Marjoram: Contraindications, Properties And Benefits

What is marjoram?

Marjoram is a very lively, melliferous shrub herb, belonging to the Lamiaceae family, perennial, it has an intense and pleasant aroma, it has been considered a variety of oregano, but botanical studies have shown that despite belonging to the same genus (origanum), is a distinct species.

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Origin of marjoram

The marjoram plant has its origin in the Mediterranean region and in East Asia, from where its cultivation has spread, especially in Spain.

History of marjoram

Marjoram is said to be a plant known to the Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks.

In Greek mythology it is described that it was Aphrodite’s favorite plant, because she used it in her love potions.

For the Greeks it represented happiness, so in ceremonies they offered bouquets of marjoram.

This tradition reached the Middle Ages due to the fact that garlands were made with this plant and they were given to future wives.

On the other hand, for the Egyptians it perfumed and disinfected the environment.

Marjoram characteristics

Among the main characteristics of the marjoram plant are:

It has a woody stem at the base and herbaceous at the tips, the leaves are oval and whitish-green in color; The flowers are small and grow in the shape of a bouquet, usually white in color and sometimes tend to be pink in color, and are highly aromatic. The fruit is a quadrangular achene, which inside, preserves the seeds (four for each fruit).

This marjoram plant is characterized by having essential oils throughout the plant.

It has a very pleasant, bitter and warm aroma, with reference to pine and the citrus smell; it can measure up to 60 centimeters in height.

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Scientific name of marjoram

The marjoram plant has the scientific name ” Origanum Mejorana”, which comes from the Greek origanon, origanos and possibly the ancient Greek gold, which indicates mountains and ganos beauty, brightness; and majorana comes from the French majorane. It is also known by the name of mayorana.

Chemical composition of marjoram

The marjoram plant has tannic substances (astringent), pentonases and bitter principles, terpinen-4-ol (asthma treatment), resin, flavonoids, phenolic acids, rosmainic, caffeic, derivatives of apiphenol, chlorogenic, ursolic acid, minerals, beta-carotenes and vitamin “C”; the main substance is the aromatic essence, yellow in color composed of terpenes, terpinene and origanol (around 40%), sabinene and sesquiterpenes in small quantities.

Active ingredient of marjoram

As active principles, marjoram has within its composition essential oils rich in terpinol, abundant thymol, carvacrol and terpenic hydrocarbons (which give it odor).

Marjoram cultivation

he improvement plant, thanks to its culinary uses, is mainly cultivated in European areas, preferably in sunny and dry areas; It can be found cultivated along roadsides and unplowed spaces, because it needs few nutrients.

Its soil needs are very few, so its growth is stronger limestone soils; it does not support freezing temperatures well. So it is advisable to sow it in early spring in cold climates.

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Uses and benefits of marjoram

Among the uses and benefits that are given to marjoram is that it acts against biliary, intestinal and gastric disorders, as well as to treat cases of anorexia, dyspepsia, diarrhea and flatulence, acting as an antispasmodic, because it reduces the acid secretions of the stomach.

Topically, it was used for conditions such as dislocations, ulcers, healing and cleaning wounds, to relieve coughs and colds, antimicrobial and antiseptic because it acts against pimples that appear on the skin.

As an infusion for nervous disorders, chlorosis (decreased iron in red blood cells), gastric spasms, fevers, gingivitis and stomatitis

In massages, marjoram relieves rheumatic pain; Due to its ursolic acid content (antitumor action), it is perfect for treating liver diseases.

It is used for the skin

For its more than 22 antioxidant components, as well as minerals, vitamins, aromatic compounds, marjoram helps to delay skin aging and improve its health and appearance; Thanks to its rosmarinic acid content, it is used to lighten dark circles.

It is good against snoring

Marjoram, in its by-product such as oil, helps to eliminate snoring, because it favors the respiratory system and calms the larynx, the aroma penetrates the body, toning and relaxing the respiratory tract.

Used in weight loss diets

Marjoram has digestive properties, which facilitate better digestion of food, as well as eliminating gas, as well as tones the stomach.

So it is an important supplement when dieting to lose weight.

How is marjoram oil extracted?

Marjoram oil is obtained through the process of steam distillation, with this technique we seek to separate insoluble and volatile substances, which in this case is oil, from non-volatile ones, and thus obtain the substance in its pure state.

Pregnancy and marjoram

During pregnancy the use of marjoram is not recommended, because it has emmenagogue properties and can cause bleeding, which leads to the loss of the baby.

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Can it be used while breastfeeding? Why?

There is no research that supports the benefits of marjoram during the lactation process, therefore it is recommended to avoid treatments with this plant during this period.

Marjoram and allergies

When the person has allergic diagnoses, the use of marjoram is not recommended, because it could aggravate the condition.

However, thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it helps fight respiratory diseases, flu, bronchitis, asthma and cough, which can cause some type of allergies, and with the use of marjoram, the condition will improve.

How does marjoram for babies benefit them?

In the case of babies, under 6 years of age, the use of marjoram is not recommended, because its action is not proven.

In the case of children over 6 years of age, if it can be used to treat colic, crush two marjoram leaves and mix with a vegetable oil and smear it on the child’s stomach, it will favor the required relief.

Infusions of marjoram, what are they for?

Marjoram infusions are beneficial for bronchial and respiratory problems, they are boiled in two measures of water, the leaves and flowers for 5 minutes, left to rest and 2 tablespoons of honey are placed. This infusion is taken 2 times a day.

Likewise, marjoram infusions are used to treat stress problems, insomnia, digestive problems or stomach pain, and menstrual pain.

Marjoram and cancer, how does it help?

One of its components, ursolic acid, has given it anticancer effects through metabolic pathways, because it inhibits cyclooxygenase, 5-lipoxygenase and leukocyte elastase present in humans; its use is through sun creams.

However, it is said that long-term use of marjoram could affect cancer cells and create cancer; Therefore, it is not recommended to exceed the recommended indications (more than 15 days of use).

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Marjoram and aromatherapy

An oil is extracted from the marjoram plant, which is widely used in aromatherapy, through diffusers or incense, because they produce a calming effect, control stress and help combat different nervous disorders such as: breathing difficulties, asthma nervous, tachycardia, insomnia, depression, irritability and even stomach pains caused by nerves.

Cosmetic uses of marjoram

Among the properties of marjoram, it stands out as an antiseptic because it helps prevent wounds from becoming infected, as well as helps eliminate pimples that appear on the skin, acts as a skin lightener in case of spots.

Medicinal uses of marjoram

Thanks to its properties, the medicinal uses of marjoram can be summarized as follows:

  • Relieves muscle aches, associated with fevers and headaches.
  • It favors the cardiovascular system, helps reduce blood pressure levels, preventing hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
  • It works against digestive problems, improving digestion, controlling flatulence, diarrhea, constipation.
  • It is used in treatments for coughs, nasal congestion, earaches and sore throats.
  • Antidiabetic, because it helps reduce the absorption of carbohydrates, through the enzyme alpha-glucosidase.
  • Helps against urinary infections.

Esoteric uses of marjoram

  • Marjoram has been used in esotericism, because in ancient times it was used in love rituals.
  • However, it is attributed properties of protection against evil, in love it increases feelings and attraction towards that person.
  • Provides protection to the home, hanging some branches on the door of the house.
  • It is used to cure depression.
  • Combined with other plants, it helps attract money.

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Marjoram in gastronomy

As well as providing great health benefits, marjoram is a good companion in gastronomy, among the uses are:

  • The leaves and flowers are popular in meat dishes, soups, sauces, pasta, and for flavoring oils and vinegars, within Greek and Italian cuisine.
  • Due to its great aroma, similar to that of thyme, to give flavor it can be rubbed on meat chops, before roasting them.
  • It is an excellent herb to prepare pickles.
  • Fresh or dry, it is a great ingredient for pizzas and pastas.
  • Fresh marjoram along with basil, chopped and sprinkled, makes an excellent tomato salad.
  • Marjoram with apple jelly is a good companion for meats, hot or cold.
  • Its fresh leaves, chopped added to stuffings and sausages, or dried, to dumplings served with lamb.
  • Butter with marjoram for chicken sandwiches, or with roasted potatoes.

Marjoram and oregano differences

The differences based on which marjoram can be distinguished from oregano are detailed:

  • Aroma: marjoram is more aromatic, while oregano is more lemony.
  • Type of leaves: it is true that at first glance they are similar, however, the oregano is rounded, but with the sharper tip, the marjoram is rounded.
  • Flowers: those of marjoram are small inflorescences grouped in the shape of an ear, those of oregano in the form of a bouquet.

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Contraindications and risks of marjoram

  • People who are allergic to plants of the Lamiaceae family (thyme, rosemary, oregano), should avoid the use of marjoram, because it can aggravate the condition.
  • It is not recommended during pregnancy because it can cause bleeding; nor during the lactation period.
  • Children under 12 years of age are not recommended to use it, as it may be allergic.
  • Patients with symptoms of ulcers, irritable colon, gastritis, should not use it due to an adverse reaction.
  • People with sensitive skin can cause contact dermatitis.

Marjoram toxicity

Marjoram is not a toxic plant, if it is used in the recommended doses, it does not cause negative effects either.

However, there is no exemption for adverse effects and contraindications.

Glycemic index

Marjoram has 4.1 g of sugars per 100g.

Marjoram technical sheet

  • Common name:  Marjoram
  • Scientific name:  Origanon Majorana
  • Origin:  Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Composition:  Tannic substances, pentonases and bitter principles, minerals, the main substance is the aromatic essence, greenish-yellow in color composed of terpenes, terpinene and origanol (about 40%), sabinene and sesquiterpenes in small quantities.
  • Properties:  Antidiabetic, digestive, soothing, antibacterial, cardiovascular system, relieves pain, antiseptic, for urinary infections, respiratory diseases, antioxidant.
  • Contraindications:  It is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women; Children under 12 years of age, people with ulcer problems, gastritis.
  • Toxicity: It does  not present toxicity, nor does it produce negative effects.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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