Marjoram is widely known as a flavorful and delicious herb. However, its uses extend well beyond the culinary scope because of its extraordinary therapeutic properties. Indigenous to Southern Turkey and Cyprus, marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a perennial herb used for seasoning various dishes, mainly stews, soups, sauces and meat dishes. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, this herb forms a great addition to a healthy and well balanced diet. Essential oils obtained from marjoram also has numerous uses including applications in the cosmetic industry. It exhibits antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, hypotensive and a whole list of various other properties, which makes it a superb medicinal herb. Marjoram is very popular in the Mediterranean region, where it is considered a symbol of happiness, peace and harmony.
Nutritional value of Marjoram
Blessed with an ample supply of nutrients, marjoram is one of the healthiest herb available on the planet. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, this herb is a rich source of dietary fiber. Each nutrient in the herb has specific functions that help improve your health and well-being. It contains high levels of vitamins A, C, K and B complex vitamins like niacin and folate. Marjoram also provides a rich supply of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese and selenium. In addition to these vitamins and nutrients, marjoram also contains several health benefiting compounds such as terpenes, eugenol, terpineol, linalool, carvocrol, citral, etc. These compounds are found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making the herb a great remedy for many health problems.
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Health benefits of Marjoram
Marjoram is one of the few herbs that comes jam-packed with health benefits. It has been used for centuries as a natural and effective medicine for various ailments. Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of this herb:
- Marjoram helps you stay young
Marjoram is a rich source of various nutrients that exhibits powerful antioxidant effects. One of the main factors that cause early aging is the oxidation of cells brought about by free radicals in the body. Antioxidants helps in protecting your cells and DNA from the damage caused by these free radicals. The intake of foods rich in antioxidants such as marjoram is thus helpful in maintaining good health and youth.
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- Marjoram offers skin benefits
The leaves of marjoram as well as the essential oils obtained from it are often used in many skin products such as lotions, creams and soaps. This herb is packed with antioxidants, which can help prevent free radical damage. The application of a mixture of marjoram essential oil and olive or coconut oil is a great way to prevent the occurrence of premature signs of aging such as wrinkles, dark spots and fine lines. Marjoram is a natural antiseptic and is hence used as a remedy for various skin conditions such as acne, pimples, rashes, psoriasis and eczema. The antiseptic properties of this herb also makes it effective in treating wounds and in preventing infection. Marjoram also exhibits anti-fungal properties, which helps in preventing fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
- Marjoram is an anti-inflammatory agent
In addition to having antioxidant properties, most of the nutrients in marjoram also has anti-inflammatory effects. When taken internally, this herb is effective in treating ailments caused by inflammation such as fever, asthma, migraines etc. Marjoram can be applied topically to get relief from toothache, headache, sore joints, arthritis and many other inflammatory conditions.
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- Boost your immunity with Marjoram
Marjoram is an immunity booster because of the presence of nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which also acts as strong antioxidants. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells, which protects the body against the attack of foreign invaders like bacteria and virus. According to studies, vitamin A also plays an important role in supporting the healthy functioning of the immune system.
- Marjoram has analgesic properties
The essential oils obtained from marjoram has strong pain relieving and muscle relaxing properties and is hence beneficial for treating headaches, toothache, joint pain, rheumatism etc. Drinking marjoram tea is a great way to get relief from stomach pain and other digestive issues. Since it is a natural product, you don’t have to worry about any adverse effects on the body.
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- Marjoram helps with digestion
The leaves of marjoram act as a soothing tonic that helps improve the performance of the digestive system. It can boost your appetite and promote digestion by stimulating the production of saliva and digestive enzymes. Marjoram also helps prevent the various digestive problems including flatulence, colic, constipation, indigestion and stomach infections. The regular intake of marjoram tea has been found to help people cope with eating disorders.
- Marjoram promotes better sleep
A vast majority of people around the world suffer from insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Good quality sleep is absolutely critical for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Marjoram essential oil is a wonderful remedy for people with insomnia, as it has the ability to soothe and calm the mind. It can release your mind off of stress and tension and provide a sedative effect. A few drops of marjoram essential oil on the pillow is all you need to drift off into a good night’s sleep.
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- Marjoram lowers high blood pressure
Studies have found that marjoram is effective in lowering blood pressure without affecting the heart rate. One way it does this is by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood flows through them easily. Marjoram also has diuretic properties, which increases the production of urine as well as the frequency of urination. As a result, excess water, salts and toxins are flushed out of the system. This also helps in lowering blood pressure.
- Marjoram for treating cold and cough
Marjoram is an age old remedy for treating the common cold, flu and coughs. It functions as an expectorant and helps to loosen phlegm and mucus, aiding in its expulsion. The saponin found in this herb has decongestant properties and helps in relieving congestion in the sinuses and chest, providing immense relief. As a result, marjoram is often used in the treatment of respiratory problems like asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis and coughs.
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- Marjoram for a healthy nervous system
Marjoram is one of the few herbs that supports the effective functioning of the nervous system. The nutrients in the herb enhances brain activity and helps prevent damage to the nerve cells. Marjoram essential oil is known to soothe and calm the mind and alleviate disorders like anxiety, stress and depression. It is also used in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Marjoram enhances bone health
Regular intake of marjoram is a great way to boost the strength and health of your bones. This amazing herb provides about 520% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, a nutrient that contributes to the development of healthy bones. Vitamin-K also plays a key role in building bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. By helping to build strong bones, this vitamin helps prevent the onset of bone disorders like osteoporosis.
- Marjoram helps with blood clotting and prevents anemia
As mentioned above, marjoram is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential for normal blood clotting to take place. Excessive loss of blood is one of the factors leading to anemia and clotting helps prevent heavy bleeding. Marjoram is also high in iron content, another nutrient needed for the production of hemoglobin. The consumption of marjoram ensures that your daily requirements of iron are met, which improves blood circulation and the transport of oxygen to all parts of the body. This helps in improving your energy levels and also in optimizing the functioning of various organs in the body.
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- Marjoram and hair benefits
Marjoram oil when rubbed on to the scalp is believed to promote hair growth. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties help prevent scalp infections and protect against scalp problems like dandruff and itchy scalp. Marjoram tea and oil are often used in hair rinses to revitalize the hair and to impart a nice and pleasant aroma to the hair. It nourishes the hair follicles, softens and strengthens the hair, prevents hair damage and also prevent various scalp infections. Marjoram is known to darken the hair and so the rinse can be used to darken graying hair.
Marjoram is a herb that has been long known as a symbol of happiness, love, beauty and youth. It is grown widely for its aromatic leaves. In the culinary world, this herb is used as an ingredient for giving flavor to both sweet and savory dishes as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. While the fresh or dried marjoram leaves are used as a herb in cooking, the scented leaves and flowering tops of the herb are steam distilled to prepare essential oil. This oil is proven to have many medicinal and therapeutic properties and is often used in aromatherapy. In addition to culinary and medicinal uses, marjoram also has many household applications. It can be used as an insect repellent, room freshener and polishing agent.