Sweet marjoram has had a long association with love due to its perceived ability as an aphrodisiac. It has been used as ingredient in love spells since ancient times – and has appeared in wedding crowns and traditional wedding bouquets. Sweet marjoram was traditionally referred to as oregano but it shouldn’t be confused with its botanical cousin common oregano (Origanum vulgare).
On a more practical note, sweet marjoram is a herb that has found favor in both the culinary and medicinal herb garden for a number of uses. It is often used in conjunction with its Lamiaceae plant family relatives – mint, lavender, sage, oregano, and thyme.
Sweet marjoram essential oil has a warm, woody aroma with a spicy-camphoraceous note. It is usually noted as a middle note oil.
Common English Name: Marjoram (sweet).
Botanical Name: Origanum marjorana; Marjorana hortensis.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae.
Method of Extraction: Steam distillation of the plant (herb).
Origin: Indigenous to the Mediterranean region and north Africa. It is cultivated in many countries around the world with suitable growing conditions.
Plant Description: A small, annual or perennial herb. The leaves are green and oval and the flowers are small and white. It is highly aromatic.
Main Chemical Components: Terpinen-4-ol, linalyl acetate, terpinene (alcohols, esters, monoterpenes).
Uses: Promotes restful sleep, helps to relax, smells good, lubricates skin for a massage, cleanses, soothing for the soul.
Fun Fact: Sweet marjoram was a symbol of happiness to the Greeks and the Romans and it was traditionally used in bridal crowns.
Cautions for Use: Avoid during pregnancy.