Monday, February 16, 2009

Origanum majorana L.

English Name : Marjoram, Sweet Marjoram

Family : Lamiaceae

Origin : North Africa, Turkey and SW Asia


A bushy half-hardy perennial sub-shrub that is often grown as an annual. Though perennial it is treated as an annual herb under cultivation. The leaves get up to an 1 in (2.5 cm) long and have a wonderful, very distinctive, perfumy fragrance when bruised. The flowers are tiny, less than 1/8 in (0.3 cm) long and arranged in burrlike heads 1/2 in (1.3 cm) long.


Dry slopes and rocky places, occasionally in partial shade, to 1500 metres in Turkey.

Parts Used : Dried leaves with or without flowering tops

Herb Effects

Antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and mildly tonic (herb)

Active Ingredients

Alpha-humulene, alpha-phyllandrene, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, beta-phyllandrene, beta-pinene, beta-sitosterol, cadinene, caffeic acid, carvacrol, carvone, caryophyllene, citral, estragole, eugenol, geraniol, geranyl-acetate, hydroquinone, limonene, linalyl-acetate, methyl-chavicol, myrcene, niacin, oleanolic acid, p-cymene, riboflavin, rosmarinic acid, tannin, terpinen-4-ol, terpinolene, thiamin, ursolic acid (plant); arbutin (leaf); linoleic acid (seed).

Medicinal Use

Asthma, common cold, bruises, cancer, insomnia, migraine, spasms, women's ailments, digestive disorders, to treat muscular pain, bronchial complaints, arthritis, sprains and stiff joints.


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