Marjoram and Oregano are very similar herbs, but there is a subtle difference.
Marjoram has a milder flavour and it’s taste is less dominant than oregano. In some dishes, this is ideal.
Marjoram is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean area. It’s a member of the mint family of herbs.
History and Folklore
The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite is reputed to have favoured both oregano and marjoram. Because of this it was believed that if a girl anointed herself with marjoram she would dream of her future husband.
The ancients also believed that if wild marjoram grew on a grave the spirit of the departed was happy. Marjoram was also planted on some graves to ensure the happiness of the soul of the departed.
In ancient Greece and Rome, bridal couples wore wreaths of marjoram on their heads as crowns, and these symbolized love, honour and happiness. It was believed that when marjoram was added to food it would nurture love. In the Middle Ages it was used as a strewing herb to mask unpleasant smells.
Marjoram has traditionally been used in medicine to relieve pains; those in the joints, from arthritis, sprains, bruises and muscles. To relieve pains like this, grind marjoram leaves into a paste with hot water and a little oatmeal (to helps with consistency) or rub oil of marjoram on the affected areas.
Modern research has shown that marjoram is a minor anti-oxidant and has some anti-fungal properties. Gargles made from the leaves can sooth sore throats and ease sinus congestion or hay fever.