Sweet Marjoram is a beautiful yet often overlooked herb. Origanum Majorana is a prolific green plant with sweet undertones of flavor. Like the other herbs we’re discussing here, its benefits are numerous. It’s great for the digestive tract and acts as an expectorant, meaning it soothes bronchial spasms and muscle spasms. Marjoram falls into the category of medicinal botanicals that are bidirectional, in that they have the ability to read your physiology and decide what the body needs. Marjoram, for example, is both stimulating and soothing. If you need to be perked up a little, it will wake you up. If you need to calm down, on the other hand, it will have a more soothing effect. Long story short, it knows what to do once it gets in your body.
Marjoram also has potent antioxidant and antiviral properties. It was historically used for coughs and colds, and it can be found in many old recipes for cough syrups. We often go off which plants have documented historical uses, as this traces their effectiveness back before the invention of modern medicine. Marjoram’s specialty lies in its ability to treat motion sickness and sea sickness, which trace back to its calming effects on the body. It also helps with inflammation in the mouth and can make a great homemade mouth rinse. If you’ve been having any dental issues, drinking a homemade marjoram tea and holding it in your mouth, can be incredibly soothing. It’s also a wonderful herb for insomnia (add it to your nighttime tea blend). Marjoram can be made into homemade topical treatments by creating liniment—when you soak the herb in alcohol—because when applied to the skin, it will absorb directly into the bloodstream through the capillaries. Liniments are, in fact, another way marjoram has been used historically, for swollen joints, stiff joints, aches and pains, and bites and stings. In TCM, marjoram increases chi or vital energy to give us more stamina. It also calms the mind, reduces anxiety, reduces heart palpitations and is used for insomnia. This shows how western herbalism and TCM line up, which provides additional clues to a plant’s efficacy.
I love marjoram in tea, and I also love it in salad dressings. These herbs make excellent infused vinegars—these will help pull out the medicinal properties out of the herb. I like to use a certified organic apple cider vinegar and then add the herb. (Cap and let it sit for 5-7 days, then strain).