May Chang

 Litsea cubeba foliage and flowers. Photo taken on Anma Mountain (鞍馬山), Da Xue Shan Forest Recreation Area (大雪山森林遊樂區), Tzuyu Village, Hoping HsiangTaichung CountyTaiwan, with a Nikon D200 digital camera.

May Chang (Litsea cubeba)

May chang (Litsea cubeba), often referred to “mountain pepper” for the fruit’s resemblance to a pepper, is a kind of citrus that grows in China. It has a bright, lemony aroma and, like other citrus oils, offers uplifting and cleansing benefits. It is a wonderful addition to the collection of any essential oil user.

This shrub is native to China and areas of Southeast Asia. The essential oil is extracted through distillation from the small fruits that are grown on tress featuring white or pale yellow flowers. The flowers have a lemony aroma similar to the aroma of the essential oil.

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Bright, lemony, and energizing, it is most commonly known for its usefulness in dealing with skin problems. This oil has uplifting properties, and it has a strong effect on promoting mental and physical well-being.

Blends Well With: Bergamot, Citronella, Clove Bud, Geranium Egyptian, Ginger Root CO2, Grapefruit Pink, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram Sweet, Orange Sweet, Petitgrain and Rosemary 1,8-Cineole.

Benefits of May Chang Essential Oil

  • In massage treatments, May Chang can act as a digestive and liver tonic, particularly useful in abdominal massage.
  • May Chang can also help to clear the head and refresh the mind and spirit, soothing and restoring frayed nerves.
  • When used in a diffuser, this oil has uplifting qualities. It is known for lowering blood pressure and relieving stress without causing drowsiness. It can also promote overall physical and mental well-being.
  • May Chang has natural insect repellent qualities. It can be blended into body lotion, shampoo, or liquid body wash to help repel mosquitoes. Adding a couple drops to a candle and placing it outdoors will help keep pests away.
  • This oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties making it popular for use in skin care products. It is useful for preventing the growth of bacteria that can cause acne. Some people use it to treat eczema and similar skin conditions.
  • As an astringent, it is used to eliminate excess skin oil and shrink enlarged pores. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up skin irritation. Users should always dilute the oil before applying it to the skin. This skin tonic is said to leave skin feeling silky-smooth and refreshed.
  • This oil is known to have a stimulant action on the digestive system and can even help in case of poor appetite. The blend of May Chang oil and a carrier oil is perfect for massage over the stomach to improve digestive tract function.
  • Combined with a carrier oil on throat, chest, neck and back provides instant relief from respiratory infections. This essential oil even helps in quieting down coughs and improving cold too.

Cautions

To avoid the risk of various safety issues, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.8% for topical applications. Possible drug interactions. 

Recipes

May Chang Toner 

Ingredients:
8 drops Aura Cacia May Chang Essential Oil
10 drops Aura Cacia Tea Tree Essential Oil
2 fluid ounces witch hazel
2-ounce Aura Cacia Amber Glass Mist Bottle 

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Directions:
In bottle, combine oils and witch hazel. Replace lid, shake until well blended, then mist face, avoiding eyes. 

References:

  1. https://www.planttherapy.com/may-chang-essential-oil
  2. https://www.epainassist.com/articles/uses-of-may-chang-essential-oil
  3. https://plantessentials.com.au/blogs/news/81438913-exploring-the-health-benefits-and-uses-of-may-chang-essential-oil
  4. https://lumitylife.co.uk/pages/oil-ingredient-may-chang
  5. https://www.tisserand.com/aromatherapy/may-chang-ethically-harvested-pure-essential-oil-9ml/
  6. https://www.aromaweb.eu/product/organic-may-chang-essential-oil-litsea-cubeba-10ml/

Marjoram Leaf

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, and there the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used to distinguish it from other plants of the genus Origanum. It is also called pot marjoram, although this name is also used for other cultivated species of Origanum.

Find it in Mother Jai’s Cold & Flu Tea, shop below.

OTHER NAME(S): Essence de Marjolaine, Garden Marjoram, Gartenmajoran, Huile de Marjolaine, Knotted Marjoram, Maggiorana, Majoran, Majorana Aetheroleum Oil, Majorana Herb, Majorana hortensis, Majorana majorana, Marjolaine, Marjolaine des Jardins, Marjolaine Ordinaire, Marjolein, Marjoram Essential Oil, Marjoram Oil, Marubaka, Marwa, Mejorana, Mejram, Origan des Jardins, Origan Marjolaine, Origanum majorana, Sweet Marjoram.

It is commonly used for runny nose, coughs, colds, infections, and various digestion problems, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these or any other uses. In foods, marjoram herb and oil are used as flavorings. In manufacturing, the oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, lotions, and perfumes.

Don’t confuse it with winter marjoram or oregano (Origanum vulgare), which is also referred to as wild marjoram.

BENEFITS OF MARJORAM

Asthma. Early research shows that taking 2 drops of the essential oil daily along with asthma medication for 3 months might improve lung function in people with asthma better than taking asthma medication alone.

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Anti-Inflammatory Effects: When added to your food, it can help reduce your risk of developing inflammatory reactions. It can help with conditions such as asthma, fever, muscle aches, sinus headaches and migraines.

Improved Digestive Function: When used to make tea, this herb can help improve your digestion by improving your appetite and increasing the production of digestive enzymes that help break down food. In addition, marjoram tea can help alleviate common digestive disorders such as flatulence, constipation, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Improved Heart Health: it can help improve your overall cardiovascular health by maintaining normal blood pressure levels, which lowers your risk of hypertension. It’s also known for helping reduce the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries, which can prevent heart disease.

Painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). Early research suggests that massaging a cream containing lavender, clary sage, and marjoram essential oils to the abdomen may reduce pain in some women with painful menstrual cramps. The effect of marjoram essential oil alone on menstrual cramps is unclear.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Early research suggests that drinking the tea might improve some chemical markers of PCOS, but overall it does not seem to improve body weight, blood sugar, or levels of certain hormones in women with PCOS.

Protection Against Common Illnesses: it contains various compounds that have effective antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. As such, it can help reduce your risk of diseases such as the common cold, measles, mumps, influenza, food poisoning and various staph infections.

Therapeutic Benefits: in its essential oil form, can help uplift your mood and improve your psychological well-being. It can be used to help relieve insomnia and reduce stress and anxiety.

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BENEFITS OF MARJORAM ESSENTIAL OIL

Collected by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops. Marjoram oil happens to be popular among aromatherapy enthusiasts, and is known for providing a warm, spicy, woody and camphoraceous scent that can provide a vast array of benefits, such as:

Analgesic: Helps alleviate pain related to colds, fevers, inflammation and headache.

Antiseptic: Applying the essential oil on wounds can help prevent them from becoming infected and developing tetanus.

Antibacterial: Helps kill bacteria that may cause various skin and digestive infections.

Carminative: Can help solve digestive problems such as flatulence by relaxing the muscles in the abdominal region.

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Diuretic: Can help increase your frequency and quantity of urination, thereby helping improve your ability to eject excess water and harmful toxins from your body.

USES FOR MARJORAM LEAF

Marinades: Upgrade the taste of your marinated meat and fish dishes by adding it to the marinade.

Roasted meats: it can add an herbal aroma to roasted meats, such as chicken.

Sautéed vegetables: Side dishes such as sautéed vegetables become more flavorful with a dash of marjoram.

Soups: It gives vegetable soups more flavor.

Teas: in medicinal amounts for short periods of time to alleviate symptoms of cold and flu

DOSAGE

The typical oral dose of marjoram is one to two cups of the tea daily. Prepare the tea by steeping one to two teaspoons of the flower or leaf in one cup of boiling water for five minutes, and then strain. Marjoram can also be used as a poultice or mouthwash; consult with your physician for appropriate concentrations.

Child Dosage: Children should avoid it in amounts larger than those typically used in culinary applications.

SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY

Marjoram is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for short periods of time.

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used long-term. There is some concern that marjoram could harm the liver and kidneys or cause cancer if used long-term.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use marjoram in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant. It might start your period, and that could threaten the pregnancy. Not enough is known about the safety of using it in medicinal amounts if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Do not give marjoram to children in medicinal amounts. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for them.

Bleeding disorders: Taking medicinal amounts of marjoram might slow clotting and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergy to basil, hyssop, lavender, mint, oregano, and sage: it can cause allergic reactions in people allergic to these plants and other members of the Lamiaceae family of plants.

Surgery: Taking medicinal amounts of marjoram might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using marjoram medicinally at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Lithium interacts with MARJORAM: it might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking marjoram might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

RECIPES

Spicy Roast Chicken With Tomatoes and Marjoram

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces of cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), stemmed
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 pasture-raised chicken breast halves with ribs
  • Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss the tomatoes, coconut oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon of marjoram in a large bowl.
  3. Place the chicken slices on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Pour the mixture over the chickens, while arranging the tomatoes in a single layer on a sheet around the chickens.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken slices generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast until the chicken slices are cooked through and the tomatoes are blistered, for about 35 minutes.
  7. Transfer the chickens to plates.
  8. Spoon the tomatoes and juices over.
  9. Sprinkle the plates with the remaining 1 tablespoon of marjoram and serve.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjoram
  2. https://www.planttherapy.com/marjoram-sweet-essential-oil?v=256
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-563/marjoram
  4. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/721189/ORIGANUM_MAJORANA_%28SWEET_MARJORAM%29_LEAF_OIL/
  5. https://www.britannica.com/plant/marjoram
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/marjoram
  7. http://www.ejpmr.com/admin/assets/article_issue/1454479607.pdf
  8. https://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/marjoram.aspx
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292161091_Origanum_majorana_L_-Phyto-pharmacological_review
  10. https://plantvillage.psu.edu/topics/marjoram/infos
  11. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/CropOp/en/herbs/culinary/orega.html
  12. https://www.oils4life.co.uk/5ml-Marjoram-ORGANICessential-oil-Sweet-Origanum-Majorana-Leaf-Oil
  13. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/marjoram-oil.asp
  14. https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/marjoram/
  15. http://www.lindbergnutrition.com/ns/DisplayMonograph.asp?StoreID=1c7a08050b8f4419bffba945004ca5d1&DocID=bottomline-marjoram
  16. https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/origanum/majorana/
  17. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d828
  18. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Marjoram+leaf+(Origanum+majorana)&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30217790
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30210537
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205180
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30138756
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29747749