Marjoram and oregano are both members of the genus Oregano in the Labiatae family. Marjoram is traditionally known as “sweet marjoram” and oregano is also known as “wild marjoram”, like cousins.
Their leaves are similar in shape and they have small, delicate flowers that bloom in many different shades, from lavender to pink or white.
In medieval Europe, both plants played an important role in life, as medicinal herbs, teas, and flavoring in recipes.
The aromas of the essential oils are slightly similar but easily distinguishable, with marjoram having a warm, mellow floral scent and oregano a robust, spicy flavor.
When it comes to skin irritation, many people have burned their skin by applying oregano directly because they take its irritating properties lightly, so it is important to dilute it heavily (1:5) when applying it to the skin. Marjoram is much milder, but should be diluted when used on children or people with sensitive skin.
Although they are close relatives, a careful comparison of their chemical composition reveals considerable differences, perhaps as a result of variety selection by essential oil manufacturers.
The main components in oregano are carvacrol and thymol, which have probably one of the strongest bactericidal powers of any essential oil component. They are all-purpose antimicrobial agents, strong against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites, and can be used as natural antibiotics.
The main ingredient of Marjoram is monoterpene alcohol, which is highly hydrophilic and skin-friendly, mild and fast metabolizing, so it is suitable for old, young, weak and sick.
In terms of efficacy, the most impressive thing about oregano is its strong anti-infective ability and its wide range of applications. When you have a cold or fever and can’t tell if it’s a viral cold or a germy cold, use oregano.
Marjoram is most widely known for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, dilating arteries, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the burden on the heart.
Of course, there are many situations where they can be substituted for each other, such as when used for pain relief and anti-spasmodic. We often encounter antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral situations where both are available, with the subtle difference that marjoram is mild and moderately effective; oregano is stimulating and powerful.
Oregano is not recommended for frequent use as daily maintenance, good steel should be used on the cutting edge, and also because carvacrol and thymol can be hepatotoxic when taken orally for long periods of time.