Marjoram Essential Oil Substitute

The compounds which have been extracted from plants are known as essential oils. Once the oil has been extracted it stores the plant’s fragrance and flavor making it a great option to be used as a flavor enhancer in cosmetics, food additives, soaps, and perfumes. One such essential oil is marjoram essential oil. This oil not only provides culinary benefits but can also be used for commercial purposes.

Marjoram is an aromatic and fragrant herb belonging to the mint family. This is a herb that can be grown either inside a container or in a garden. The oil that has been extracted from either fresh or dried leaves of the marjoram plant through the process of steam distillation is called marjoram essential oil. If you are a regular user of marjoram and its essential oil, then you might face issues if a shortage of marjoram arises in your locality. Thankfully, numerous herbs having similar properties to marjoram are available that work as a great alternative to marjoram and its essential oil.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many benefits to the use of Marjoram essential oil, but it might also be harmful if not taken in moderation.
  • While it is possible to make it at home, it is better to find substitutes that are easier to make oil out of.
  • Try these safer and healthier substitutes for Marjoram essential oil. You might like these alternatives more than Marjoram!
  • Cooking with Marjoram is possible. It is mostly known as an essential oil but can be used for cooking in small quantities.
  • Choosing your essential oil is important because each essential oil is better to use in different situations due to their differences in properties.

Benefits And Uses of Marjoram Essential Oil

Since essential oils are extracted from plants so they carry the plant’s minerals, fragrance, and essence. As a result, numerous benefits can be gained from these essential oils. Marjoram essential oil is a very effective oil that works as a charm to fight off any kind of pain you might be experiencing. This pain might be due to having a fever, migraine, toothache, or headache.

Benefits and uses of marjoram essential oil

A list of benefits provided by marjoram essential oil is given below:

  1. Muscle relaxation
  2. Indigestion
  3. Headache
  4. Insomnia
  5. Anxiety
  6. Stress
  7. Colds
  8. Improved immune system
  9. Fever
  10.  Promotes healthy cardiovascular system

Is It Possible to Produce Marjoram Essential Oil at Home?

Yes, the production of marjoram essential oil can be done at home. The simplest method of production is by using the distillation process. In this method, you need to heat the marjoram plant and by doing so vapor will start to rise up which will go into the cool water.

After condensation is complete, two types of crystals will be obtained where one of the compounds will be of water and the other will be of oil. Once a sufficient amount of the oil has been collected, then the process of homemade marjoram essential oil is complete.

12 possible substitutes for marjoram essential oil

The various available substitutes which you can use in order to get the similar effect that marjoram essential oil provides have been discussed below:

1. Oregano essential oil:

If you are looking for an essential oil having the closest resemblance to marjoram then oregano is the best option. Oregano much like marjoram is a herb belonging to the mint family. Both marjoram and oregano consist of a compound known as carvacrol. Carvacrol contains antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties.

Since carvacrol is more dominant in oregano, this makes oregano essential oil an ideal organic form of medicine. It is recommended to use oregano essential oil only to cure health conditions and not as a way to enhance the flavor of your food.

Oregano essential oil

2. Thyme essential oil:

Thyme essential oil

This is the second closed substitute you can find for marjoram. If you want to boost up the taste of your savory dishes but you don’t want to use marjoram, then thyme essential oil is your go-to option. Adding one to two drops of thyme essential oil will not only take your dishes to the next level but will also ensure that your family members become a fan of your cooking.

Thyme essential oil not only enhances the flavor of your food but also provides numerous health benefits such as reducing coughs, acne, and inflammation. In addition, it can also be used as a treatment for hair loss and to eliminate food-related bacteria and fungi.

3. Basil essential oil:

Similar to marjoram, basil is also a member of the mint family with the difference being in its taste. While marjoram has an earthy and woodsy flavor, the flavor of basil lies in the middle between being sweet and savory with a touch of anise, mint, and pepper.

Basil essential oil consists of aromatic characteristics which makes it a great substitute for marjoram essential oil. The sweet variant of basil essential oil will help to energize, calm, and improve your mood.

Basil essential oil

4. Sage essential oil:

Sage essential oil

Sage is an aromatic herb of the mint family consisting of pungent leaves. Sage essential oil provides a cozy, tangy, and refreshing fragrance that you will love. It can be used to relieve bacterial infections, muscular and joint discomfort. In addition, it can also be used to improve digestive issues and soothe skin ailments.

Sage provides a great flavoring for poultry such as chicken, turkey, duck, etc. It has aromatic aromas of pine and citrus making it a great option for stuffing recipes.

5. Summer Savory essential oil:

Summer savory is a plant belonging to the mint family and is native to the eastern Mediterranean. The stem and leaves of savory summer plants are used to make medicine. The essential oil consists of a pleasant herbaceous fragrance which makes it an ideal option to put into herbal and tonic blends.

If you are a person going through stress, depression and nervous exhaustion then start using summer savory essential oil as this aids in bringing back focus and concentration. This is because this essential oil is rich in antioxidants and carvacrol.

Summer savory essential oil

6. Tarragon essential oil:

Tarragon essential oil

Tarragon essential oil consists of a spicy scent and a touch of anise which can be used to fill any room with a calming and energizing aroma. Tarragon is one of the essential flavoring ingredients in classic French cuisine so do not forget to include a healthy dose of tarragon in your French dishes.

Tarragon essential oil provides health benefits such as getting back lost appetite and also works as an effective remedy for digestive disorders.

7. Lemon Thyme essential oil:

Lemon thyme is an excellent alternative to marjoram since it consists of the prevalent citrus note found in marjoram. It is used mainly because of its calming, enchanting, and fresh aroma. If you are suffering from colds, sinusitis, and sore throats then lemon thyme essential oil is an ideal option. It can be used to improve memory and fights off sleeplessness and anxiety.

Lemon thyme enhances the flavor profile of fish and meat dishes and can be used to flavor poultry, seafood, and vegetables.

Lemon thyme essential oil

8. Herbs De Provence essential oil:

Herbs de provence essential oil

Herbs De Provence might sound something fancy but what is it actually? It is a mixture of dried French herbs such as marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and savory.  It is famous for its distinctive scent and it has the ability to take the taste of your dishes to the next level. Herbs De Provence is used mainly to flavor any form of poultry or lamb and occasionally fish. In addition to the culinary benefits, it also provides health benefits such as aiding the digestive system and reducing gas, bloating, and indigestion.

9. Coriander essential oil:

This is an essential oil that is extracted from a plant called cilantro. The thing which makes coriander special is the fact that its benefits are not limited to the kitchen only but it provides numerous health benefits as well. Instead of ground coriander, you can use coriander essential oil to enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes.

It contains a compound known as linalool which is great for boosting the condition of your skin. If you are looking for an essential oil that will improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress, then look no further than coriander essential oil.

Coriander essential oil

10. Geranium essential oil:

Geranium essential oil

This is extracted from the leaves of a native South African plant called Pelargonium graveolens through the process of steam distillation. Geranium essential oil contains antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and astringent properties which make it a great choice for fighting off acne, allergies, infections, and inflammatory skin conditions.

When used in aromatherapy, it lowers feelings of stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and tension. It also increases focus and concentration power.

11. Za’atar essential oil:

Za’atar is a mixture of dried thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and oregano. Za’atar essential oil has numerous benefits such as improving the immune system, increasing mental focus and energy levels as well as reducing the risks of infection.

Since za’atar is a mixture of spices, it will not only add a substantial amount of flavor to your food but will also provide you with the necessary nutrients which will help to improve your health.

Zaatar essential oil

12. Dried Lemongrass essential oil:

Dried lemongrass essential oil

This is the least ideal option to be used as a substitute for marjoram. This is because its flavor is exceedingly citrusy and pungent which has the potential to ruin your dish if the right amount is not added. However, since it possesses a citrus flavor similar to marjoram hence it can be used.

Lemongrass essential oil has a powerful radiant fragrance that helps to increase focus and improve the condition of oily skin.

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Can You Cook With Marjoram Essential Oil?

Can you cook with marjoram essential oil

Essential oils are not limited to providing your home with a beautiful fragrance only, but they can also be used as a way to make your food taste better. These oils are also a great substitute if certain ingredients are not available. For example, if a recipe requires lemon zest and you don’t have fresh lemons at home, then adding a few drops of lemon thyme essential oil will do the trick. Just like other essential oils, marjoram essential oil can be used for cooking as well.

Marjoram essential oil consists of an herbaceous flavor that can be used to enhance the taste of your soups, dressings, stews, and meat dishes. If dried marjoram isn’t available, then marjoram essential oil can be used seamlessly in its place.

Choosing Your Ideal Essential Oil Substitute

Since plenty of alternatives are available, therefore it is important to choose to know which oil is best suited for which purpose. Even if the characteristic properties of the two oils are similar, they are not the same thing. Small differences exist between them.

When choosing an essential oil substitute, the first thing you need to keep in mind is whether you are blending the oil for its fragrance or as a way to incorporate the oil into aromatherapy. This is an important decision to make since for aromatic purposes, the fragrance is very crucial therefore substitutions will need to be from similar aromas. On the other hand, if you are making a blend for therapeutic purposes, rather than fragrance, the thing which is important is whether the substitute is providing you with similar benefits or not.

Therefore, figuring out the purpose for which you will use the essential oil will go a long way in making you decide which substitute you want to go for.


1. What makes marjoram essential oil effective?

Marjoram essential oil consists of antimicrobial properties which help in healing fungal infections and stops the growth of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach.

2. Can you use essential oils for cooking?

Yes, essential oils can be used for cooking. However, do keep in mind the type of cuisine you are cooking. When cooking French cuisine, use tarragon and herbs de Provence essential oils.

3. What makes essential oils special?

Essential oils are not only a great option for enhancing the flavor of dishes but they can also be used as medicine. In addition, because of their strong fragrance, they can also as a form of therapy such as aromatherapy.

Final Thoughts

Marjoram is an aromatic herb that has been in use for a very long time. Its essential oil possesses the ability to improve mood and reduce stress. In addition, since it is so versatile it is not only used as a food ingredient but is used commercially as well.

Numerous substitutes having similar characteristic properties to marjoram essential oil are available in the market. However, you should choose the substitutes based on your needs. For example, if you are looking for an essential oil to enhance the flavor of your dishes then go for thyme, lemon-thyme, and coriander. Essential oils such as oregano and geranium are great choices to be used as medicine. From reading the article I hope you now have a better idea of not only the available substitutes for marjoram essential oil but their applications as well.

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Todd Smith is a trained ecologist with five years of experience in environmental conservation and sustainability. He has a deep passion for promoting sustainable practices and has developed a thorough understanding of the natural world and its complex interconnections.

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