Native to the Mediterranean and Eurasia, Origanum species have been cultivated in Egypt for over 3000 years, were used by the ancient Greeks since classical times and have been grown in England since the 13th century. Some of the earliest records of Origanum use date back to 1600-1200 B.C., when images of the plants were inscribed on tablets by the Hittites of Asia Minor/Syria. Sweet marjoram has long been an herb of love. According to Roman legend, the goddess of love, Venus, gave the plant its scent “to remind mortals of her beauty” — from The Herb Society of America Guide
Marjoram, sweet (origanum majorana, Majorana hortensis)
Sweet marjoram is a bushy, low-growing perennial herb with greyish-green leaves and terminal clusters of tiny white or purple flowers.
Part used: fresh flowering tops, leaves, and stems
Oil appearance: clear, slightly yellow-tinged to pale yellow
Therapeutic uses: muscle relaxant, for muscular spasms or pain, general aches, numbness, body stiffness, abdominal pain, menstrual cramps or problems, menopausal symptoms, contusions/bruises, headache, gastrointestinal disorders, abdominal spasms, indigestion, intestinal spasm, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, insomnia, stress-related conditions, anxiety.
Precautions: none known; Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA
From Herb Wisdom:
To enhance the digestive system’s performance, 2-4 cups of marjoram tea (not using essential oil, but the dried leaves of the plant) may be ingested in 2 hours. Drinking the tea will help digestion by:
- Increasing the efficiency of digestion by increasing digestive enzymes and saliva
- Calming the stomach and digestive system.
- Improving appetite
- Relieving nausea
- Eliminating flatulence
- Curing or preventing basic intestinal infections
- Soothing painful stomach cramps or spasms
- Relieving diarrhea
- Relieving constipation
Marjoram Tea: Grind marjoram leaves into a paste and add hot water or tea. Use one teaspoon of ground marjoram per 7 ounces of water. Boil the mixture for 15 minutes. Drink two to four cups of this tea over the span of two hours for digestive benefits.
Stronger marjoram tea: Add two teaspoons of marjoram to a cup of 7 ounces of cold water. Let it soak for 24 hours and add honey to it. An even stronger tea may be made by adding 6 teaspoons marjoram to 7 ounces of water. It has a calming, antidepressive effect.
Be prepared to be astounded when you look at the next photo. This is what the leaves of young sweet marjoram look like under an electron microscope.