Appearance: it grows on dry pastures, fringe of forests, among bushes and prefers sunny and shady places, limy soil.

Botanical description: wild marjoram belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is a fragrant perennial plant with woody rhizome. Its stem grows approx. 50 cm high. The opposite leaves are 3-5 cm long, oval, tipped at one side. The umbrelliferous flowers compose a fake umbrella on the top of the stem. It blooms from June to September.

History: It is known since antiquity. Dioscorides used wild marjoram in order to enhance appetite. In the Middle Ages it was used for pursuing witches and devils.  Saint Hildegard suggested oregano against leprosy. In China it is used for ages against fever, puke, diarrhea, jaundice and itchy skin diseases. The Hungarian botanist, Méliusz Juhász Péter mentioned wild marjoram, under the names of  „gyopár”, „varga majoránna”, „vargák füve” already in the 16th century.

Collection: it can be picked while blooming. Cut the upper part of the sprouts with flower and small leaves. You can gain 1 kg of dried drug from approx. 5 kg of fresh herb.

Drug: Origani herba

Active substances: The Aetheroleum origani contains approximately 1% volatile oil, as well as tanin (approx. 8%), furthermore lots of phenol compounds, first of all the antiseptic tymol and carvacrol.

Effects: It has slightly spasmodic effects, antiseptic, appetite enhancer, expectorant and good for neurotic headache, joint gout, and able to lose stiff neck and shoulder muscles. A few leaves help with toothache. It is the medicine of the weak stomach, disinfects digestive system, effective against gastrospasm, helps the function of liver. Externally can be used for rinsing the throat, inhalation, in bath has relaxing effect, assures calm sleep.

Wild marjoram in traditional medicine: It is used for inflammation of the respiratory tract thanks to its spasmodic and expectorant effects. It is also a widely used condiment. In Transylvania it was used to paint red wool. According to traditional beliefs wild marjoram keeps away the devil and chases away demons.


It can be used as an infusion. Pour 2,5 dl boiling water on one teaspoon of dry wild marjoram and keep it covered for 15 minutes, then strain the infusion. Let it cooling for another 10-15 minutes, then drink it. In order to enhance appetite, drink one cup of tea daily before breakfast. One cup of wild marjoram tea half an hour before going to sleep works as a good depressant.

Externally: use as a compress for rheumatic pains or aching neck. Cover crashed leaves into a canvas, warm them up on the lid of boiling water and then place it on the aching body part. Its tea and volatile oil can be used rubbed into the skin.

The wild marjoram stimulates women’s period. It is not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding! Its tea helps starting birth if consumed at the end of the pregnancy (if it’s time to give birth)!