Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Marjoram, also known as sweet marjoram, is an aromatic herb that has been grown in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Western Asia for thousands of years. It is a member of the mint family and is closely related to oregano. The herb is indigenous to Cyprus, the Mediterranean, Turkey, Western Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Levant.

The Mythology of Marjoram in Cyprus

Marjoram, known as Amaracus (Ἀμάρακος) in Ancient Greek, holds a special place in the mythology of Cyprus. According to Greek mythology, Amaracus was a young Cypriot boy who was transformed into a marjoram plant. This aromatic herb was one of the plants most commonly associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

Amaracus served as the royal perfumer in the court of King Cinyras, his father. One day, while carrying the ointments, Amaracus accidentally fell, causing a greater odor from the mixture of ointments. Following this incident, he was turned into the amarakon herb, also known as marjoram.

Appearance and Growth of Marjoram

Marjoram plants typically grow to a height of 1-2 feet. They have square stems that are covered in fine hairs. The leaves are small, oval, and slightly fuzzy, with a gray-green color. The plant produces small white or pink flowers in clusters.

Marjoram prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil. It is a warm-weather plant and does not tolerate frost. Marjoram seeds should be sown indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost. Once the seedlings are strong enough, they can be transplanted outdoors.

Marjoram plants require regular watering, but they should not be overwatered as this can lead to root rot. They should be pruned regularly to promote bushier growth and prevent them from becoming leggy.

In conclusion, whether you’re cooking with marjoram or growing it in your garden, understanding its recipes and the appearance and growth of marjoram can enhance your culinary and gardening experiences.

Health Benefits

Marjoram has several health benefits. It has been used medicinally to help treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, infections, and painful menstruation. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Marjoram has also demonstrated antimicrobial properties.

Marjoram helps with gut health. The leaves act as a soothing tonic that enhances the performance of the digestive system. It is used to prevent digestive problems like stomach ulcers and certain foodborne diseases. Marjoram has a carminative effect, i.e., it prevents the accumulation of gases.

Culinary Uses

Marjoram can be used in small quantities as a garnish or spice. It can also be used as tea or as a supplement. Marjoram can be incorporated into cooking oils by mixing 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil with 1 teaspoon (1 gram) of marjoram. In soups or stews, 2-3 tablespoons (6-9 grams) of marjoram can be used.


Marjoram, a versatile herb, is used in a variety of dishes due to its unique flavor. Here are some recipes that feature marjoram:

Fresh Marjoram Soup

This soup is a simple and quick dish where marjoram steals the show. It requires chicken broth, water, risoni (tiny pasta for soups), fresh minced marjoram, grated parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and ground pepper. More here

Marjoram-Garlic Chicken with Jersey Tomato Panzanella

This recipe combines marjoram with garlic to create a flavorful chicken dish. It includes ingredients like garlic, medium Jersey beefsteak tomatoes, marjoram, basil, shallot, bread boule, chicken thighs, red wine vinegar, and Maldon sea salt. More here

Marjoram Vegetable Soup

This healthy and delicious soup includes celery, parsnips, carrots, onion, butter, pastry flour, beef broth, bay leaf, ground caraway, parsley, marjoram, salt, peppers, horseradish, and marjoram for garnish. More here


Marjoram is a versatile herb with a rich history and a wide range of uses. Whether you’re using it in your kitchen or for its health benefits, marjoram is a valuable addition to any home. Its connection to Cyprus adds an interesting twist to its story, making it not just a culinary herb, but also a piece of cultural heritage.


Wikipedia (Amaracus)

Wikipedia (Marjoran)