Marjoram

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 25. Sep. 2020

The cousin of oregano, marjoram is flavorful and packed with nutrients that has made it a favorite naturopathic remedy for centuries.

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Marjoram...

  • ...is packed with essential oils. Body-healthy essential oils are responsible for the aroma, taste and healing properties of marjoram. Depending on the variety, marjoram can contain up to 4 percent carvarol, thymol and origane.
  • ...can help alleviate stomach pain. Its high content of essential oils, tannins and bitter substances makes marjoram a reliable remedy for stomach issues such as menstrual cramps, indigestion and flatulence.
  • ...is a natural cold remedy. In naturopathy, marjoram has been used since ancient times to treat typical cold symptoms such as coughs and colds.
  • ...has an antiseptic effect. The essential oils, tannins and bitter substances in marjoram have been proven to fight bacteria and viruses. Marjoram can also help against inflammations. Gargling with marjoram tea, for example, can help with sore throats and ward against bad breath.
  • ...promotes digestion. The oils and secondary plant substances in marjoram help the body produce more digestive juices in the stomach, bile and liver.
  • ...can help lower blood pressure. Marjoram has been known to help slightly lower high blood pressure in some cases.

What You Should Know About Marjoram

Marjoram has played an important role as a spice and medicinal plant for centuries. It not only tastes great, but has a lot to offer in terms of bodily health.

Origin

Wild marjoram is originally from North Africa, the Mediterranean countries, and South West Asia.

Season

Classic harvest time for marjoram is in dry weather just before and during flowering in June and July. After a good sunny summer there is sometimes a second season in September and October. At any time of the year, marjoram is harvested in the early morning or late afternoon, during which time its essential oil content is particularly high.

Flavor

The taste of fresh marjoram is reminiscent of its close relative oregano, but less bitter and with a slightly sweet undertone. As with oregano, marjoram has an even more punjent taste dried than it does fresh. 

Marjoram Cookbooks

Find all our recipes with marjoram here.

How Healthy is Marjoram?

With its rich mix of several essential oils, tannins and bitter substances, marjoram is rightly considered to be extremely healthy. In naturopathy, marjoram has been used for centuries to successfully alleviate a diverse range of issues including stomach cramps, bronchitis, colds, loss of appetite, rheumatism and aching limbs.

Marjoram also has a calming effect on the entire body, relieves cramps and can help with dehydration. In addition, marjoram can makes heavy and fatty foods easier to digest, one of the reasons it's often included in heavy meat dishes.

MARJORAM NUTRITIONAL INFO (DRIED)  (100 g)  
Calories 322
Protein 12.7 g
Fat 7 g
Carbohydrates 42.5 g
Fiber 18.1 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

When buying fresh marjoram, make sure the leaves are evenly green and look fresh. With dried marjoram, it's worthwhile to buy a slightly more expensive, well-known brand, as with other kinds of herbs and spices, cheap dried marjoram might contain chemicals and flavor-diluting fillers. 

Preparation

In order to preserve as much of its valuable nutrients and aroma as possible, it's best to rinse fresh marjoram only once. Then simply shake it thoroughly dry and remove the leaves. Depending on size and recipe, you can use them whole or mince them into smaller peaces.

What to Make With Marjoram

In Eastern Europe, marjoram plays a star role in many types of sausages, adding delicious flavor and essential oils which aid the body in digesting the heavy meat. It's also delicious in other meat dishes, including meat stews, pork roasts and as a seasoning and marinade for lamb.

Its second main area of use is in potato dishes: whether potato soup, fried potatoes or potato salad, marjoram goes beautifully with this starchy vegetable. 

Marjoram is also a great substitute for its cousin oregano, as they have similar flavors. You can use marjoram in place of oregano for virtually any dish.

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