Marjoram: Beneficial for stomach problems

Although marjoram (Origanum majorana) belongs to the same genus as  oregano  , there are significant differences in the uses of these two herbs. The aromatic-sweet, fragrant smell and  taste  of marjoram stands in stark contrast to the rather tart aroma of oregano, known as the “pizza spice”. But marjoram is also popular because of its health benefits. You can find out here which ingredients the spice can score with and how marjoram is used as a medicinal plant.

Active ingredients and medicinal properties of marjoram

As a medicinal plant, the whole above-ground plant should be harvested and carefully dried just before flowering. 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 include:

Some doctors who rely on folk medicine prescribe marjoram for stomach, intestinal and gallbladder problems. Furthermore, this herb is said to   help with indigestion, loss of appetiteflatulence  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 breastfeeding women.

Application of marjoram ointment

The marjoram ointment, which has been known for a long time, can be used as follows:

  • as a cold ointment
  • with nerve pain
  • with wounds
  • in case of dislocations
  • for ulcers

The ointment is also sometimes used against stomach pressure and flatulence: if fennel or caraway tea is not to be used because babies drink too much, the navel area can be rubbed with a marjoram ointment.

Make marjoram ointment yourself

Marjoram ointment is available in pharmacies, but herbalists believe that homemade ointment is more effective.

 Proceed as follows to  prepare the ointment :

  1. First, a teaspoon of powdered marjoram is poured over a teaspoon of alcohol and left to stand for a few hours.
  2. Then add a teaspoon of unsalted butter. 
  3. Then this mixture is heated in a water bath for about ten minutes.
  4. Finally, everything is strained through a cloth and cooled.

Because of its short shelf life, however, you should only make a small amount of this ointment.

Marjoram as a culinary herb

Although marjoram loses a lot of its flavor when dried, it should still be used sparingly. Due to its digestive effect, marjoram is recommended for fatty dishes, but potato and vegetable dishes also taste great with marjoram.

The German name “Wurstkraut” indicates that marjoram is a common spice mixture for sausages. Combined with juniper, marjoram is ideal for seasoning meat and game ragouts.

Marjoram: history and origin

Marjoram, originally from western India, was brought to the Mediterranean region by the Arabs, where the ancient Greeks, along with  thyme  and rosemary, dedicated it to the goddess of love, Aphrodite.

From the late Middle Ages, this herb was also known in the monastery gardens of Central Europe, but marjoram was never able to naturalize north of the Alps because of the colder climate, because it is not frost-resistant. Therefore marjoram is only used as an annual in our gardens, while in warmer countries it is perennial and far more aromatic.

Marjoram: Demanding medicinal plant

Marjoram grows up to half a meter high and has spatulate, small, downy hairy leaves on its branched, square branches. From June, the pale lilac to white flowers can be found as spherical inflorescences in the leaf axils of marjoram.

This herb places high demands on the climate and soil conditions in our gardens. The seeds can only be sown in a sunny, sheltered spot from May. The soil should be loose, rich in humus and nutrients. Marjoram does not get along with other mint plants and has to be planted in a different location the following year because of its incompatibility with itself.


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