjoram or thyme.
Tinderbox sells 15mL pure essential oils of Marjoram (Oreganum marjorana), Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and Thyme (Thymus vulgaris).
Botanical name: Origanum majorana (an alternative botanical name is Marjorana hortensis)
Common name: Sweet marjoram
The Plant: This small, aromatic perennial herb, about 60cm high, has a hairy stem, dark green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers. A native of the Mediterranean region, it also grows naturally in both central European and North African countries, and much of its essential oil is obtained from France and Egypt.
Scent: Marjoram oil has a warm, woody and slightly spicy scent with penetrating camphorous notes not dissimilar to tea tree. The oil is colourless to pale yellow/amber in colour. This essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of fresh and dried leaves and flowering tops of the Marjoram plant and yields 0.5 - 3 per cent.
Blends well with: lavender, rosemary, mandarin, cypress, cedar wood, chamomile, bergamot, eucalyptus and tea tree.
Therapeutic Properties: Analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anaphrodisiac, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, carminative, cephalic, cordial, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, hypotensive, laxative, nervine, sedative, stomachic, vasodilator and vulnerary.
Marjoram Essential Oil is in: Sleep Pillow. The dry herb is used in the following products: Paprika & Marjoram Herbal Blend, Basil & Oregano Herbal Blend, Classic Mixed Herbs, Herbal Stock and Herbal Sprinkle.
Precautions: Marjoram oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, however it should not be used during pregnancy. Prolonged use may cause drowsiness.