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Marjoram (Origanummajorana)

Marjoram - Herb

Marjoram, also known as sweet marjoram, is an aromatic herb in the mint family that has been grown in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Western Asia for thousands of years. While similar to oregano, it has a milder flavor and is often used to garnish salads, soups, and meat dishes.It’s particularly potent when dried but can also be used fresh.What’s more, marjoram has been shown to have several anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It has been used medicinally to help treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, infections, and painful menstruation.Fresh or dried leaves can be made into a tea or extract. Both forms can be found in health food stores or online.

Health and medicinal benefits

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.Several compounds in marjoram, such as carvacrol, have been shown to have antioxidant effects.In particular, they may help reduce inflammation in your body.While inflammation is a normal bodily response, chronic inflammation can increase your risk of certain diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. Thus, reducing inflammation may lower your risk.

May have antimicrobial activity

Marjoram has also demonstrated antimicrobial properties.Common uses include applying its diluted essential oil to your skin to treat fungal infections, as well as taking supplements to help treat overgrowth of gut bacteria.However, more research is needed on these particular uses.What’s more, this herb is utilized as a natural pesticide for various food crops.

May alleviate digestive issues

Marjoram has historically been used to prevent digestive issues like stomach ulcers and certain foodborne illnesses.A study of six herbs revealed that marjoram fought against Clostridium perfringens, a common foodborne pathogen.In addition, a rat study noted that its extract protected against stomach ulcers.Still, human studies are needed.

May help regulate your menstrual cycle and hormones

Marjoram has been shown to stimulate menstrual flow.Its extract or tea may help regulate your menstrual cycle, as well as restore hormone balance in non-pregnant women with an irregular cycle. It may also help treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder with symptoms like irregular periods and acne. A study in 25 women with PCOS found that marjoram tea improved their hormonal profiles and insulin sensitivity.To avoid risks, check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements to aid menstruation.Marjoram is linked to several benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved digestive health, and menstrual regulation.

Possible side effects

Marjoram may have several side effects.As such, you should use caution when supplementing.

Pregnancy complications

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid marjoram supplements.Due to its influence on various reproductive hormones and menstruation, this herb may trigger negative side effects during pregnancy.

May affect blood clotting

Marjoram supplements may inhibit blood clotting.One study analyzing 20 herbs determined that marjoram impeded platelet formation, which is a key factor in blood clotting.This may be especially concerning for anyone taking blood thinners.

May interact with certain medications

Marjoram may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and anticoagulants, to increase your risk of bleeding.It may also interact with some diabetes medications by lowering blood sugar, potentially resulting in dangerously low levels. If you have diabetes, consult your healthcare practitioner before taking marjoram.While generally regarded as safe, marjoram can cause side effects and should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Those on certain medications may want to consult their medical provider before taking it. 

Marjoram Has Antiseptic Properties

Marjoram, along with similar herbs like oregano, is known for its cleansing properties. Folk medicine practitioners have long used marjoram to treat both external and internal wounds, to help prevent conditions such as sepsis. Some creams and ointments contain essential oil from marjoram for this reason. Using this herb to treat wounds may also guard against tetanus.

Combats Viruses and Other Illnesses

Many viruses cause conditions like the flu and common cold. According to researchers, marjoram contains antiviral properties that can help protect against these and other viruses and illnesses such as the measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Additionally, when suffering from conditions like a cold or bronchitis that affect the respiratory system, marjoram can effectively alleviate congestion of the nasal passages, larynx, and lungs.

Fights Bacterial Infections

Just as marjoram combats viruses, it can also be used to fight bacterial infections like food poisoning and malaria. Since ancient times, remedies designed to alleviate bacterial infections of the skin, urinary tract, and digestive system contained marjoram. There is also evidence to suggest marjoram’s antibacterial properties may help combat candida and even typhoid.

Reduces Pain

When taken as an essential oil, marjoram effectively manages some types of pain. Moreover, because it has no adverse side effects at the usual dosage, it’s a popular alternative to many over-the-counter drugs for alleviating pain from sore muscles, inflammation, and headaches. Some people even find marjoram oil is helpful for reducing toothache pain. Women who suffer from menstrual cramps may wish to include more marjoram in their diet to help temper this type of pain.

Improves Digestion

Periodic indigestion is a common complaint. A diet rich in marjoram may help prevent bouts of indigestion or soothe the digestive tract when they occur. Marjoram stimulates digestive juices, making them available to break down foods sitting in the stomach. In addition, marjoram helps move food through the intestines to promote better regularity. People in search of a natural remedy for digestive complaints like indigestion may find relief by adding marjoram to their diet.

Promotes Urination

Frequent urination enables us to rid our bodies of unwanted uric acid, excess water, sodium, and various toxic substances. The longer toxic substances remain in the body, the greater the risk that they will do damage. Although it’s not advisable to urinate so frequently that it leads to dehydration, it’s a good practice to keep hydrated enough to keep the kidneys clean. According to researchers, increased urination may also help reduce fat and lower blood pressure. People who take marjoram to increase urination should increase their water intake in order to prevent dehydration.

Combats Fungal Infections

Marjoram contains antifungal properties that support skin health and help combat fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Many people use natural ointments containing marjoram and oregano to treat funguses of the finger and toenails, too. By inhibiting growth, antifungal herbs encourage healing. Some practitioners state marjoram can also treat conditions like dysentery that develop from various pathogens including fungal infections.

Reduces the Risk for Cardiovascular Health Emergencies

There is evidence that marjoram can help reduce the risk for stroke, heart attack, and hemorrhage in the brain. The herb acts as a vasodilator, both relaxing and widening the blood vessels. This, in turn, allows blood to flow more smoothly, lessens any strain on the circulatory system, and reduces blood pressure. Dieticians often recommend people with conditions like atherosclerosis include more marjoram in their diets.

Supports Cognitive Function

In addition to all its hard work in the body, marjoram may benefit the brain. Marjoram is extremely rich in vitamin K. This vitamin is currently part of treatments for alleviating or slowing the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, by helping prevent neuronal damage. While there is no cure currently for Alzheimer’s, vitamin K shows promise in its ability to protect neurons in the brain.

Stress Relief

Marjoram boasts soothing and natural sedative properties that can help to calm individuals suffering from mild anxiety. Many people deal with chronic stress that can lead to more serious conditions like anxiety and depression. Managing stress effectively may help reduce the risk of these issues. Marjoram is able to calm the nervous system could help alleviate these problems before they become more serious.

If you are going to use Marjoram to treat an existing health condition please consult with your healthcare provider first.