A couple of years ago, a small plant appeared in one of my pots in my garden. It grew quite profusely, so last year, I transplanted it to a border. It seemed to like it there and grew even more. I had no idea what it was but it made excellent ground cover and the leaves had a pleasant scent to them – almost like thyme, but not quite.
This year it has gone quite mad and some lovely pale lilac/white flowers appeared. This year as part of my ‘musings’ blog, I have endeavored to learn more about the plants and flowers that grow wild in the hedgerows and fields. Although this grows in my garden, I was intrigued and decided to find out what it was. Using my trusted app (Pl@ntNet) and Google, I discovered that it is, in fact, Marjoram! It took a while to research as it is very similar to Oregano but I understand the flowers of that plant are a purple colour and these are pale lilac/white. It’s not a herb I have used before so I was quite excited to learn about it...
Marjoram – origanum marjorana – also known as sweet marjoram, wild marjoram and garden majoram originated in North Africa and Asia. It has quite a sweet scent – a bit of pine mixed with citrus. Mine has grown to about 8-10 inches tall has has yellowy green leaves. Tiny white to pale lilac flowers form around the end of June, early July. The herb is widely used for culinary purposes – fresh or dried – in salads, soups and marinades for meat dishes. It is excellent for your gardens, attracting beneficial insects. Rabbits are also said to enjoy this herb too!
Marjoram has many healing properties. It is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial – aiding in a variety of different ills including digestive issues and painful menstruation. Marjoram oil is used for coughs, gall bladder issues, migraines and dizziness to name a few.
Marjoram was sacred to the Greeks – it symbolised love and was placed in bridal crowns to ensure a lasting and happy union. Aphrodite was said to have given marjoram its lovely scent.
Placing a sprig under your pillow is said to bring revealing dreams. It can be used in love spells and resolve feelings of sadness or grief. It is also a herb of protection and can be worked with in money spells or for spells of abundance. It is said that if you place a sprig in your bed before going to sleep, the Goddess Aphrodite will appear in a dream and reveal your future spouses' identity. Hung over the door, it is supposed to protect you against witches' spells and spirits. (that didn’t work then 😉) It is also a protective herb for milk from souring during thunderstorms! You can work with it to connect with spirit or communicate with a departed loved one. It is also a wonderful addition to a posy in handfasting rites.
Marjoram can be used fresh to make a tea. It can also be added to oil and used for anointing. Dried, it can be used as incense, in poppets or charm bags. Dry by hanging up in bunches in an airy place, or in a dehydrator. Sunlight will spoil its lovely fragrance. It can be sprinkled around a room or property for protection. It can also be added to a bath for spiritual cleansing. Be sure to add the herb to a small drawstring muslin bag or similar as you don’t want the herbs blocking up your plughole!
Deity: Aphrodite, Venus