4 Surprising Curative Powers of Marjoram Oil

Majoram oil

In this article, you will learn about:

  1. The History of Marjoram
  2. 4 Curative Powers of Marjoram Oil
  3. Marjoram Blends

Warming and sweet, marjoram essential oil is a less frequently used oil that packs a surprising curative punch. There are actually two oils referred to as marjoram – sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) and Spanish marjoram (Thymus mastichina). Both have somewhat similar actions, though different composition, and it's sweet marjoram we'll focus on today.

History of Marjoram

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If you recall, oregano essential oil is derived from the Origanum vulgaris culinary herb. Sweet marjoram – Origanum majorana – is a close cousin. Also a culinary herb, marjoram shares similarities with oregano, but also has some marked differences.

Both plants are native to the Mediterranean, and marjoram quickly stood out for its restorative benefits. In Greek history, marjoram was a symbol of happiness, called “the joy of the mountains.” It was used in momentous ceremonies during life, such as weddings, as well as during death, such as a sign of post-life happiness when found growing on a grave. (1)

The whole herb was used extensively for healing, body pain and headache relief, and digestive relief. If each plant and oil has a theme – citrus for energy and revitalization, tea tree for microbes, peppermint for healing the gut – marjoram's is that of relief.

Because marjoram can be used as an emmenagogue, relieving painful menstrual concerns, it should not be used when pregnant. In various other stages of life, however, marjoram is a must-have for its soothing and curative effects.

4 Curative Powers of Marjoram Oil

Floral scents are some of the most surprising essential oils. We think of flower petals as fragile and weak, yet they produce some of the most powerful and reliable essential oils out there. Here are four ways marjoram oil has surprised me.

1. Pain Relief

Long known to be a pain reliever, marjoram has traditionally been a go to for muscle aches and pains or other generalized soreness. The essential oil makes this especially accessible, easily added to massages or baths, improving their already-soothing effects.

To test the oil on a more specific kind of pain, marjoram oil was added to a small blend of oils and diluted into a cream to be tested via randomized, double blind, clinical trial. The control group used a synthetic scent. When massaged onto the abdomen during a painful bout of dysmenorrhea, the analgesic effects of the oils combined together to help the test group find relief. (2)

The oils used for the trial were simply lavender, clary sage, and marjoram.

Application: Dilute into a carrier or DIY cream blend with other soothing oils, or simply dilute and use as a single. Massage onto areas experiencing pain.

2. Internal Protective

The internal effects of essential oils are of great interest for researchers, wondering just how they work and what they do after we inhale, apply, or ingest an oil. Because the research process exists in steps – from exploring the validity of an idea before even bringing it to the lab to testing in vitro in petri dishes and mice and rats to finally observing controlled groups of people.

It was an in vitro study on marjoram essential oil that found a potential for the protective benefits of the oil.

The study in question observed the effects of diluted, internal marjoram against outwardly-unseen damage inflicted by a strong medication. After 28 days, the internal system showed a great deal of improvement both restorative and protective. (3)

While marjoram isn't used extensively as an internal oil beyond culinary use, its potential protective effects can certainly be maximized when used in times of need.

Application: Use in culinary preparations and sparingly in diluted internal preparations. Work with an aromatherapist and your doctor to use marjoram oil and potentially other essential oils as a protective measure when taking potentially toxic medications, working around toxic fumes and chemicals, or other cases that put an extra load of work on the liver.

3. Cancer Preventive

This may sound like a repeat of the previous benefit, but there is a significant difference between protection from medicinal damage and protection or prevention against a specific illness. The chemopreventive potential that marjoram displays fits nicely with our understanding of other protective culinary herbs.

It makes you think – God must have made all of these herbs to taste and smell so good that we would use them to guard our bodies against harsh meals!

Marjoram joins a long line of essential oils stepping forward in the literature with promising anti-cancer results. (4) As with all cases of cancer prevention, we must realize that the research is still in development and that we can't know what hard and fast rule there is to making sure we don't get cancer.

Still, we can include them as part of our daily routines and know that we're doing all we can to make our bodies uninhabitable for cancer!

Application: A drop or two diluted and mixed into recipes for a flavorful and restorative meal.

4. Antioxidant Healer

When searching for a curative or healing essential oil, the action antioxidant is one to prioritize. The way that an antioxidant literally seeks out damaged cells for restoration is endlessly fascinating and can be incredibly curative.

Marjoram essential oil's antioxidant abilities have been studied with very promising results. In a 2011 publication, the researchers said that we can “conclude that the marjoram EO has a significant potential to be used as a natural antioxidant and anti-AChE.” (5)

That last term refers to neurotransmission linked with Alzheimer's disease – much like the benefits we see with lemon balm essential oil – and opens another group of exciting questions about marjoram for further study.

Application: Aside from the benefits of diffusion and inhalation, antioxidants are excellent skin healers. Include in DIY body care products to battle the effects of time and sun damage.

Marjoram Blends

As a floral scent, marjoram oil pairs well with citrus, mints, and just about anything you can think of. Experiment with blends like these to enjoy complementary benefits – not to mention create one of a kind aromas!

Safety & Contraindications

Are you sure you're using essential oils safely and effectively? Are you confused by dilutions and conversions?

 Let me help take out the guesswork and download my FREE roller bottle guide HERE.

Essential Oil Roller Bottle Dilution Guide

When it comes to drug interactions and contraindications, there are literally textbooks devoted to the study of essential oil safety and, as a trained researcher and doctor, I think it’s important to note that there is virtually no research out there discussing how essential oils interact with drugs in human clinical trials. This means that essential oil safety is still a wild frontier in the science community and no one really knows (for certain) how essential oils will interact with drugs or your body.

Nonetheless, properly diluting your essential oils is fundamental to safety and effectiveness because they are highly concentrated plant compounds. To help you along your journey, I have a created an easy-to-use dilution guide that you can download for FREE to make sure that all of your topical applications are safe and effective for the entire family. 

CLICK HERE to download my free EO Roller Bottle Dilution Chart! 

As with as medicine and natural therapies, this is only a guide and be sure to discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur and consult your physician immediately.


  1. https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/marwil20.html
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22435409
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24381944
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24195751
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21239482

This post currently has 9 comments.

  1. Christine
    March 10, 2017

    I read that Marjoram is helpful in lowering blood pressure. Do you have any information on this? Thank you.

    • Sandra John
      May 28, 2017

      It seems to be lowering mine. I applied Marjoram over my lungs and bronchi for a long standing cough and susceptibility to colds. It worked very well. After months of that I am clear of it. I have since begun taking it for high blood pressure. I use a breathing exercise as well but the Marjorum makes that much more effective. Medication kept my BP at c. 140 / 85 sometimes higher. With Marjoram and the breathing exercise I can very quickly reduce the pressure to 110 / 70 with a steady heart rate of c. 64. It has only been a little over a week. It might be that the Marjoram will be all I need. If anyone wants to know the breathing exercise is rhythmic, relaxed breathing at a ration of 2:4. I also use imagery but everything is working much better and lasting longer with Marjoram.

  2. Reanna
    March 6, 2017

    Hi Dr. Z, I’ve really enjoyed your articles about EO’s! Do have any insight into why this site makes this statement “Can also inhibit libido. Be careful not to overuse for it can inhibit permanently.”?

    • Dr. Z
      March 6, 2017

      It’s said to be such a powerful sedative that it can reduce sex drive, which doesn’t make sense to me because research has actually shown that marjoram oil counteracts the dangerous effects of libido-lowering ethanol.

      The jury is still out on this, and you really need to be careful what you read online. 🙂

      • Reanna
        March 19, 2017

        Thank you for your reply.

  3. Heather
    January 14, 2017

    I thought I had read that marjoram was helpful in reducing snoring but I don’t see that benefit here. I picked some up for my husband, but is there a different or better EO that will help with that?

    • Dr. Z
      February 11, 2017

      Hey Heather,

      I’ve never heard that one before. The only research study I have found about snoring and EOs doesn’t even list marjoram.

      Snoring is a tough nut to crack. Chiropractic care can help considerably plus any oil that can help promote respiratory support like peppermint, eucalyptus, and ravitsara and others.

  4. Val O
    April 25, 2016

    Love essential oils but not all are alike or safe from brand to brand. Very few brands are can be used internally or are GRAS and consumable.What essential oil company do you recommend?

    • Dr. Z
      April 27, 2016

      Hi Val,

      I agree that not all EOs are alike or safe from brand to brand, but to say that “very few” brands are safe for internal use/GRAS is somewhat of a stretch. The sure way to see is whether or not the label reads SUPPLEMENT or not. If so, it’s GRAS. Not not, then nope. There are several that are safe. 🙂


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