Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a perennial growing to 0,6m. Today, it is commonly found in the Mediterranean region or grown in gardens around the world. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. Sweet marjoram is widely used as a flavouring for salad dressings, vegetables, legumes and oils. It has a more delicate flavour than the closely related oregano (Origanum vulgare), and is best when used fresh and only added towards the end of cooking. The aromatic seeds are used as a flavouring in sweets and drinks. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves.
Sweet marjoram is mainly used as a culinary herb, but is also medicinally valuable due to its stimulant and antispasmodic properties. It is a good general tonic, treating various disorders of the digestive and respiratory systems. The plant is harvested as flowering begins and can be used fresh or dried. Marjoram is often used medicinally in the form of the essential oil and is used in aromatherapy.