Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a perennial species of the family Lamiaceae, cultivated as a condiment plant for its aromatic leaves since ancient times throughout Europe.
It is a species very close to the common oregano (Origanum vulgare). It is sometimes called Garden Marjoram.
It is a perennial plant native to West Asia and the Mediterranean Basin, and is eaten as an aroma, its close to oregano flavor is used in Italian and Greek dishes.
Its small leaves covered with down differentiate it from oregano.
This herb is used in the form of fresh or dried leaves, alone or mixed with other herbs, to flavor many culinary preparations.
Its more delicate aroma than that of oregano brings it closer to thyme. It should be added at the end of preparation, too long cooking time may remove all its aroma. The essence obtained by distillation of flowers is antiseptic. It is mainly used for fumigations. It is sometimes wrong to call wild marjoram another Lamiaceae, Clinopodium nepeta, calament nepeta (a nepita in Corsican language) used in many culinary specialities on the island of Corsica.
Marjoram was already well known to the Greek physiotherapists, who appreciated it for its tonic, and fortifying virtues,
Pliny the Elder recommended marjoram for ease of digestion.
The Egyptians used them to embalm their dead.