Marjoram oil: Uses, Health Benefits, and Side effects

Introduction

Marjoram oil is extracted by steam distillation of marjoram plant (Origanum majorana), of family Lamiaceae. Uses and benefits of marjoram oil are treats hypertension, male infertility and helps in good sleep.

Common name

Sweet marjoram

Uses of Marjoram oil

Marjoram oil is widely utilized in the preparation of a variety of edibles like soups, pizza, meat, and sauces. This oil is used in the food industry as flavoring and beverages. Marjoram oil is also used as a perfume. Pharmacologically marjoram oil is useful to cure various diseases such as cough, chronic cold, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, and skin problems.

Geographic Distribution

Marjoram is native to the Mediterranean region and commonly cultivated in  Asia, North Africa, and Europe, for example, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Egypt, Poland, and France. 

Constituents of Marjoram oil

Marjoram oil contains monoterpene hydrocarbons, including α and β-pinene, camphene, sabinene, α- and β- phellandrene, ρ-cymene, limonene, β-ocimene, γ-terpinene, terpinolene, α-terpinene, carvone, and citronellol.

This oil is also a rich source of phenolic components like rosmarinic acid, sinapic acid, vanillic acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, syringic acid, p– and m-hydroxybenzoic acid, and coumaric acid (1).

Health benefits of Marjoram oil

Marjoram oil exhibit a wide range of biological activities, such as antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, cytotoxic and anti-acetylcholinesterase properties some of these are as follows (2)

1. Marjoram oil prevents kidney damage and liver toxicity

Antioxidants in marjoram oil remove harmful radicals from the body. It also prevents lipid peroxidation and detoxify the liver, therefore, protect against oxidative damage and hepatotoxicity (3). Furthermore, marjoram oil also prevent kidney cell damage induced by lead toxicity (4).

2. Massage with marjoram treats hypertension

Marjoram oil is beneficial to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate by relaxing the nervous system. Aromatherapy massage with marjoram oil also relaxes and calms the emotions (6).

3. Marjoram oil helps better sleep

A combination of marjoram oil (2%) and almond oil (5 ml) massage is very effective to improve sleep quality. As the oil contains 

  1. Linalyl acetate is known for its calming effect.
  2. Linalool stables the cardiovascular system and relaxes the body. 
  3. Monoterpenes which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  4. Terpinen-4-ol helps in dilating blood vessels and regulate the nervous system) (5).

4. Antimicrobial properties of Marjoram oil

Marjoram oil contains antimicrobial compounds like 1,8-Cineole, linalool. It inhibits the growth of various bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae , Bacillus cereus, B subtilis, Salmonella poona, Beneckea natriegens, Erwinia carotovora, and Moraxella. It also protects against fungus Phytophthora infestans, Aspergillus niger and yeast Candida albicans (7, 8).

5. Aromatherapy massage of marjoram oil treats anxiety and fatigue

Marjoram oil aromatherapy massage contains various natural bioactive compounds that reduce anxiety and stress, and beneficial to the immune system by increasing peripheral blood lymphocytes (9).

6. Anti-ulcer properties of Marjoram oil

Tannins, flavonoids, and sterols in marjoram oil (250-500 mg/kg) protect the gastric mucosa against ulcers by reduction on gastric mucous or decrease basal gastric acid secretion and maintain acid output (10).

7. Marjoram oil helps in improving sperm count

Antioxidants like phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids rich marjoram oil is very useful to improve sperm count, treat impaired sperm motility and increase serum testosterone level. Moreover, this oil also minimizes the hazard effects of ethanol toxicity on liver and brain tissues (11).  

8. Insecticidal properties of Marjoram oil

It contains a good amount of thymol, alpha-terpineol, alpha-thujone, linalool, cineole, camphor, and carvone, which show insecticide effect against german cockroaches thus useful as a potential fumigants or leads for the control of insects (12).

9. Reduce joint and muscle pain

Essential oils such as marjoram, black pepper, lavender, and peppermint oil in combination may be useful to reduce pain in muscles and joints (13).

10. Antiviral properties of marjoram oil

Linalool found in marjoram oil shows antiviral effects against the influenza A/WS/33 virus (14).

11. Treat male infertility by keeping an eye on obesity

Obesity is the leading cause of male infertility. Marjoram oil (0.16 ml/kg b.wt) prevents degenerative changes in the seminiferous tubules and reduction of spermatogenic cells by reduced testicular lipid accumulation. It also improves androgens, sperm count and testicular structure. This oil enhances metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight (15).

12. Marjoram oil helps in the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea

Alpha- terpineol, L-terpinen-4-ol, and Beta.-linalool found in marjoram oil show wonderful effect on intestinal relaxation. Thus useful to treat infantile colic and abdominal discomfort like acute infectious diarrhea (16).

13. Anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of Marjoram oil

Sabinene hydrate and terpineol obtained from marjoram oil are beneficial to treat inflammation and show cytotoxic effects against different cancer cells (17).

Marjoram tea

Marjoram tea made from leaves and flowers of marjoram plants shows wonderful effect on improving insulin sensitivity and reduce the levels of adrenal androgens. This tea is also useful to balance hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle thus treat infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome in women (18).

Side effect of Marjoram oil

Marjoram oil has no side effects as no clinical studies have been reported. Therefore it is safe to use but lactating and pregnant women should avoid this oil because no one really knows its long-term effects on a person’s health (19).

Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21239482/
  2.   https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09540105.2017.1332010
  3.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3870102/
  4.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16176560
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518528/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23431338
  7.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435909/
  8.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6539362/
  9.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142199/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19606513
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17910615
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190647
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6296812/
  15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2314808X15000378#bib11
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205180
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871212/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25662759
  19.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11950176/

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