Sweet Marjoram | The Joy Of The Mountain

Sweet Marjoram | The Joy Of The Mountain

October 18, 2017

Marjoram is one of the most commonly misrepresented essential oils in the world, not because of carelessness, but because of confusion. Today, we clear things up for you to make a case for Sweet Marjoram, and give you a brief history lesson along the way.  

Origanum vulgare. Origanum onites. Thymus mastichina. Origanum majorana. - each of these plants are considered Marjoram...confusing, eh? Very. Let’s find out what they are, shall we?

Origanum vulgare is a pretty well-known herb that’s in, well, just about every herb and spice cupboard around - its Oregano! [1]

Origanum onites, also known as Pot Marjoram, is a species of Origanum found in Sicily, Greece, and Turkey. Although it is similar in flavor to Oregano (Origanum vulgare), it’s essential oil is distinctive from all other essential oils from this class. [2]

Thymus mastichina, known by many as Spanish Marjoram, is actually from the family of plants that also contains the household herb, Thyme! [3]

Finally, our star of the show, Origanum majorana, is also known by the masses as Sweet Marjoram, and is the subject of today’s blog. [4] The original translation of the name came from a Turkish background, and means “The Joy Of The Mountain” - pretty cool! Let’s dive into the history of Origanum majorana, and see what it's all about!

Marjoram was first cultivated in Southern Turkey, and was used as an herb for religious practices as well as cooking. During the time of the Greeks and the Romans, both cultures held Marjoram as a symbol of happiness. Greek Apothecaries from that time were also known to use Marjoram as an antidote for poison, as well as an inclusion in many remedies and medicines. In Egypt, Marjoram had many of the same uses, however, it was also used as an antidepressant, for it was believed to assist people in the process of grieving [5]. Ultimately, its uses varied between cultures, other than one common trait. It was used across all cultures as a means of improving the moods of those who were using it by sedating the negative energy they were carrying around.

In today’s world, where aromatics and holistic medicine are more popular than ever before, Marjoram oil is one of the more widely used oils, much for the same purpose it once carried. It’s popularity comes from its properties as an analgesic, expectorant, and sedative, while also being a powerful digestive and antiseptic! Because of its many uses, Marjoram is now cultivated all over the world, including the United States, even though it’s not a native species. In order to harvest the powerful essential oil from Marjoram, farmers and cultivators remove the flowering tops of the bulbs from the plant and steam-distill them! [6]

Ultimately, it’s the capability of Marjoram to assist in mood lifting, and its strength in fighting chest-congestion and bacteria that makes for such an incredible essential oil. Few oils have as extensive a list of beneficial properties as Marjoram does, so next time you’re making a Mix Your Mood®, try adding Sweet Marjoram! You’ll be happy you did!


[1] “Oregano.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Oct. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano.

[2] “Origanum Onites.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origanum_onites.

[3] “Thymus Mastichina.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_mastichina.

[4] “Marjoram.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Oct. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjoram.

[5] Lyth, Geoff. “Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil.” Quinessence, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., 28 Sept. 2016, www.quinessence.com/blog/sweet-marjoram-essential-oil.

[6] Falsetto, Sharon. “Marjoram Essential Oil Profile.” Aromatherapy Library, 2010, www.aromatherapylibrary.com/marjoramessentialoilprofile.html.

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