I’ll be honest. Before researching this article, I’d never heard of marjoram. Apparently, I’ve been eating it often, though, as I’ve enjoyed Mediterranean and African dishes such as bobotie and Maneesh and marjoram is a spice used in these dishes. Learning about this marjoram has brought me to one constant thought:
I’ve got to have more of this.
Marjoram or Origanum majorana has been healing for centuries. Originating in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions, it was used by the Greeks to soothe ailments such as convulsions and edema. Marjoram was also believed to nurture and promote love and civility. Couples wore wreaths of marjoram on their heads during their marriage ceremony and young women would put the herb under their pillows, hoping to bring forth a husband.
Marjoram, also known as sweet marjoram is a member of the mint family and is often mistaken for oregano. Though similar, marjoram has a milder, sweet taste.
Potential Benefits of Marjoram
Whether you drink marjoram in a tea or eat bobotie, the benefits of marjoram are worthy of exploration. Some of the benefits include:
- Aids in digestion. Drinking marjoram tea is said to calm the stomach and digestive system, increase digestive enzymes and saliva that improves the efficiency of digestion, and relieves nausea and soothes stomach cramps.
- Reduction of inflammation. Marjoram has a compound, carvacrol, that has shown to reduce inflammation and to have antioxidant effects.
- May help regulate hormones and menstrual cycle. Marjoram has been used to treat women that have irregular cycles and restore hormone balance.
When combined with essential oil, marjoram can be applied topically, which can relieve painful joints and muscles.
Potential Side Effects
Generally, marjoram is safe for most people. However, it is recommended that pregnant women, women that are breastfeeding, and people with bleeding disorders not take marjoram. Additionally, people who are allergic to herbs in the mint family (basil, lavender, sage, or oregano) should avoid marjoram as well.
Where to find Marjoram
Marjoram, like most herbs, can be found on the spices aisle in your local grocery or health food store. If you prefer it other than dried or in a tea, you may want to explore your local farmer’s market.