Sweetly scented wild marjoram has upright tufted square red stems, oval leaves and clusters of delicate deep pink flowers. The flowers can be white with green bracts or pink with deep maroon bracts, adding greatly to the beauty this plant. The generic name Origanum means “joy of the mountain”
This native wild Irish aromatic plant is common throughout the Burren where beautiful drifts can be seen along roadside verges throughout the late Summer. Marjoram is surprisingly absent from the Aran Islands.
History and Folklore
Marjoram has a long history of use as a medicinal herb in Ireland, used in the treatment of coughs and colds, catarrh, head colds and associated congestion
It was also used as a digestive tonic. A rubbing oil extracted from Marjoram was used in the treatment of rheumatic pains and joints by our Irish ancestors
Medicinal actions & Uses
Marjoram oil is strongly antiseptic, with potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties
A recognised culinary herb used in the flavouring of stews, soups and sauces. Apple jelly flavoured with marjoram makes a lovely addition to savoury dishes-something I am looking forward to trying out next year
Modern herbalists use marjoram oil to treat toothache aching joints. It is also valued as an important role to play in gut dysbiosis
Other interesting uses
Marjoram was used in dying wool purple and linen red
Eighteenth- century Horsemen used Marjoram oil as a means of calming horses
As a young botanist, I was thrilled when I first discovered this native Irish plant. With only a limited number of wild aromatic herbs in Ireland, wild marjoram was a great personal discovery as not only is it scented but its distribution is more typically associated with exotic warm places like Greece. Yet here it was growing wild in the west of Ireland, on our doorstep, to be enjoyed by all.
Wild Marjoram is occasional throughout Ireland