10 grams of the finest quality dried Marjoram Leaves
Marjoram (Origanum majorana Lamiaceae) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavours. It is also called Sweet Marjoram or Knotted Marjoram and Majorana hortensis.
The name marjoram (Old French majorane Medieval Latin majorana) does not directly derive from the Latin word maior (major). Marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean area and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness.
Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves either green or dry for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. It is often used in herb combinations such as Herbes de Provence and Za’atar.
Sweet marjoram is widely used as a flavouring for salad dressings vegetables legumes and oils. It has a more delicate flavour than the closely related oregano (Origanum vulgare) and is best when used fresh and only added towards the end of cooking. The aromatic seeds are used as a flavouring in sweets drinks etc. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. The flavour resembles a blend of thyme rosemary and sage.
Sweet marjoram is mainly used as a culinary herb but is also medicinally valuable due to its stimulant and antispasmodic properties.
Due to its stimuland and antispasmodic properties Marjoram has been used medicinally. It is a good general tonic treating various disorders of the digestive and respiratory systems. It has a stronger affect on the nervous system than the related oregano (O. vulgare) and is also thought to lower the sex drive. The herb is antiseptic antispasmodic carminative cholagogue diaphoretic diuretic emmenagogue expectorant stimulant stomachic and mildly tonic. It is taken internally in the treatment of bronchial complaints tension headaches insomnia anxiety minor digestive upsets and painful menstruation. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women.
Externally it is used to treat muscular pain bronchial complaints arthritis sprains and stiff joints. The plant is harvested as flowering begins and can be used fresh or dried. Marjoram is often used medicinally in the form of the essential oil about 400 grams being obtained from 70 kilos of the fresh herb. The oil is used as an external application for sprains bruises etc. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy.
Because it can promote menstruation it should not be used medicinally by pregnant women though small quantities used for culinary purposes are safe.