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Marjoram - Origanum majorana

A strongly aromatic bushy perennial plant (although there are annual cultivates) up to 60 cms high, with dark green ovalish leaves and small flowers in late summer. Thrives on sunny Mediterranean hillsides, but is equally well known and at home in British gardens.

A traditional culinary and folk remedy herb, Marjoram ‘joy of the mountains’ was used by Ancient Greeks in their medicine, cosmetics and fragrances. The plant is a symbol of happiness, and folklore tells that is was used to crown both bride and groom to ensure felicity.

Taken internally Marjoram is used for treating colds and minor digestive upsets, and it’s antispasmodic properties make it effective at easing respiratory spasms in asthma and persistent coughs. The fragrance of Marjoram is effective at lifting the spirits and easing depression, and is a relaxing herb suitable for sleeplessness - add a few drops of essential oil on to a pillow to ensure a deep, peaceful sleep.

Marjoram is also effective at regulating the female cycle and easing period pains, and relieving migraines, and headaches of the nervous tension or stress related kind.

mugwort A folk tradition for treating aching limbs is to tie some marjoram leaves into a muslin bag and add to the bath. The essential oil is very helpful in a massage oil to soothe stiff and painful joints, and is effective at relieving muscular and rheumatic pains, sprains, bruises, and strains, arthritis and lumbago.

Marjoram has antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, fungicidal, bactericidal, nervine, sedative, analgesic, tonic, and antioxidant actions (to name a few), and research suggests that Marjoram can prevent premature ageing of cells.

Culpeper noted that it is ”.. an excellent remedy for the brain and other parts of the body and warming and comfortable in cold diseases of the head, stomach, sinews, and other parts, taken inwardly, or applied outwardly...helps all diseases of the chest which hinder the freeness of breathing, and is also profitable for the obstructions of liver and spleen...”

Cats like the fragrance of Marjoram - and the herb was still being used regularly against fleas into the 19th century, carried by it’s medieval reputation of effectiveness against ‘venomous beasts’.

! Avoid high doses of marjoram in pregnancy !


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