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Marjoram By S. Horn

Marjoram has always been one of my favorite herbal scents and with Angie's encouragement, I did some digging to learn more about this delightfully scented herb. It is a tender perennial with a woody stalk liking well-drained soil and part sun to full sun. Here in Texas, it will prefer to avoid the hot west Texas summer sun.
Marjoram is a member of the oregano genus, and both are members of the Lamiaceae family (the mint family). Much confusion follows when trying to distinguish marjoram from oregano because they are all related. There are three types of marjoram. Wild or winter marjoram (Origanum vulgare, which is common oregano) is the most used medicinally.

Sweet marjoram (Origanum marjorana) and pot marjoram (Origanum onites) are most used in cooking. This Grecian herb was named 'joy of the mountains.' It was believed to sanctify marital bliss and so marjoram wreaths were used at weddings and adorned the wedded couples crowns. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, favored this herb. It was also considered comforting and was planted on graves. Placed in Greek homes, it was believed to repel snakes.

Ancient Greeks used marjoram as a diuretic, combined with vinegar for spleen cleaning and blood toning, and with wine to help with nausea, increase the appetite, and stopping stuttering. When considered a folk remedy, it was used for asthma, indigestion, rheumatism, toothache, and conjunctivitis. More recently, marjoram is believed to have antioxidant and antifungal properties. As with most home remedies, it is suggested to only make mild teas from this herb. It may cause irritation to women who are pregnant or on their monthly cycle.In aromatherapy it has a character that is comforting, soothing, warming and strengthening. Marjoram is thought to counteract negative traits such as anxiety, hysteria, hostility, withdrawn, mental strain, tantrums, anger, irritability, over-activity and weak will.

For culinary purposes it's used with poultry, in stuffing, cottage cheese, tomato dishes, vegetables and orange marmalade. I tried finding the cheese ball recipe that uses marjoram since the holidays are forthcoming, however it was in an old cookbook belonging to my mother. If I find it soon, I'll post it on the website. It's delightfully delicious.