Marjoram spice: health properties and contraindications
The healing properties of marjoram have been known to mankind since ancient times. However, today the spicy herb is not so widespread among people. Few people in our regions know about its existence, and most importantly - about the useful elements contained in it.
- What is marjoram
- How marjoram differs from oregano
- Composition and calories
- Useful properties of marjoram
- General benefits
- For Women
- For men
- For Pregnancy
- For breastfeeding
- For children
- Marjoram oil: properties and uses
- Cosmetic Applications
- Marjoram in Cooking
- Stewed Beef Liver with Marjoram
- Stewed Vegetables with Marjoram (Diet Recipe)
- Home roasted Marjoram
- Pasta with porcini mushrooms and cheese
- Pumpkin puree soup with champignons
- What can be substituted for
- Harms and contraindications
- Harvesting and Storage
- Interesting Facts
What is marjoram
Marjoram is a spicy vegetable herb, which is best known in Europe and the East. There, it is used in the form of a seasoning for many culinary dishes. However, in addition to this, the use of marjoram in medicine, and not only folk, but also industrial and cosmetology is widespread.
This medicinal herb comes from the Juniper family and is most commonly represented by one- or two-year-old plants. The closest relative of marjoram, oregano, can often be found in the wild. However, marjoram itself is a cultivated species, so people grow it anywhere: in greenhouses, in vegetable gardens and flowerbeds.
The spicy plant likes heat and direct sunlight, that's why the herb is native to southern countries. That's where it came to our land. Nevertheless, marjoram is not at all unpretentious in maintenance, so it can easily grow even on windowsills in apartments and houses.
Of all the currently known varieties of marjoram, only two of them are actively cultivated by gardeners. Such close attention is paid to the floral and leafy species. Each is used as an ornamental, spicy and medicinal plant. However, there are other varieties that are used in the same way, but much less frequently.
- Floral marjoram. It has rhizomes and small stems that are less robust than the leafy kind. Also, despite the name, which is not at all telling, this marjoram does not flower as lushly.
- Leafy marjoram. Represents a small bush. It has only one main stem, it is very strong and branches strongly. It has large, fat leaves on it. But during the flowering period, there are very few flowers on the leafy marjoram.
- Baikal marjoram. This is the only representative of marjoram, which is extremely prolific. The bush is relatively low, its height on average reaches about 60 cm. The bright lettuce leaves are very soft and have an unusually pleasant smell. Snow-white flowers can be seen among them during the flowering period.
- Mayoran delicacy. Among other varieties is distinguished by its high yield. The fruits of the spicy bush have time to ripen literally in 3 and a half months. The bushes of this variety are taller than those of Baikal marjoram. They can reach a height of up to 70 cm. There is a noticeable difference in the smooth, green plates, which in the gourmet are presented in the form of small ovals, and often there may be a waxy patina on their upper part.
- Scandi marjoram. It is the most standard variety. Its leaves have the usual oval shape and are not covered with a waxy patina on top. The height of the bush is also standard, it does not exceed 60 cm, and the flowers are the same small and white.
- Majorana thermos. This is the most low-growing representative. Its height does not happen more than 30-40 cm. The color of the plant is always gray, sometimes there is a metallic or silver sheen. The flowers are of a standard white shade and small in size. The leaf laminae on the upper part have a pleasant light pubescence.
- Tushinsky Semko. This variety of marjoram is a Russian variety, and its ripening time stretches sometimes up to 5 months. The appearance of the bush differs considerably from other congeners. The stems do not branch as much from the main trunk and have an unusual purple hue instead of a rich green. Moreover, they are covered with fluffy, silver-colored tufts on top. The stem begins to turn woody near the most fertile layer of soil. The green leaves are slightly oblong and elongated in shape, with a pointed end. And on the edges of each leaf plate are arranged sharp teeth. Small snow-white flowers form elongated inflorescences. An important feature of this variety is that until the moment of flowering, only fresh leaves are used from the bush. After the first flowers appear, only dry marjoram can be eaten.
How does marjoram differ from oregano?
If you compare marjoram and oregano ordinary, it is worth clarifying that the two plants have a tremendous similarity. This is not surprising because they both belong to the same genus Chokeberry. This genus includes about 40 species, so it's not uncommon to see people mistake one herb for another because of the great similarity. For the same reason, you can often see in stores that marjoram is sold under the name oregano and vice versa. However, the sellers are extremely mistaken that it is one and the same plant.
Unlike marjoram, which is a cultivated vegetable plant, oregano grows exclusively in the wild. Only some of the varieties have been bred by man, but in our cold climate they simply cannot survive outdoors. Despite the similarity in taste and smell of marjoram and oregano, spicy herbs are united only in the fact that they can reveal their rich potential only under direct and bright sunlight, in a warm place.
Composition and calories
The composition of marjoram is extremely rich in useful chemical elements. So, a small green bush of the plant at the very beginning of its development contains carotene, rutin, pectin, vitamin C, pentosans, as well as tannins. As the plant develops, it is enriched with more medicinal substances. Terpenes, mineral components, phytoncides, flavonoids and bitterness are added. When the stems bloom white flowers, the plant is enriched with valuable essential oil. It is this that has a strong spicy aroma, which is like a mixture of pepper, mint, chamomile and cardamom.
Few people know, but 100 grams of dried spice contains about 270 kilocalories. Dried marjoram is used in small portions, so its caloric value is not high and highly noticeable in dishes.
Useful properties of marjoram
All of the most useful and most valuable healing biological substances are found in the very top of the flowering marjoram bush. The spicy herb contains manganese, pectins, zinc, phytoncides, flavonoids, vitamins A, P, E and C. Also an important component of marjoram is the essential oil, which contains such chemical elements as sabinene, linalool, tyrpineol hydrates and many other useful substances. Such an extensive supply of valuable healing elements in each bush of the plant makes it widely used not only in cooking and cosmetology, but also in medicine:
- The oral cavity will be perfect when using marjoram. It not only eliminates all kinds of inflammation, significantly strengthens the gums and teeth, but also easily copes with any toothache.
- For any ailments related to the lungs, marjoram is simply indispensable. It is it that allows you to quickly and easily remove fluid from the respiratory organs.
- Any illness related to the genitals, from untimely menstrual cycle to impaired fertility, can be easily cured with the help of the spice.
- Majorana is excellent for cleansing and improving the blood in the body. The herb is able to speed up the circulatory process and fill the blood with new, healthy cells.
- Marjoram is extremely beneficial to the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to the fact that the herb quickly copes with any diseases related to the intestines, it also stimulates the process of digestion.
- With the help of the plant, any problems with the urinary system of the body are eliminated, inflammatory processes are easily removed, the issue of urination is resolved.
- Marjoram is also an irreplaceable remedy for insomnia.
To keep women's health in excellent condition, marjoram is the best remedy. After all, with its help, you can improve the hormonal background of the body, restore the disturbed menstrual cycle and even solve problems with the organs of childbirth. Also, marjoram can easily cope with disorders in the body during menopause.
For the male body, marjoram is no less good. It will help to quickly cope with stress and unbalanced mental state, as well as solve all the painful problems with the genitals.
The use of any preparations containing marjoram or its essential oil is strictly prohibited to women in the position.
When breastfeeding newborns, the use of marjoram is also under the strictest taboo, as the use of marjoram for children under the age of 5 is extremely prohibited. And any chemical elements get from the mother to the baby.
Mayoran will be good for children over the age of 5, especially for those little fidgeters who often get bumps and break knees. The herb is a good bactericidal and healing agent.
When losing weight.
People who want to lose weight will be helped by marjoram, which will not only take away the pounds, but also leave the body healthy and unharmed. There are many diets, which mainly consist of liquid drinks containing the essential oil of the spicy herb.
Marjoram oil: properties and uses
The valuable essential oil is released mainly from the leaves and white flowers of the spicy marjoram and is a vapor. The oil is completely transparent and has a light yellowish hue and a pleasant aroma of fresh wood. Due to its rich chemical composition, the essential oil is able to cure many ailments.
If a person often has problems with the gastrointestinal tract, often nausea, it is worth mixing literally a few drops of essential oil of spice herb with any other oil and slowly rubbing it into the lower abdomen with slow massaging movements. In addition, it is worth mixing one drop of oil with water and taking it internally.
This oil is an excellent healing remedy for people who have heart disease and circulatory system disorders. A quick way to take preventive action against increased stress and heart pain is to spray the oil simply through the air in the living room. In addition, you can add a few drops of the essential oil for a massage or in a relaxing bath.
Majorana has always been a warming herb. Therefore, its essential oil will help to quickly relieve muscle pains, as well as headaches and women's pains. To quickly get rid of muscle discomfort, you need to gently massage the sore spot, using the oil of spicy herb. In case of severe headaches, it is necessary to rub the oil thoroughly into the temples.
These are not the only cases in which the essential oil of marjoram can not only improve the well-being, but also completely cure the sick body. Its rich composition helps the oil to become curative for almost all diseases. It is important to know this in order to be able to use the healing oil correctly and on time. The main thing is to use it carefully and not to use it in large quantities, it can cause serious side effects.
Applications in cosmetology
Spicy marjoram essential oil is also widely used in the cosmetic industry. However, it is important to remember that the pure oil, not diluted with anything, should not be applied to the skin, it can turn into severe redness and burning.
- At home, you can make your usual cosmetics healing and more effective with the help of marjoram oil. To do this, simply add a few drops of oil to any cosmetic products, from store-bought balms to lotions of your own making.
- If you need to get rid of acne, you should mix marjoram oil with any other cosmetic oil in the ratio of 1 to 1 and spread the solution on the affected places.
- Use essential oil when washing your hair will quickly restore and noticeably strengthen the hair, while getting rid of dandruff. After each wash, you must rinse your hair with a special solution, diluting 10 drops of marjoram essential oil in 1 liter of boiled water.
The main factor in the miraculous properties of marjoram oil is its uniqueness and authenticity. Unfortunately, there are a lot of low-quality, counterfeit products on the market. Therefore, when choosing oil, especially for the first time, you need to be extremely careful and buy the product only from a proven manufacturer.
Marjoram in cooking
Very often you can hear that marjoram is called a meat herb or sausage herb. This is not surprising. After all, the seasoning from this plant is very often added to many meat products. This can be explained by the fact that marjoram is able to enhance the taste of a meat product, and most importantly, it combines very well with meat.
In addition, marjoram is often a part of any marinade for fish or meat of any kind. The main thing is not to go overboard with the spice. And if it is in a dish in a small amount, it certainly will not be able to spoil it, but only decorate the taste.
However, marjoram is used not only in the preparation of meat and fish dishes. This spice can be found in many recipes. Chefs use parts of the plant both dry and fresh.
- Roasted or stewed meats are not without marjoram.
- Any meat products, such as stuffed cabbage rolls, cutlets, sausages, envelopes, will have a more refined taste if you add a pinch of spice to them.
- This plant contributes to the rapid digestion of heavy foods. Therefore, when consuming any legumes (lentils, peas, beans, etc.) be sure to include marjoram in the diet.
- This spice also spices up stewed vegetables.
- You can't do without marjoram for preserving for winter. Most often it is added to green vegetables, such as zucchini, cucumbers and pâtissons for canning.
- Every vegetable salad must be dressed with these greens. Then it will become even more useful, because it stores so many vitamins.
- Including in the diet of different mushrooms, it is important not to forget to buy them and marjoram.
- Fresh herb will perfectly complement sauerkraut.
- If the spice is a favorite of domestic, it can easily be added to any dish for a second course.
- For fans of marjoram, who always add it everywhere, it is important to keep in mind that in soups it is better to use the green leaves of the plant. And they should be added in chopped form just before serving on the table.
- Few people know, but in vinegar must be added green marjoram. Then you can easily enrich its taste and smell.
- Tea lovers will not be superfluous to add marjoram to it. Then they will be able to get more benefits from their favorite drink. You can use the herb both in dry and fresh form.
- The plant makes a great infusion, you can also squeeze and juice. Vitaminized liquids are best added to various sauces for dishes.
- You can make a nice sauce for dressing various salads. To do this, you need to add green marjoram leaves to vegetable oil and infuse a little.
- For those who are engaged in the making of hop drinks, it is important to know that the green leaves of the herb will not be superfluous to add to the wort.
- Also marjoram extract is widely used in the production of spirits, more often liqueurs.
You can notice that marjoram is used everywhere in cooking. And indeed, it can be added to absolutely any dish. Sweet desserts are no exception. In each case, everything depends on personal taste preferences.
Stewed beef liver with marjoram
- Beef liver - 900 g.
- Onion head - 3 pieces of medium size.
- Olive oil - several tablespoons.
- Black pepper - a pinch.
- Salt - a pinch.
- Red bell bell pepper - 1 piece.
- Bay leaf - grind.
- Marjoram - a pinch.
- Oregano - a pinch.
Beef liver in some time thoroughly wash in milk or do it before cooking in plain tap water. Next, cut the product into small pieces of suitable size.
Pour olive oil in a frying pan. After it heats up, send the onion sliced in thin half rings and fry it. When the roast is ready, send the liver to the pan. Put salt and pepper on top, add bay leaves and cover with a lid. Leave to stew for 25 minutes. The fire should be on its lowest setting, so that it does not burn. It is necessary to check the presence of liquid in the pan, if the liver gave a little juice and it is not enough, then add a little boiled water.
When the dish is almost ready, open the lid of the pan and add oregano and marjoram to the liver. Stir the pot thoroughly and continue to stew for another minute. After that, you can turn off the heat.
Before serving, it is better to add a garnish. It should be chosen according to your taste. However, the best combination with liver will be mashed potatoes.
Stewed vegetables with marjoram (diet recipe)
- A fork of white cabbage - 600 g.
- Carrot - 2 pieces of medium size.
- Pumpkin pulp - 400 grams.
- Onion head - 1 large size.
- Tomatoes - 5 pieces of medium size.
- Bulgarian bell pepper - 3 medium-sized pieces.
- Vinegar - to taste.
- Olive oil - a few tablespoons.
A pinch of each spice, if they are in dry form: marjoram, thyme, parsley, rosemary and black pepper.
Finely chop a white cabbage fork. Next, grate the carrot and pumpkin pulp on a coarse grater. Shredded vegetables send in a bowl, mix thoroughly and squeeze them with your hands until their own juice. There and then season them to taste with salt and pepper, and then add 3 teaspoons of vinegar.
Next, finely dice a head of onion. Send it to a deep frying pan and simmer a little in hot olive oil. At the moment when the slices of onion begin to change color, add the vegetables, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes. After this time has passed, slice the tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the vegetables.
In an open pan, wait for the juice to come out of the tomatoes. When this happens, close the lid and leave everything on low heat for another 25 minutes. After this, thoroughly season the contents of the pan with all the spices and stir. Now the dish can be removed from the heat and served to the table. It is important to remember that cooked vegetables can become a side dish to any meat dishes, or remain an independent food.
Home-style roast with marjoram
- Beef meat (or pork) - 600 g.
- Onion heads - 3 pieces of small size.
- Potatoes - 600 gr.
- Mushrooms (or chanterelles) - 400 g.
- Garlic clove - 3 cloves.
- Olive oil - a few tablespoons.
- Salt and pepper - to taste.
- Mayoran fresh - a bunch (you can pinch dried spices).
Before cooking a piece of meat, be sure to rinse thoroughly under running water. After that, chop it into pieces of the required size, the main thing is not very large. Next, chop the vegetables and mushrooms. The mushrooms should be in the form of thin plates, the carrot should be cut into small cubes, and the onion - in small half rings.
Put a frying pan with high sides on the fire. Pour oil in it, when it heats up, fry onion slices. To the golden onions add mushrooms, which stew for 4-6 minutes. Next, diced carrots go into the pan, and the dish continues to stew for another 4 minutes.
Now you can send pieces of raw meat to the stewed vegetables, be sure to sprinkle crushed garlic and pepper them on top. Increase the heat a little, add a glass of boiled water and cover and leave for 25 minutes. While the vegetables and meat are cooking in the pan, peel potato tubers, wash them and chop them into medium slices. Now add the potato slices to the stewed meat for 25 minutes. Put salt on top of everything, add a glass of water if necessary, and leave for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked. At the very end, when everything is ready, open the lid and give the dish a good dusting of marjoram. Now you can turn off the heat and serve.
Pasta with porcini mushrooms and cheese
- Champignons (or porcini mushrooms) - 500 g.
- Pasta - 400 gr.
- Vegetable oil - 4 tablespoons.
- Olive oil - 5 tablespoons.
- Italian cheese - 100 gr.
- Black pepper and salt - 1 pinch each.
- Marjoram - 1 tablespoon.
Wash the mushrooms well under running water. Separate the heads from the stalks. Brush the top of the mushrooms with vegetable oil, and then season with salt and pepper.
Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan and put it on the fire. As soon as the oil is hot, put mushrooms in a single layer. Each batch of mushrooms should be fried separately, necessarily on both sides. On average, each batch should not take more than 8 minutes. After all the mushrooms are overcooked, let them cool for a while. Next, chop the mushrooms in small slices.
While the mushrooms are cooking, put on the stove a large pot, approximately holding 7 liters of water. First, pour water into the crock pot and salt it. This will require 2 and a half tablespoons of salt. Once the water boils, send all the pasta into the pot. It is important not to boil the pasta a little, take it off the heat literally 2 minutes before it is completely cooked. Next, rinse them in a colander. And the water, which remained after the pasta, should not be poured out yet.
Next, thoroughly mix the pasta, mushrooms, olive oil, grated cheese and finely chopped fresh marjoram in a bowl. Soak all this in the pasta liquid before serving.
Pumpkin puree soup with mushrooms
- Pumpkin pulp - 800 g.
- Potato tubers - 300 gr.
- Carrots - 300 g.
- Onions - 200 g.
- Green celery - 1 piece.
- Mushrooms - 200 gr.
- Garlic clove - 4 cloves.
- Marjoram - 20 gr.
- Chili peppers - 3 pieces.
- Olive oil - 4 tablespoons.
- Turmeric, spices for ajika, salt and pepper - one pinch each.
First, carefully wash all the vegetables and mushrooms under running water. Then cut the pumpkin flesh into large cubes. Shape the potatoes and carrots into smaller cubes. Next, chop the onion and celery pods. They should also have the shape of squares, only even smaller.
Put all the vegetables except the pumpkin in a saucepan and cook until slightly undercooked. Now you can add the pumpkin. Pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables and season with all the spices, except the marjoram for now. The vegetables should now be completely cooked.
When ready, put in the blender and puree everything in the casserole dish.
Prepare the mushrooms separately. Cut them into small pieces, sprinkle them with turmeric and put in a frying pan with burning olive oil. When they are completely cooked, add the green marjoram.
Before serving, pour the mashed vegetables into plates, add the mushrooms and decorate everything with a sprig of fresh marjoram.
In addition to the presented recipes, marjoram in both dry and fresh form is used in many different dishes. Even without using traditional recipes, you can easily improvise by adding the spice to your favorite dishes. The main thing is to remember that the herb has a specific smell and strong flavors. Therefore, if you have not had marjoram among the spices in the kitchen before, it is better to start trying with small portions.
What can you replace it with?
Any cook or culinarian who uses marjoram extensively in his business, it is important to know about one of its peculiarities. This herb should never be combined with any other herb, much less one as intense as it is. There is one good reason for this. The marjoram itself has a very specific and intense smell, respectively, and its taste is as deep. Therefore, adding such a spice to the food will lead to the fact that the dish will simply be spoiled, because the herbs will begin to actively interrupt each other. However, there are meat dishes where the presence of many spices with a pungent, fragrant smell will give a special piquancy. For example, the Georgian seasoning mix often used with lamb contains dried marjoram.
Often marjoram can be accentuated by using different types of pepper, sage, bay leaves and cumin together with it. Sesame seed or nutmeg will help to open up another note of the spice.
If other equally fragrant spices are to be used in the preparation, it is better to substitute marjoram. It is also possible to make a substitution in the case if you simply do not have it on hand, and it is necessary in the dish. It is not difficult to do this.
In terms of taste, it most resembles it:
- Oregano (mint).
Rosemary. However, it has a slightly different taste, but is no worse for any meat dishes, as well as for preparations and marinades.
It is also important not to forget - marjoram is extremely fragrant plant, but such a pleasant, rich smell can dramatically disappear. This usually happens at very high temperatures. This is why you should not immediately add this herb to hot dishes. It is better to wait a little until they cool down.
Harm and contraindications
Despite the many useful properties of the famous spicy herb, its frequent use in cooking and wide application in medicines and cosmetology, the excessive use of marjoram can cause significant harm to the human body. The consequences of an overdose can be severe nausea and dizziness as well as severe headache and weakness.
In addition to the side effects, the spicy herb is strictly forbidden for children under 5 years of age, women expecting a child, people with high blood clotting, the presence of allergic reactions to the spice, personal intolerance to the body and some other diseases.
Gathering and storage
Marjoram is an amazing plant that can be harvested twice a year. As a rule, the first time the spice should be harvested is from late July to very early August, and the second time - about mid-autumn (end of the first month and beginning of the second month). You must not pluck the green leaves from the bush under any circumstances. They are collected only with a sharp knife. From the stem you need to collect only the leaves, ending at a level of 1 cm to the soil. After collecting, it is important to thoroughly wash the plant under running water, then comes the process of drying. Drying the spicy herb can be done in two ways. In the first case, the herbs should be collected in small bundles and hung under the ceiling or a canopy. It is important that in this place there was a constant strong circulation of air currents, and bright sunlight did not pass, as the grass needs shade. In the second option, a platform is prepared in advance, usually a wide board or shelf in a cabinet, on which newspaper or paper is placed on top, where the grass will be scattered.
When the drying process is complete and the green leaves are sufficiently dried, it is time for a thorough overkill. From the spicy plant, it is important to remove all the trash, and most importantly, the spoiled and defective leaves. After this, the carefully selected herb should be crushed to a powder, it is very easy to do. The resulting raw material to pour into clean and dry glass containers or jars and after completely filling them tightly closed. For storage, dried marjoram is undemanding. The main thing is that the jar was in a dark and dry place. Then the spice will be able to stand there for a long time, preserving all its useful properties.
Spicy herb marjoram has been known to mankind for many thousands of years. And it is not surprising that at different times it was used for a variety of needs. However, not only this adds to the list of various interesting facts about marjoram.
- In past centuries, people used the herb as a strong flavoring agent that was added to water. Then the aromatic liquid was used to wash their hands before and after meals.
- Few people know, but marjoram bushes produce wonderful, medicinal honey. Moreover, the plant is extremely honey-bearing, which allows you to collect up to 100 kg of product from one hectare.
- Marjoram bushes in the form of fruits give seeds from which high-quality oil is made. It is used in the manufacture of industrial varnishes and paints.
- Marjoram is also widely used in brewing beer. After all, this plant can completely replace hops.
- In Greece, people believed that marjoram could give a person a great love. Therefore, people often added spicy spices to various wine drinks in order to find warm feelings.
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