Grows principally in Mediterranean countries such as Egypt, France and Spain as well as parts of North Africa.
The oil is obtained by steam distillation of the cleaned leaves.
Marjoram is a perennial herb which is sensitive to the cold and so grows best in warm, temperate regions. The plant is harvested between March and July in Egypt and between September and November in France. They are often harvested 2-3 times in each season. The first harvest is done as the plant flowers, leaving around 6cm in the ground so the plant can re-establish itself in time for the next harvest. The leaves are then left to dry, either in the sun or in bespoke drying sheds.
Analgesic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, relaxing, sedative, tonic, nervine, laxative, vulnerary, vasodilatory, warming & hypotensive.
Marjoram is most commonly used in aromatherapy for its warming properties. In massage it gives a feeling of warmth to the skin as it dilates the capillaries just under the skin. This makes it a common ingredient in massage blends for loosening tight and painful muscles especially after tough physical activity. It's also used in massage blends to reduce the pain of arthritis and rheumatism as the warming effect can often enable joints that have stiffened up to loosen again and so enable gentle exercise etc.
When burned, vaporised or used in a steam inhalation Marjoram is often recommended for helping to clear a congested chest. It's especially effective in cases of Asthma, bronchitis and colds - it's regarded as perhaps the best essential oil for asthma. A hot bath with a few drops of Marjoram can be very beneficial to those suffering a heavy cold. It's even thought to help with a tickly cough when gently massaged around the throat and neck.
Burning or vaporising the oil is also used as a good way to calm a busy mind, soothe and relax those with high tension or hyperactivity and generally bring about a feeling of well-being and happiness. People who are lonely or grief-stricken will often have Marjoram recommended to them.
Organic version also available.
You may find that Marjoram blends especially well with lavender, cypress, cedarwood, chamomile, bergamot, eucalyptus and tea tree.