Often confused with oregano, which is sometimes called wild marjoram, Origanum marjorana has been given the name sweet marjoram to distinguish it from other species of Origanum. The leaves are smooth, light to dark green, and oval in shape, while the flowers have reddish bracts that bloom from the end of June throughout August. It is native to Cyprus and Turkey and is now cultivated all around the world for its culinary uses and medicinal purposes.
History of Sweet Marjoram
The ancient Greeks believed that sweet marjoram helped nurture love and happiness. They made wreaths of this herb that they used to crown newlyweds and added it to their food to promote happiness and civility. The women also used it to predict the fate of their love lives – they would place it under their pillows and it is said that they would dream about their future husband.
It was the Egyptians that mainly used sweet marjoram to treat various ailments, such as wound-healing, preserving, and disinfecting. It was also used in the 1500s to give chambers a pleasant smell, as well as a perfume used in bath mixtures.
Sweet marjoram is now widely used in cooking different dishes. It is used as a flavoring herb in poultry, lamb, beef, veal, fish, and vegetables, as well as an ingredient in stews, sauces, and dressings, and marinades.
Sweet Marjoram Nutrition Facts
For every 28 grams (1 ounce) of dried sweet marjoram leaves, you will get the following nutrients:
- 9 Calories (4% Daily Value)
- 50.7 From Carbohydrate
- 16.5 From Fat
- 8.6 From Protein
- 0 grams Total Carbohydrate (6% Daily Value)
- 11.3 grams Dietary Fiber (45% Daily Value)
- 1.1 grams Sugars
- 0 grams Total Fat (3% Daily Value)
- 0.1 grams Saturated Fat (1% Daily Value)
- 0.3 grams Monounsaturated Fat
- 1.2 grams Polyunsaturated Fat
- 905 milligrams Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- 329 milligrams Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- 5 grams Protein (7% Daily Value)
- 2259 IU Vitamin A (45% Daily Value)
- 4 milligrams Vitamin C (24% Daily Value)
- 5 milligrams Vitamin E – Alpha Tocopherol (2% Daily Value)
- 174 micrograms Vitamin K (218% Daily Value)
- 1 milligrams Thiamin (5% Daily Value)
- 1 milligrams Riboflavin (5% Daily Value)
- 2 milligrams Niacin (6% Daily Value)
- 3 milligrams Vitamin B6 (17% Daily Value)
- 7 micrograms Folate (19% Daily Value)
- 0 micrograms Vitamin B12 (0% Daily Value)
- 2 milligrams Choline
- 557 milligrams Calcium (56% Daily Value)
- 2 milligrams Iron (129% Daily Value)
- 9 milligrams Magnesium (24% Daily Value)
- 7 milligrams Phosphorus (9% Daily Value)
- 426 milligrams Potassium (12% Daily Value)
- 6 milligrams Sodium (1% Daily Value)
- 0 milligrams Zinc (7% Daily Value)
- 0,3 milligrams Copper (16% Daily Value)
- 5 milligrams Manganese (76% Daily Value)
- 3 micrograms Selenium (2% Daily Value)
- 8 milligrams Phytosterols
- 1 grams Water
Top 10 Health Benefits of Sweet Marjoram
Decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s
Aside from strengthening the bones and helping in normal blood clotting, vitamin K also decreases the risk of contracting neurodegenerative diseases. Regularly consuming sweet marjoram will provide sufficient vitamin K to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, which is prevalent among the elderly.
Prevents dental diseases
Sweet marjoram contains active compounds such as linalool, terpineol, cymene, and sabinene that possess antimicrobial effects. These compounds kill bacteria that cause periodontitis (gum disease) and tooth decay.
Balances free radicals
Our body needs a good balance between free radicals and antioxidants for it to function properly. Oxidative stress happens when free radicals overwhelm the body, triggering various diseases. Sweet marjoram contains plenty of flavonoid antioxidants that balances the free radicals and detoxifies the body.
Maintains a healthy eyesight
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that are essential in maintaining a healthy eyesight since it protects against potential eye damage by filtering high-energy wavelengths of light. Fortunately, sweet marjoram is a rich source of these carotenoids.
Soothes body pain
The analgesic properties of sweet marjoram essential oil soothe headaches, joint pain, and muscle pain. Simply apply the oil on the affected are and gently massage to relax the tense muscles.
Relieves digestive problems
For people who are experiencing stomach cramps, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea, drinking sweet marjoram tea can help relieve your digestive problem due to its carminative effects.
Inhibits fungal growth
This herb also contains antifungal properties that inhibit the growth of fungal infections on the skin and prevents sickness caused by fungal growth.
Combats diseases and infections
Vitamin C, which is abundant in sweet marjoram, fortifies the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions, and speeds up wound healing. It also combats cancer, atherosclerosis, and metal toxicity.
Reduces fatigue and anxiety
The essential oils of sweet marjoram are widely used in aromatherapy to reduce stress, depression, fatigue, and anxiety by acting on the central nervous system, thereby restoring the individual’s physical and emotional well-being.
Suppresses sexual urges
Sweet marjoram also possesses anaphrodisiac effects – its essential oil helps suppress sexual desires.
Potential Side Effects of Sweet Marjoram
- Sweet marjoram is safe for adults when consumed in amounts that are normally used in food. It is also safe when taken orally as a medicine in a short period of time.
- Sweet marjoram is unsafe when taken as a long-term medicine since it can possibly cause cancer. It can also cause irritation when applied directly to the eyes and skin.
- Sweet marjoram can cause a blockage in the intestines when used in medicinal amounts for a long period of time.
- Sweet marjoram can increase the risk of seizures.
- For pregnant women, it is highly discouraged to take large amounts of sweet marjoram during pregnancy sine it can stimulate menstruation and endanger the fetus.
- For children, sweet marjoram should not be administered in medicinal amounts since it is unsafe for them.
- For people with bleeding disorders, sweet marjoram might slow down the clotting process and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
- For people with an already slow heart rate, consuming sweet marjoram can cause the heartbeat to slow down even more.
- For people with hypoglycemia or low blood pressure, exercise caution when consuming this herb since sweet marjoram can cause the glucose levels to significantly drop down.
- For people who are allergic to mint, basil, lavender, oregano, hyssop, sage, and other plants belonging to the family Lamiaceae, sweet marjoram can cause similar allergic reactions.
- For people with an ulcer, consuming sweet marjoram can cause it to worsen since this herb stimulates the secretion of gastrointestinal juices.
- For people who are about to undergo surgery, discontinue the use of sweet marjoram two weeks prior to the operation.
Sweet Marjoram Fun Facts
The ancient Greeks believed that sweet marjoram symbolizes peace, happiness, and harmony. They made marjoram wreaths and garlands that they wore and placed around their homes.
- Origanum was derived from Greek words oros and ganos, which translates to ‘joy mountain’.
- During the Middle Ages, the women used sweet marjoram in nosegays, or bouquets of flowers that were given as gifts.
- The flowers were used to dye wool and linen before, but this practice was discontinued since the color was not durable and bright.
Therapeutic Grade Sweet Marjoram Essential Oils
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