Sweet marjoram is one of very popular herb, especially in the Mediterranean region. It was used by ancient Greeks to make wreaths and garlands and was believed as a symbol of peace, harmony and happiness.
The herb contains many notable phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health and wellness.
The herb parts contain certain chemical constituents like eugenol sabinene, α -terpinene, cymene, terpinolene, linalool, cis-sabinene hydrate, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol and terpineol. These compounds have been known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Fresh herb has high levels of vitamin C (ascorbic acid); provide 51.4 µg or 86% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Ascorbic acid also has immune booster, wound healing, and anti-viral effects.
Marjoram herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein andzea-xanthin. 100 g of dry marjoram leaves carry 8068 IU or 269% of DRI levels of vitamin-A. Carotenes, xanthins, and lutein are powerful flavonoid anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, and various disease processes.
Vitamin-A is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for healthy eye-sight. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A and carotenes are known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It has proven beneficial action against age-related macular disease (ARMD), especially in the elderly.
Sweet marjoram is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K. 100 g of dry leaves provide about 518% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's diseaseby limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
Marjoram herb carry good amount of minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,superoxide dismutase.
Furthermore, its leaves are an excellent source of iron, contains 82.71 mg/100 g (about 1034% of RDA). Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase enzyme in the cellular metabolism. In addition, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, it determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Marjoram herb parts contain many health benefiting compounds in essential oil such as terpenes, linalool, terpineol, carvocrol, linalyl acetate, ocimene, cadinene, geranyl cetate, citral, eugenol, etc. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Marjoram oil has been used to treat minor ailments like flatulence, muscular pain and rheumatism.
Eugenol in sweet marjoram (10% of eugenol) has been found to have anti-inflammatory function by acting against the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which mediates inflammatory cascade in the body. This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol makes it an important remedy for symptomatic relief in individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions.
When taken in moderation, it helps relieve menstruation pain and leucorrhoea. Since it increases menstruation flow the herb should not be taken during pregnancy and in menorrhagia conditions.
Essential oils in marjoram herb have also been found to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial functions by inhibiting many pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus, E.coli, shigella, proteus, and Pseudomonas.
Sweet marjoram tea helps relieve nausea, flatulence and is thought to have mild anti-septic functions.
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