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Majorana hortensis

Family : Lamiaceae or Labiatae


Marjoram, also called sweet marjoram, is a perennial herb of the mint family. Its fresh or dried leaves and flowering tops, used to flavour many foods. Its taste is warm, aromatic, slightly sharp, and bitterish. Various other aromatic herbs or undershrubs of the genera Origanum and Majorana of the Lamiaceae family are called marjoram. Marjoram has been used as a flavouring agent since the ancient Greek and Roman eras. It was considered as a symbol of happiness. It was popular during the Middle Ages as a medicine and as a culinary herb in England during the 16th century.


Native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, marjoram is also cultivated as an annual in northerly climates where winter temperatures kill the plant. It is a low bushy plant and the leaves are grayish green, narrow, and about 1 cm long.

Marjoram contains 0.7% - 3% essential oil, the principal components of which are terpinene and terpineol, composed mainly of terpene-4-ol and a-terpineol.

Culinary use

A herb of many culinary uses, marjoram is particularly appreciated for the taste it lends to sausages, meats, poultry, stuffings, fish, stews, eggs, vegetables, and salads. It has been used as a substitute for oregano. Marjoram is used in Italian herb blends and is often a component of pizza and spaghetti sauce mixes.


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