Origanum majorana Essential Oil-A Review of Its Chemical Profile and Pesticide Activity

Life (Basel). 2022 Nov 26;12(12):1982. doi: 10.3390/life12121982.


Origanum majorana is a medicinal and aromatic plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is cultivated in several parts of the world and, due to its splendid aroma and taste, is widely used for culinary purposes and in perfumes. The essential oil of the plant, to which is attributed its aroma, contains many secondary metabolites with valuable biological activity. One of them is the pesticide activity, which has attracted much interest. Given the necessity of replacing synthetic pesticides, essential oils are studied in an attempt to find naturally derived products. Thus, the aim of this review paper is to discuss the chemical profile of O. majorana essential oil and to present data regarding its insecticidal, repellent and fumigant activity. Data were collected from 1992 to 2022. Databases, including PubMed, Google Scholar, ScienceDirect and Scopus, were used for the research, and keywords, including O. majorana, sweet marjoram, essential oil, volatiles, pesticide, insecticide and repellent activity, were used. The results of this review paper indicate that O. majorana essential oil can be an alternative agent to manage pests. However, still, much research should be conducted to evaluate its toxicity against beneficial insects and to ensure its safety for human health.

Keywords: Origanum majorana; carvacrol; essential oil; fumigant; insecticide; natural pesticide; repellent; secondary metabolites; terpinen-4-ol; volatile profile.

Publication types

  • Review