Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Marjoram - Herb for Dogs and Cats

Safe to use as a dietary supplement, alternative medicine
for most dogs and cats

In this article...
1. Marjoram
2. Health Benefits
3. Cautions

4. Side Effects
5. Drug Interactions
6. General Guideline for Daily Herbal Intake

1.0 Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Marjoram is a perennial herbal plant that has been as a culinary herb, medicine and fabric dye since ancient times. The Greeks used marjoram as an ingested and topical medicine.

Wild marjoram and sweet marjoram are used for medicinal purposes. The cultivated species such as knotted marjoram, pot marjoram, sweet marjoram and winter marjoram are used for culinary purposes.

Marjoram is a member of the Labiatae family that also includes anise, basil, cumin, dill, fennel, etc.

Medicinal Properties in Marjoram
Marjoram contains multiple volatile oils that give the plant its medicinal properties:
  • Anti-bacterial;
  • Anti-carcinogen;
  • Anti-fungal;
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Antioxidant;
  • Anti-septic (mild);
  • Anti-spasmodic.

Fresh Marjoram Leaves
Are very high in…
  • Beta-carotenes
  • Essential oils
  • Flavonoid antioxidants lutein and xanthins;
  • Iron;
  • Vitamin A;
  • Vitamin C;
  • Vitamin K;

Marjoram can be used in various forms:
  • Dry powder;
  • Essential Oil;
  • Fresh leaves;
  • Tea - infusion;
  • Tincture - use alcohol-free only;
  • Supplement - capsule, pill.
2.0 Health Benefits
A partial list...
  • Age related Macular Disease (ARMD);
  • Anti-inflammatory;
    • Ingested use – sweet marjoram contains 10% eugenol an anti-inflammatory;
    • External use to alleviate:
      • Arthritis;
      • Pain from bruising;
      • Muscular pain;
      • Sprains;
      • Stiff joints
  • Anti-Microbial;
    • Apply to skin in the form of cooled tea bag or cloth compress first soaked in the cooled tea;
  • Antioxidant – immune system boosting;
    • The fresh leaves are high in vitamin C and can be added to your dog’s or cat’s food at meal time;
    • Sweet Marjoram is a rich source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for i.e.:
      • Bone mass building;
      • Treatment of Canine dementia;
  • Anxiety and depression;
    • Add fresh leaves, tea or tincture to food;
    • Or put a few drops of the essential oil on your dog’s, cat’s collar or bed.
  • Appetite stimulant;
  • Nausea (sweet marjoram tea);
  • Nerve pain;
  • Carminative;
  • Cough and cold suppressant:
    • Steep 2 tsps dried marjoram in 8 ounces of boiling water, allow to cool;
    •  Offer the resulting liquid to your dog or cat as a drink in a bowl, or add to his/her food at meal time.
  • Diabetes;
  • Diuretic;
  • Digestive disorders;
  • Dizziness;
  • Gall bladder issues – gall stones;
  • Liver problems;
  • Muscle spasms;
  • Paralysis;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Vertigo
3.0 Cautions…

If your dog or cat:
  • Is allergic to members to the Lamiaceae family of plants (i.e. anise, basil, cumin, dill, fennel, hyslop, mint, sage, oregano, etc.)  do not use marjoram;
  • Is pregnant or lactating:
    • Do not use marjoram oil;
    • Marjoram powder is safe in small daily amounts.
  • Has a bleeding disorder or is on anticoagulants do not use marjoram.

4.0 Side Effects...
  • In some individuals topical contact with fresh marjoram may cause swelling of skin or eye;

5.0 Drug Interactions…
  • Lithium;
  • Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet drugs.

6.0 General Guideline...
Daily Herbal Intake Based on Dog’s or Cat’s Weight
Dry Powders

1-10 lbs
a small pinch up to 1/8 tsp
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
1 larger pinch - 1/8 to ¼ tsp
1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches - 1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs 10-
2 pinches - 2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs,
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose

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Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

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I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats