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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



MARJORAM, SHOWY
aka Wild Marjoram, Wild Oregano
(Origanum vulgare)
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Also see: Sweet Marjoram

PROPAGATION: Easy from seed in spring, also by division. Perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun and light well-draining soil.
HARVEST: Leaves as desired for drying. Flowers in full bloom for drying.
FLOWERS: Late July onward.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Minor antioxidant with antifungal properties.
Mild infusion (tea) has been used as a gargle for sinus congestion and hay fever.
An infusion of the flowers said to prevent seasickness and to have a calming effect.
Has been used in the bath for relieving aches and pains and chest congestion.

CULINARY:
Very mild (almost tasteless) oregano flavor and not really suitable for use except in a culinary emergency where anything is better than nothing.
The fresh or dried leaves are used.

COSMETIC:
In the herbal bath it is considered stimulating.

CRAFT:
Leaves in sachets and sleep pillows. Leaves and flowers in potpourri. Flowers dry well for dried arrangements.

DYE:
The tops yield green with alum mordant. The whole above ground plant will yield a reddish color with alum. Will produce shades of olive with a chrome mordant.

OTHER:
Said to repel ants.

COMPANION:
Benefits whatever it grows near.

LANGUAGE:
"Joy"



MARJORAM, SWEET
(Origanum majorana)
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PROPAGATION: By seed in spring or by cuttings or root division in fall. Tender perennial treated as an annual or pot grown in the north.
NEEDS: Full sun and light well-draining soil. Will accept a wide variety of conditions except for wet soil.
HARVEST: At the end of the season, cut the plant back to 1 to 2 inches. Dry the stems and leaves for use. Pot up the roots and winter inside. In subsequent years roots can be divided before repotting. Flowers are tiny, but allow to go to seed if desired. When the seed pods are brown, remove them from the plant. The seeds are difficult to locate, but worth the trouble of finding if you wish to grow a number of plants.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Considered to be a digestive aid.
Has been used externally as an antiseptic.

CULINARY:
Has the flavor of a mild oregano with a sweet note and is invaluable in cookery.

COSMETIC:
Used in the herbal bath to stimulate and soothe at the same time.

CRAFT:
It's sweet, spicy fragrance is invaluable in sachets, potpourris and in soap making. Used in insect repellant sachets.

OTHER:
Said to repel insects.

COMPANION:
Benefits whatever it grows near.

LANGUAGE:
"Joy"




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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