Sweet Marjoram

 


ORIGANUM MARJORANA

COMMON NAME : Sweet marjoram

FAMILY  :        Lamiaceae   (Mint family)


HABIT / GROWING:

A mediterranean perennial that has to be treated like an annual and sown every year in UK. Cultivated species has fuller leaves and tighter flowerheads.


PARTS USED:        

Mainly the essential oil is used of O. marjorana, or both herb and oil of its wild cousin O. vulgare


TRADITIONAL & MODERN USE:

O. marjorana is mainly used in cookery or aromatherapy, the medicinal species is O. vulgare – wild marjoram. Dried herb was used in hot fomentations applied to painful swellings, rheumatism and colic or an infusion drunk to relieve nervous headaches. The rubefacient essential oil was used in liniments and its stimulant, carminative, diaphoretic, mildly tonic and emmenagogic properties used to relieve toothache, bring out fever & spots in measles and relieve spasmodic pain in the digestive system. Once used as a perfume component and strewing herb, also as a dye for purple wool or reddish brown linen and for flavouring ale before the advent of hops.


These days the herb is mainly used as a gastro-intestinal stimulant to aid digestion, expectorant for coughs, colds & 'flu and antiseptic mouthwash while its emmenagogic action helps menstruation suppressed by cold conditions. It is also used to relieve tension headaches and as an anaphrodisiac for excessive masturbation.

In Aromatherapy it is used mainly to relieve muscle, nerve and rheumatic pain.


CONSTITUENTS:

·        Volatile oil incl thymol,

·        Acids

·        flavonoids.