Marjoram (Mo Jiao Lan)
Botanical Name: Origanum majorana
Be careful not to confuse marjoram (Origanum majorana) with oregano (Origanum vulgare), which is often commonly called wild marjoram. Botanically they are cousins and closely related, but they are not the same plant. Marjoram (sweet) is well known as a general cure-all, but is especially useful for treating digestive disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and providing a sense of general comfort and relaxation. The ancient Greeks considered it a symbol of happiness.
Below is an overview of Marjoram (Mo Jiao Lan), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Marjoram (Mo Jiao Lan).
Western Name: Marjoram
Also Known As: Sweet Marjoram, Knotted Marjoram, Pot Marjoram
Organs/Systems: Digestion, Lungs, Intestines
Key Actions: Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, Diaphoretic, Relaxant, Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antifungal, Laxative, Nervine, Vulnerary, Sedating, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Digestive, Diuretic, Hypotensive, Aphrodisiac, Emmenagogue.
Medicinal Uses: Improves digestion, increases appetite, treats nausea, intestinal infections, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, food poisoning, tetanus, typhoid, malaria, colds, flus, mumps, measles, lowers blood pressure, prevents hardening of the arteries, improves blood circulation, asthma, sinus headaches, fever, body aches, arthritis, toothaches, sprains, stress, anxiety, suppresses and controls extreme sexual urges.
Pin Yin: Mo Jiao Lan
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lung, Spleen
Key Actions: Eliminates Phlegm/Drains Damp/Clears Heat. Moves Blood/Calms Shen. Promotes Digestion/Moves Qi. Relieves Pain. Promotes lactation.
Medicinal Uses: Headaches, colds, runny nose, diabetes, stress, lowers blood pressure, eases menstrual cramps and mood swings, insomnia, poor appetite, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, constipation, arthritis, nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaves
Flavors/Temps: Slight Sweet, Cool, Pungent, Slightly Bitter
Caution: Generally considered very safe. Not recommended for long term use. Be sure to reduce dosage when using the herb as a medicine children.
History/Folklore: Marjoram has a long reputable history as an effective cure-all. Among its many applications, it is used to relieve pain, prevent infections, improve digestion, control diabetes, reduce PMS symptoms, support brain health, and even treat spasms all while soothing and creating a sense of general well-being.
Marjoram can help prevent sepsis as well as prevent wounds from developing tetanus. And it can also help prevent colds, mumps, influenza, measles, pox, typhoid, malaria, colic, urinary tract infections, and digestive disorders. It is an excellent antiseptic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral herb. It also has expectorant properties that can help relieve phlegm from the respiratory system, relieving stuffy noses, soothing coughs, and clearing the lungs from unwanted mucus buildup.
Marjoram’s antifungal properties help to treat fungal skin infections but also dysentery that is caused by outbreaks of dangerous fungal growths.
Early research indicates that taking 2 drops of marjoram oil daily along with asthma medication for 3 months can improve lung function better than only using asthma medication alone.
Marjoram was a symbol of happiness to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greeks even commonly called it “Joy of the Mountains.”
For culinary purposes the tops of the plants are cut off before they begin to flower and dried slowly in the shade. The flowering leaves and tops are steam-distilled to produce an essential oil that is yellowish in color. The oil will darken and turn brown as it ages. As a spice it is used in soups, stews, dressings and sauces. Marjoram is considered sweeter with a more floral quality than oregano. Oregano has a more peppery and lemony flavor than marjoram does.
Marjoram is often treated as an annual (even though it is a perennial) because it is so sensitive to freezing temperatures that can cause death or injury. The plants are often seeded indoors during late winter or early spring and then transplanted. They like full sun and well-drained soil. They are a drought tolerant plant and make a pretty ground covering plant.
Marjoram is used in cosmetics, soaps, lotions, and shaving gels.
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Synonymous with Oregano, but not the same!
In some Middle Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, but they are in fact, two entirely different plants.
Picking the shoots before the plants go to flower will yield the best flavored herbs. Picking after the plant flowers will yield a more bitter tasting leaf.
Cooking with Marjoram Essential Oil
One drop of marjoram oil is equal to 2 tsp of the dried herb.
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