• The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World

MARJORAM ( Majorana hortensis Moench. )
Names in Other Languages:

English Sweet marjoram, Knotted marjoram
French Marjolaine
German Majoran, Wurstkraut, Maigram, Mairan
Spanish Almáraco, Amaáraco, Mejorana, Mayorana
Italian Maggiorana, Persa
Turkish Mercanköşk, Merzengûş, Kekik otu, Kekikotu
Japanese マージョラム Majoramu

FAMILY: Lamiaceae

ORIGIN:   : Marjoram stems from Asia Minor. It is cultivated in Mediterranean countries, Central and Eastern Europe.

Dried marjoram


Marjoram leaves
GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Sweet marjoram's oval leaves are soft and fuzzy, but you need a hand lens to see the short fine hairs. They are opposite each other on a square stem which is typical of plants in the mint family. The leaves get up to an 2.5 cm long. The flowers are tiny, less than 0.3 cm long and arranged in burrlike heads 1.3 cm long.

USEFUL PARTS:

Leaves

SENSORY PROPERTIES:

Aromatic and slightly bitter.

MAIN CONSTITUENTS:

The content of essential oil depends on soil, climate and season, but generally lies between 0.7% and 3.5%. The main aroma component is a bicyclic monoterpene alcohol, cis-sabinene hydrate (max. 40%); furthermore, α-terpinene, 4-terpineol, α-terpineol, terpinenyl-4-acetate and 1,8-cineol are found in significant amounts.

Analysis of the dry herb gave the following values:

Moisture: 7%
Protein: 14.31%
Fixed oil: 5.60%
Volatile oil: 1.72%
Pentosans: 7.68%
Fiber: 22.06%
Ash: 9.69%.
 

Source: http://www.indianetzone.com/1/marjoram.htm


Marjoram plants
MAIN USES IN FOOD PROCESSING:

Marjoram loses some aroma when it is dried. It is a well-established culinary herb across Central Europe. Dried marjoram is extremely important in industrial food processing and is much used in spice mixtures for the production of sausages. It can be used as tea.

The addition of marjoram to boiled or fried liver is a classic. Marjoram may be effectively combined with bay leaves. Marjoram also has a place in vegetable dishes and works well with heavy vegetables such as legumes or cabbage. Fried potato spiced with liberal amounts of marjoram is delicious. Fresh marjoram is more popular in Southern European cuisines due to the warm climate. Only in less subtly flavoured dishes, such as Italian tomato sauces spiced with garlic, can fresh marjoram be successfully replaced by oregano. Marjoram is also popular further North in the Caucasus. The cuisine of Georgia is particularly known for its subtle blends of herbs and for its pleasantly fruity, acidic-sweet, sp The mixture contains marjoram, savory, dill and basil plus a small amounts of black pepper and saffron. Marjoram is sweeter and milder than oregano. It is characteristic in German cooking, where it is an important part of the spice mixture for sausage; English cooking, with goose and chestnuts for example; in French cooking, for example in herbes de Provence, and in Italian and Greek cooking, where it is used in sauces and meat dishes, among other uses.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES:

Marjoram tea has been used historically for relief from symptoms of hay fever, sinus congestion, indigestion, asthma, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, colds, coughs, and nervous disorders. It is a gently fragrant, calming herb that does have mild antioxidant and anti-fungal properties. Unsweetened tea can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle. Marjoram tea can be taken one or two cups per day in order to have the therapeutic benefits.


Externally, Marjoram leaves can be ground into a paste and used for the pain of rheumatism and for sprains. The leaves can be made into an oil for relief of toothache pain - drop a few drops of the oil on the affected tooth. Leaves can also be placed in cheesecloth or a coffee filter and placed under the tap for a fragrant and refreshing bath that is believed good for the skin. Sweet marjoram is considered expectorant, carminative and tonic. The leaves and seeds are considered astringent. An infusion of the plant is used as stimulant, surorific, emmenagogue and galactagogue. It is reported to be useful in asthma, hysteria and paralysis. Marjoram helps expel and loosen phlegm of the mucous membranes of the nasal and bronchial passages. The warmth accumulated by the herb from the sun helps to clear bad cold. Tea made from marjoram has the ability to stimulate the sweat glands. It helps to moisten taut, dry skin during influenza, if taken in small quantities. It is useful in promoting and regulating menstruation if taken in the form of an infusion. Such an infusion helps in promoting the secretion and flow of milk in nursing mothers.

The oil of marjoram is beneficial in skin disorders and it can be applied externally in case of bruises, sprains, stiff and paralytic limbs. It also allays toothache. he herb is beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders. It expels gas from the stomach. Hot fomentations of the dried leaves and tops applied in bags are helpful in colic. The oil of marjoram can be used beneficially as hot fomentation in acute diarrhea.

Safety: It should not be used during pregnancy.

REFERENCES and SOURCES:

http://aidanbrooksspices.blogspot.com/2007/10/marjoram.html

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Maio_hor.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/marjor19.html

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-marjoram.htm

http://www.home-remedies-guide.com/herbs/marjoram.htm

http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbMarjoramMed.htm