Marjoram

 

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This herb is a green delight in many gardens. Its latin name is Origanum maiorana. Its pharmachological name is Herba Maioranae. Its common name is sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram. Its Arabic name is Mardaqoush, Mardaqush. This plant could be much confused with oregano, but still it is a well known herb used in many countries for many delightful dishes.

 

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This herb is a green delight in many gardens. Its latin name is Origanum maiorana. Its pharmachological name is Herba Maioranae. Its common name is sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram. Its Arabic name is Mardaqoush, Mardaqush. This plant could be much confused with oregano, but still it is a well known herb used in many countries for many delightful dishes.

 

The Ancient Greeks were the most known civilizations for using marjoram. The Greeks made wreaths and garlands of sweet marjoram for marriage and funeral ceremonies. It was believed that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, created sweet marjoram as a gentle symbol of happiness. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans would crown bridal couples with wreaths of marjoram to symbolize love, honor and happiness.

Ancients Greeks used to let their cattle graze on fields of oregano, in the belief that it produced tastier meat. Even the name oregano comes from the Greek, meaning "joy of the mountain."

Marjoram has a very ancient medical reputation. The Greeks used it extensively, both internally and externally for fomentations. It was a remedy for narcotic poisons, convulsions and dropsy.

Over the years marjoram has been used as a remedy to aid digestion. Marjoram and oregano continue to be used as a steam inhalant to clear the sinuses and relieve laryngitis. European singers have been known to preserve their voices with marjoram tea sweetened with honey.

 

 

 

The parts used are the herb and the leaves. Marjoram has a pleasant aroma. It has a delicate, minty, sweet flavor with a slightly bitter undertone. It is from the mint family and can be very much confused with other herbs like oregano, thyme, Arabic zaatar and thyme.

Egypt is the principal source for nearly all of the Marjoram imported into the United States. Other producers include East Europe, France and the United States.

Marjoram comes from Asia Minor. It is a verypopular spice, cultivated in Mediterranean countries, and also in Central and Eastern Europe, although best qualities require a fairly hot climate. It has naturalized in the Mediterranean region of southern Europe. Sweet marjoram is native to North Africa, Turkey and SW Asia.

 

Marjoram is a highly perfumed herb with thick trusses of dainty white or purple flowers which make it a highly decorative herb that is suitable for the flower garden. In warmer climates it is a perennial, but it is treated as a half-hardy annual in colder areas since it will not survive a severe winter. Flowers are tiny but plentiful and grow in clusters around the stem.

The main constituents of marjoram are an essential oil(oleum majoranae), tannic acid,mucilage, bicyclic monoterpene alcohol and other compounds.

Uses

 

Medicinal uses

It is a tonic, stimulant, carminative, diaphoretic and a useful emmenagogue. The essential oil when extracted from leaves, makes a good external application for sprains and bruises.

 It is so acrid that it has been employed not only as a rubefacient, and often as a liniment, but has also been used as a caustic by farriers.

A few drops, put on cotton-wool and placed in the hollow of an aching tooth frequently relieves the pain. In the commencement of measles, it is useful in producing a gentle perspiration and bringing out the eruption, being given in the form of a warm infusion, which is also valuable in spasms, colic, and to give relief from pain in dyspeptic complaints.

Externally, the dried leaves and tops may be applied in bags as a hot fomentation to painful swellings and rheumatism, as well as for colic. An infusion made from the fresh plant will relieve nervous headache.

 Culinary Uses

Marjoram leaves are best used fresh, as their flavor is sweeter and milder. For this reason it is also best to add them at the last moment when you use them for cooking. Marjoram has a slightly mintly, citrusy taste.

The leaves can be dried or frozen for culinary use. Most herbs are better preserved by freezing than drying, but sweet marjoram retains its fragrance after drying better than any other herb.

Marjoram may be used in sausages, lamb, beef, pork, chicken, fish, tomato dishes, stuffings, breads, salad dressings, and chowders. Marjoram is used in Italian, French, North African, Middle Eastern, and American cuisines and spice blends such as bouquet garni, fines herbes, and sausage and pickle blends.

Use marjoram's fresh taste to enhance salad dressings, seafood sauces, soups, and poultry. A chicken that has been rubbed with garlic, salt, course black pepper and marjoram, then grilled makes a delightful barbeque. Marjoram's flavor also works well with cheese, tomato, bean or egg dishes.

Dried marjoram is extremely important in industrial food processing and is much used, together with thyme, in spice mixtures for the production of sausages. Yet marjoram also has its place in vegetable dishes; it is mostly recommended for rather heavy vegetables like legumes or cabbage. Fried potatoes spiced with liberal amounts of marjoram are delicious.

Other Uses

The plant is very beautiful in a garden. The flowers dry well for decorative arrangements or potpourri. It makes an effective home insect repellant.

The fresh perfume of sweet marjoram is delightful in potpourri and scented pillows. The French put it in linen drawers. It is used in commercial perfumes. It is often used in herbal sleep pillows. It is also used in aromatherapy as Marjoram makes a fragrant bath herb.

 


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