The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Marjoram

Scientific Names

Marjoram

  • Marjorana hortensis L.
  • Labiatae
  • Mint family

Common Names

  • Knotted marjoram
  • Sweet marjoram

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Parts Usually Used

The herb, fresh or dried
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Sweet marjoram occurs in both annual and perennial varieties; a spreading plant 1 1/2 feet tall produces attractive golden leaves in spring that turn green in late summer. the square, branched, four-angled, stem is downy with gray hair and bears small, petioled, opposite, elliptical leaves, also with gray down.  Terminating the stems and borne on long stalks in the axils of the upper leaves are dense clusters of tiny rose-purple, two-lipped flowers. The flower clusters are partly hidden by purplish bracts. Bloom from July to September.  Full sun.  Zones 3-10.  Closely related to Oregano, the main difference being that marjoram is less hardy and has a more distinctively sweet yet more delicate flavor.

Another variety; The Chinese marjoram (Origanum marjorana) is called Ching-chich, used mainly as a relief for headaches.
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Where Found

Growing wild in the Mediterranean are and in Asia; cultivated in the United States.  Native to Europe, naturalized in disturbed areas, usually on calcareous soils, from Nova Scotia to Ontario, south to North Carolina and west to Oregon and California.  Widely cultivated.
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Medicinal Properties

Diaphoretic, carminative, expectorant, aromatic, and digestive, sedative, antispasmodic, tonic, condiment, emmenagogue
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Biochemical Information

Essential oil, terpenes (terpinene, terpineol and borneol) and tannins
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Sweet marjoram was on of the Greeks’ favorite herbs.  According to Greek legend, Aphrodite first cultivated the marjoram, and its sweet scent came from her gentle touch.  Because of its association with Aphrodite, the ancient Greeks wore wreaths of it as wedding flowers.  They also considered it an antidote for snakebite.  And if it failed in that use, they planted it on the grave in the belief that it would help the dead to sleep in peace.

Marjoram was used in herbal smoke mixtures to flavor tobacco and snuff.

In Germany, the dried herb is occasionally suspended in a cask of beer to correct its tart or acid taste.
The flavor of marjoram is similar to thyme; aromatic, peppery.

It is said that if you rub a little marjoram on your skin before you sleep, you’ll dream of the one you’ll marry.
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Uses

Marjoram tea is a calming drink which can be taken to prevent insomnia, to soothe intestinal and menstrual cramps, to alleviate nervous upset stomach, consumption, insect bites, snakebites, scurvy, itch, dropsy, jaundice, poor appetite, headaches, and coughs.  It has been used to reduce seasickness.  Marjoram oil relieves toothache.

As in wild marjoram, sweet marjoram is particularly helpful for gastritis, and a weak tea is good for colic in children.  Use the oil of sweet marjoram externally as a lotion for varicose veins, gout, as a blood tonic, rheumatism, and stiff joints.  The plant is also sometimes made into an herb pillow for rheumatic pains.  A mild nerve tonic, increases the amount of water eliminated by the body, and used to ease bladder trouble.  It stimulates the bowel movements, helping to regulate it.

Also used in perfumery.  Marjoram is known as the kitchen herb.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 2 tsp. fresh herb in 1 cup water.  Take 1/2 to 1 cup a day, as needed.

Juice: take 1 tbsp, 3 times a day.

Lotion: put the fresh herb in olive oil and let stand in the sun for 2-3 weeks.
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How Sold

Powder
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Bibliography

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! The Magic of Herbs in Daily Living, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Co. (1988).

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Country Home Book of Herbs, Meredith Books, Editorial Dept. RW240, 1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023, copyright 1994

Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

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