Marjoram: A “Major” Health Benefit
Native to the Mediterranean region, marjoram grows primarily in Sicily, and one of its cities, Marjoram, is named after it. The residents of Marjoram hold the
belief that marjoram had the power to banish sorrow. In addition, marjoram has sacred associations in the Hindu religion and was found to be of considerable use in the middle Ages, especially to preserve and disinfect meat that was less than fresh.
Because marjoram is considered to have the most fragrant essential oil among all herbs, it is widely used in aromatherapy, and also as a warming and soothing message oil to provide relief for muscular ache. Its healing properties include: fighting asthma; headaches; and soothing the stomach and digestive tract. This soothing herbal flavor can be enjoyed as a tea by sprinkling water over a few sprigs of marjoram.
In addition, the leaf of the marjoram has been used to loosen phlegm. It acts as a decongestant and useful in bronchitis, sinusitis and sinus headaches. Used as a tonic for the nervous system, marjoram is believed to be more calming than oregano, as it is used to soothe the nerves, reduce tension and stress; especially environmental. One of the components in marjoram is the flavonoids which have sedation qualities which help to relieve insomnia, tension headaches and migraines.
Promoting healthy digestion and treating simple gastrointestinal disorders, such as loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea and flatulence is another benefit in using marjoram. Much like the herb peppermint, it is said to soothe minor digestive upsets and colic. The flavonoids may also promote healthy arteries and heart by preventing cholesterol buildup and improving blood circulation. It is also thought to help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Containing anti-inflammatory properties, marjoram can be used internally or externally. It alleviates aches and pains and when used externally, aids in the reduction of toothaches, muscular pain, bruises, arthritis, sprains and stiff joints. Used internally, it eases severe stomach cramps, spasms and painful menstruation. Marjoram stimulates perspiration, which also helps to rid the body of toxins through the skin. Moreover, this quality helps in the reduction of fevers, and helps to relieve cold and flu symptoms.
On the culinary side, marjoram makes excellent stuffing for chicken and turkey roasts. It makes an attractive garnish for bean and pea soups, and enhances the flavor of carrot and squash when cooked with it. It also works well with cheese and egg dishes. Marjoram is considered to be one of the rare herbs whose flavor intensifies when dried. It is also used in homemade sausages and meats that are to be cured or smoked. Marjoram also works well in combination with other herbs in spice blends. Marjoram is most definitely a major health benefit.
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