MARJORAM ESSENTIAL OIL (ORIGANUM MAJORANA):
Botanical Name: Origanum majorana
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Part Typically Used: Leaves and tops
Color: Yellowish in color (darkening to brown as it ages)
Perfumery Note: Middle
Strength of Initial Aroma: Spicy,woody, warm and mildly camphorus aroma.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or under shrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle-Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, and there the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used to distinguish it from other plants of the genus Origanum.
It is native to the Mediterranean region, growing naturally in both central European and North African countries. Its original name comes from a greek word meaning “joy of the mountains“.
This tender bushy perennial herb, about 60cm high, has a hairy stem, dark green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers. Originally from the Mediterranean region, the word “Origanum” is from the Greek word “orosganos” meaning “joy of the mountain” and was given to newlyweds as token of good fortune.
The whole plant is highly aromatic, exuding a pleasing peppery, warm and fresh fragrance.
Sweet marjoram is cultivated for the production of essential oil in Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Tunisia, Spain and more recently in the USA. In the south of France, harvesting usually takes place between August and September when the flowers are in full bloom. After collecting, the garbage is dried for several days and the stems removed before charging the still.
Marjoram is indigenous to Cyprus and southern Turkey, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. The Greeks associated marjoram with Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, beauty and fertility.
It was also used in marriage ceremonies as it is sacred to Venus, her son Hymen and, even more anciently, to the Earth Goddess Ge (Gaia). The modern practitioner may use Marjoram to connect with the spirits of the ancestors or to communicate with a departed loved one. Marjoram was considered a “lucky plant“, protective, spreading joy and bringing good fortune.
Marjoram spread far and wide reaching Egypt around 2000 BC, according to early records. The Egyptians dedicated marjoram to the god of the underworld, Osiris, and it was used as a funerary herb as well as to produce unguents, medicines and even love potions.
It has many chemical components, some of which are borneol, camphor and pinene.
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Marjoram essential oil is mentally strengthening and relaxing. Calms the nervous tension. Spicy scent and woody.
The Greeks and the Romans associated marjoram with transition through physical death.
Death is also a metaphor for transformation which is the key here. Therefore, those who are experiencing the opposite feelings such as disconnected, insecure, unsupported can transform those feelings with the assistance of marjoram oil.
As we release negative feelings and we become more balanced, we are able to accept and love ourselves more fully and restore our power to ourselves.
Marjoram affects the heart and solar plexus chakras.