Although marjoram (Origanum majorana) belongs to the same genus as oregano, there are considerable differences in the use of these two herbs. The aromatic-sweet, fragrant smell and taste of marjoram stands in stark contrast to the rather harsh aroma of the known as "pizza spice" oregano. But marjoram is also popular because of its effect on health. With which ingredients the spice can score and how marjoram is used as a medicinal plant, you can find out here.
Active ingredients and healing properties of marjoram
The whole aboveground plant should be harvested as a medicinal plant best shortly before flowering and dried carefully. The sunnier and warmer a marjoram plant is, the more essential oils the fresh plant can contain (0.7 to 3.5 percent).
Other healthy ingredients are:
- ascorbic acid
Some physicians who rely on folk medicine prescribe marjoram for stomach, intestinal and biliary complaints. Furthermore, this herb should help with indigestion, loss of appetite, flatulence and diarrhea. It should be noted, however, that marjoram contains the harmful ingredients arbutin and hydroquinone in low concentrations and should therefore not be used internally in children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Application of the marjoram ointment
The marjoram known from time immemorial can be used as follows:
- as a cold sore
- with nerve pain
- in wounds
- at dislocations
- in ulcers
The ointment is sometimes also used against gastric pressure and flatulence: If fennel or cumin tea is not to be used on infants because of too high a drinking volume, the umbilical region can be rubbed with a marjoram ointment.
Make marjoram ointment yourself
Marjoram ointment is available in the pharmacy, but herbalists of the homemade ointment show greater effectiveness.
To prepare the ointment, proceed as follows:
- First a teaspoon of powdered marjoram is doused with a teaspoon of wine spirit and allowed to stand for a few hours.
- Then add one teaspoon of unsalted butter.
- Then this mixture is heated in a water bath for about ten minutes.
- Finally, everything is strained by a cloth and cooled.
Because of the low durability you should produce only a small amount of this ointment.
Marjoram as a kitchen herb
Although marjoram loses much of its spice in the dried state, it should still be used sparingly. Due to its digestive effect, marjoram is recommended for fatty foods, but potato and vegetable dishes also taste great with marjoram.
The German name "Wurstkraut" indicates that marjoram is a common spice mixture for sausages. Together with juniper marjoram is good for seasoning meat and wild ragouts.
Marjoram: history and origin
Originally from the Middle East, marjoram was brought to the Mediterranean region by the Arabs and was dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite by the ancient Greeks in addition to thyme and rosemary.
From the late Middle Ages, this herb was also known in the monastery gardens of Central Europe, but could marjoram north of the Alps because of the colder climate, because he is not frost-resistant. Therefore, marjoram is used in our gardens only as an annual plant, while in warmer countries it is perennial and far more aromatic.
Marjoram: sophisticated medicinal plant
Marjoram grows up to half a meter in height and carries spatulate, small, fluffy hairy leaves on its branched, quadrangular twigs. From June, the pale lilac to white flowers are found as globular crowded inflorescences in the leaf axils of marjoram.
This herb places high demands on climate and soil conditions in our gardens. Only from May, the seeds can be sown in sunny, sheltered places. The soil should be loose, rich in humus and nutrients. Marjoram does not tolerate other labiates and must be planted in a different location because of the incompatibility with itself in the following year.