In ancient times it was called Amarakion, a name taken from Amarakos, the son (or slave in another version) of the Cypriot King Kiniras and a priest of the temple of Aphrodite. Amarakos was a herbalist and perfumer and used marjoram in a myrrh starring in worship ceremonies in the temples of the goddess. Sometime, while holding an alabaster pot with the holy myrrh, it slipped from his hands and broke. The gods understood it because of the strong smell that spread everywhere, and for his disobedience they wanted to punish him and transform him into the plant named after him.
The ancient inhabitants of Cyprus made from marjoram a very strong perfume called "amaracinon”, very popular in the elegant Athenians, which is said to have been so powerful that it caused a headache.
Amarakinon or "samphshion" is also found in Egypt at the ceremonies of the god Osiris.
Even today, in some areas of Cyprus the marjoram is called "amaraka".
Marjoram was gifted to the people by he goddess Aphrodite, planting it on Olympus and symbolized happiness and harmony, as did her cousin oregano.
They have used it on erotic filters and the girls used to put it under their pillow so that the goddess in their dream reveal the one who loves them. The custom was passed on to Christians, where at the feast of the Evangelist Luke, they mixed honey and vinegar, along with marjoram, marigold and apsinth. The girl was spreading this "filter" on her hair before falling asleep to dream of her future husband. (Ah, these feminists ...)
In Athens and Rome the bride and groom wore oregano or marjoram wreaths.
As a decoction, it was a practical medicine for stomach and intestinal disorders due to its soothing and analgesic action. In the Middle Ages, it was a medicine, for cold, an expectorant and a relief to the toothache.
Hippocrates used marjoram essential oil as an antiseptic, Dioscurides for colic and hydrotherapy, Galen, Pliny and Theophrastus as digestive and the Egyptians used it as an antidepressant.
The herb marjoram belongs to the wide Origanum family, but has a softer and warmer aroma than its cousin oregano.
It is a potent source of natural antioxidants, its essential oil contains elements such as savinene hydrate, carbacrol, linalool and other terpenes, minerals and trace elements (iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, B, C, Z, B, C, Z, B -carotene, folic acid and niacin.
According to research, there is strong evidence that marjoram and oregano may be promising chemoprotectant herbs for cancer, and especially for breast cancer and its metastases.
Other research shows the validity of the traditional use of marjoram in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and thrombosis.
Recommended for pharyngitis and tonsillitis, bronchitis and asthma, inflammation of the tongue and gums, is expectorant, anticonvulsant and tonic, auxiliary to headaches, vertigo, migraine.
It is protective and soothing, for stomach and gastrointestinal problems, it works diuretic and sweating
As a warm laxative, it contributes to wound healing, swelling due to dislocations and strokes and also to rheumatic and arthritic pains.
It has a sedative and soothing effect that makes marjoram a useful drink for insomnia, but in large doses it is a mild drug and can cause dizziness and even hallucinations.
Because marjoram promotes menstruation, it is not suggested as a tisane during pregnancy, but only its cooking use.
It can cause allergic reactions if you are allergic to other members of laminacae family, such as oregano, sage, hyssop, lavender, mint, peppermint. In large doses, it can cause hypoglycaemia in people taking diabetes medication.