Arthritis is a condition which causes joint inflammation which leads to excruciating pain in the joints, swelling, redness, and stiffness.
Current therapies allow arthritis patients to almost have a quite effective lifestyle.
Arthritis can be of many different types namely, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis etc.
Each of these differs with the type of mechanism that ultimately leads to joint inflammation.
It can sometimes affect different organs like heart, skin or eyes too.
Managing arthritis can be done by taking medications, hot and cold therapies, utilizing assistive devices, relaxation therapies, etc., which can be slightly tiring. Nevertheless, it can result in great positive outcomes.
Essential oils are concentrated oils obtained from plants and using them in different ways is known as aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy has various applications including arthritis to reduce symptoms.
Marjoram oil is an essential oil used for aromatherapy.
Before discussing its benefits, let us go through a basic explanation of the same.
What is Marjoram Oil?
Marjoram is a perennial herb that grows for up to 3-4 years which is cultivated in Europe, United States, Egypt, and other Mediterranean countries. It grows upto 30-60cm in height.
Marjoram essential oil is obtained from his herb through a process of steam distillation. The main components of this oil are called terpenes.
This essential oil is mainly used in cooking as a flavoring agent. It is also used in the perfume and cosmetic industries.
The leaves and flowering tops are aromatic in nature and find application in the room fragrance as potpourri.
Health benefits of marjoram have also extended its use to various conditions like indigestion, headache, toothache, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has protective effects on the gut, liver, and heart.
Benefits of Marjoram Oil in Arthritis
Benefits of marjoram oil in arthritis is mainly by reducing pain and inflammation. It can also provide an antioxidant effect which can reduce oxidative stress in arthritis patients.
Scientific data also shows that marjoram can reduce signs of depression by decreasing stress. It also helps in calming the mind. This essential oil is also known to improve the immunity of the body and provide protection to the heart.
1. Marjoram Oil Holds Antioxidant Properties
Arthritis is a condition that can lead to increased free radicals (toxins causing damage to cells) which leads to ‘oxidative stress’. The use of antioxidants can reduce this by scavenging the free radicals in the body.
Marjoram has high antioxidant activity. A study that evaluated 13 plant extracts found that marjoram was one of the most potent antioxidants. Marjoram oil has been identified to reduce the damage to the organs due to oxidative stress in some animal studies.
Although, human studies are not yet available to identify the magnitude of benefit in arthritis patients.
What does this mean? Marjoram oil has high antioxidant properties that can help arthritis by reducing damage to the cells caused by toxic chemicals in the body.
2. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Marjoram Could Benefit Arthritis
Inflammation is the main reason for the symptoms of arthritis.
It causes pain, swelling, redness and joint stiffness.
Marjoram oil contains chemicals known as terpenes which have been proven to possess anti-inflammatory effects. It exerts this action by reducing the chemicals that are responsible for inflammation.
Marjoram has been used to reduce inflammation in the respiratory system this property can be extrapolated to provide the same effect in arthritis.
However, use of marjoram for inflammation or arthritis has not been studied in arthritis patients very well.
What does this mean? Marjoram oil can provide anti-inflammatory benefits in arthritis but, this claim does not have strong evidence as human studies are lacking.
3. Pain Relieving Property of Marjoram Can be Useful in Arthritis
Marjoram oil has been suggested and used for pain relief in arthritis as well as other conditions. In a scientific study, it was demonstrated that marjoram oil massage can provide pain control to some extent.
In another study of 40 arthritis patients, it was found that using a blend of essential oil including marjoram oil reduced the pain score in the patients.
What does this mean? Research has proven pain relieving properties of marjoram oil. It can be used to reduce pain arthritis.
4. Marjoram Oil Helps in Calming the Mind and Fight Depression
A research conducted by Ying-Ying Chang et. al. , demonstrated that aromatherapy with marjoram essential oil improves the sleep quality, reduced sleep disturbance, and better daytime functioning.
Another study proved great effects of an essential oil blend containing marjoram in reducing depression in arthritis patients.
It is also good for improving the well-being of older adults. Marjoram oil also helps in reducing stress and tension in arthritis.
What does this mean? Marjoram oil has appreciable effects on reducing stress and fighting depression which can reduce stress and depression in arthritis patients.
5. Marjoram Oil Fights Microbes Which Can Benefit Infective Arthritis
Infective arthritis or Reactive arthritis is caused due to an infection in the body. It can completely recover or lead to long-term arthritis.
Marjoram oil is an excellent anti-microbial essential oil. It has been proven to contain anti-microbial property in research studies conducted in the organisms. It also improves the efficacy of anti-microbial drugs.
Marjoram oil may reduce the chance of infection as well as reduce the infection in infective arthritis. However, this is not proven by strong scientific studies on humans yet.
What does this mean? Infective arthritis is caused due to microbial infection in the body. Marjoram has anti-microbial properties that can help reduce this infection.
6. Marjoram Oil Improves Immunity and Provide Cardio-Protection
Reactive arthritis can be due to infection resulting from low immunity.
Research studies on the properties of marjoram aromatherapy have revealed its power in improving the body's defense mechanism and leading to the strengthening of the immune system.
Long-term rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the heart leading to cardiovascular diseases. An animal study has shown marjoram oil causes reduction of damage to the heart.
Aromatherapy can also reduce the stress and lead to less cardiovascular diseases.
What does this mean? Marjoram oil can protect the heart in case of rheumatoid arthritis. It can also improve immunity in case of infectious arthritis.
How to Take Marjoram Oil – Dosage
Marjoram oil can be taken internally or applied topically to the skin. For ingestion, two cups of marjoram tea per day can be taken to reduce pain.
It can also be added in meals as flavorings. 1-2 drops of essential oil can be added to the food.
For application to the skin mix 0.1ml of marjoram oil in 5ml of almond oil and apply to the area of pain with a gentle massage.
20 massages of 45 minutes duration in a month or twice a week for 12 weeks increases the body immunity.
To apply oil to the entire body use 30ml of carrier oil (almond oil, vegetable oil) and 12-15 drops of essential oil, mix well and gently massage over the body.
The use of marjoram essential oil is generally regarded as safe to be taken internally as well as topically.
Always dilute the essential oils before use as they are highly concentrated. The dilution procedure by the manufacturer must be followed.
Marjoram oil should not be used by pregnant and lactating women as it can cause damage to the baby. It must not be given to children below 6 years without medical advice.
If you are taking any other medication or have a medical condition it is advised to take physician opinion before orally ingesting any supplements.
Before using the oil on the body test the oil on a small area of the skin by applying a small patch and leaving it for an hour.
Marjoram oil has found its use in cooking and flavoring since time immemorial. It also has a variety of health benefits including in arthritis.
Marjoram oil can reduce pain and inflammation in arthritis. It can also be used for its antioxidant properties to reduce damage to the cells in the body.
Marjoram oil can effectively fight anxiety, stress, and signs of depression too. It is also found to improve immunity and provide protection to the heart.
Even though strong evidence on the use of marjoram in arthritis patients is lacking as there are no clinical trials proving the benefits, marjoram oil is a safe and effective supplement which can be taken orally or applied onto the skin, which makes it possibly best to be used for arthritis patients.