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The beautiful smelling delicate herb was used in a “love spell”. It was believed by ancient Greeks that placing marjoram twig under the pillow at night by a young lady will help her see her future prince charming in the dreams.

They named it “Joy mountain” and decorated bride and grooms crowns with marjoram during their wedding ceremony believing it will nurture their love.

Not only for love but many people have faith in marjoram’s divinity even after death. They believe that growth of marjoram on the grave of a loved one reveals their happiness in heaven.

Exploring Marjoram

Marjoram belongs to the same family as oregano and commonly mistaken as oregano due to its similar look. It is native to Mediterranean region and grown in France, Greece, and Italy. Marjoram is a small plant with light green, small oval-shaped leaves, growing in pairs.
It’s sweeter in aroma and flavor compared to oregano and since is very versatile.

Marjoram is available fresh, dried and ground form in the spice section of the supermarkets. While cooking with marjoram make sure don’t cook with it for too long. It has a propensity to turn bitter added at the beginning of cooking, so always add it toward the end of a recipe.

In the kitchen

1. Marjoram is a main ingredient in the gyro, a popular Greek dish. It complements Mediterranean cuisine.
2. Marjoram in both fresh and dried form can be used to flavor chicken, lamb, fish, and butter sauces.
3. You can always replace oregano with marjoram or mix and match for a flavor change.
4. Marjoram is also used as a commercial preservative in cheeses, soups, and salad dressings.
5. Make sure you use marjoram in your marinade.

Miraculous Power of Marjoram

The researchers have proved that when marjoram was sprinkled over the Mediterranean salad, the capacity of the antioxidants to absorb and neutralize the free radicals (which cause oxidative damage) increased 4 times. This study was stated in the book “The Healing spices” by Bharat B Agarwal. It is specified that just “1 tsp” of marjoram did the magic of boosting the antioxidant power. This miraculous power of marjoram is because of antioxidants like Ursolic acid, carvacrol, and thymol that can protect the body in many ways.

Antioxidant rich vegetables which showed antioxidant power boost when used with marjoram were Artichoke, Garlic, Beetroot, Radish, Red chicory, Broccoli, Leek, Spinach, Beet greens, Cabbage, Onion, Eggplant, Butternut squash, Yellow pepper, Cauliflower, Romaine lettuce, Red bell pepper, Green bell pepper, Tomato, Zucchini, Celery and Cucumber.

Health Benefits

1. Marjoram can slow Alzheimer’s disease.Alzheimer’s is an unalterable progressive disease that destroys memory and other vital mental functions. The drug which is used in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease boosts levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that speeds communication between brain cells.
Ursolic acid, antioxidant from marjoram is equally powerful as acetylcholine and can help in the same way. It can slow down the decline of mental function and memory in patients who are in earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, marjoram might be an alternative healing treatment for the disease.

2. Marjoram provides protection from infections.

According to Indian researchers, marjoram extract can kill range of disease-causing fungi and bacteria. They are effective against vaginal yeast infections and food poisoning happening due to Ecoli and staph infections.

3. Marjoram is excellent for cardiovascular health.
Marjoram has 3 important characteristics which makes it useful for people with heart issues. It is loaded with antioxidants, which are excellent for the cardiovascular system.
Marjoram helps expand and relax the blood vessels. This opening of blood vessels eases the flow of blood and decreases blood pressure.
Marjoram acts like a blood thinner. Blood thinners prevent blood clots and keep check on existing ones. The blood clots in arteries, veins are threat to heart and can cause heart attack or stroke.

Home remedies

1. Make Marjoram Tea: it is excellent for digestive health and full of antioxidants. Boil 1 cup water with 1 tsp of marjoram leaves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and enjoy daily.
2. Make marjoram chatni: Grind marjoram leaves, Thai green chili, small piece of ginger. Add little salt as per taste. Enjoy like a spread.
3. For improving digestion and getting rid of food poisoning – extract juice from marjoram leaves and drink 1 tsp twice a day.
4. Add few of marjoram leaves(fresh or dried) to your regular tea routine.
5. For treating cold, cough and congestion- make a drink by adding ginger, peppercorns, cloves and marjoram to boiling water. Simmer for 10-15 mins. Strain and drink this several times a day.
6. For treating migraine and headache – extract juice from marjoram leaves, put 2-3 drops in each nostril or apply on forehead and let it dry.
7. For treating bad breath and gum issues – chew marjoram leaves every day or gargle with solution made by adding marjoram leaves and salt to the boiling water.
8. To get rid from body pain or muscular pain – mix marjoram leaves powder and dry ginger powder in equal amount and consume every day.

Some sources:

Aggarwal, Bharat B.. Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease .