The alternative name for oregano is wild marjoram so confusion often abounds between marjoram (Origanum marjorana) and oregano itself (Origanum vulgare). Although both plants belong to the same botanical family, they are chemically different as an essential oil. Oregano essential oil is a more potent version than the herb itself so caution should always be used when utilizing this particular essential oil. However, it has a spicy, warming, if somewhat camphoraceous, aroma making it an appealing middle note oil.
Common English Name: Oregano.
Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae.
Method of Extraction: Steam distillation of the flowering herb.
Origin: Indigenous to Europe but now freely cultivated in many other countries of the world.
Plant Description: A small, perennial herb with green, ovate leaves and purple-pink flowers. It has strongly aromatic leaves and is a common member of the herb garden.
Main Chemical Components: Phenols (cavacrol).
Uses: Lubricates skin for a massage.
Fun Fact: Oregano is a popular culinary spice.
Cautions for Use: Avoid during pregnancy. Possible skin irritant.