Marjoram, also known as sweet marjoram, is an aromatic herb in the mint family that has been grown in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Western Asia for thousands of years. While similar to oregano, it has a milder flavor and is often used to garnish salads, soups, and meat dishes. It’s particularly potent when dried but can also be used fresh. What’s more, marjoram has been shown to have several anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It has been used medicinally to help treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, infections, and painful menstruation. Fresh or dried leaves can be made into a tea or extract. Both forms can be found in health food stores or online. It’s important to note that marjoram extracts vary in strength and purity based on the manufacturer and source. To make sure you’re getting a high-quality product, look for third-party certification on the label.
Research suggests that marjoram may have several health benefits.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. Several compounds in marjoram, such as carvacrol, have been shown to have antioxidant effects. In particular, they may help reduce inflammation in your body. While inflammation is a normal bodily response, chronic inflammation can increase your risk of certain diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. Thus, reducing inflammation may lower your risk.
May have antimicrobial activity
Marjoram has also demonstrated antimicrobial properties. Common uses include applying its diluted essential oil to your skin to treat fungal infections, as well as taking supplements to help treat overgrowth of gut bacteria. However, more research is needed on these particular uses. What’s more, this herb is utilized as a natural pesticide for various food crops.
May alleviate digestive issues
Marjoram has historically been used to prevent digestive issues like stomach ulcers and certain foodborne illnesses. A study of six herbs revealed that marjoram fought against Clostridium perfringens, a common foodborne pathogen. In addition, a rat study noted that its extract protected against stomach ulcers. Still, human studies are needed. May help regulate your menstrual cycle and hormones. Marjoram has been shown to stimulate menstrual flow. Its extract or tea may help regulate your menstrual cycle, as well as restore hormone balance in non-pregnant women with an irregular cycle. It may also help treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder with symptoms like irregular periods and acne. A study in 25 women with PCOS found that marjoram tea improved their hormonal profiles and insulin sensitivity. To avoid risks, check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements to aid menstruation.