Other names: knotted marjoram, sweet marjoram

Scientific name: Majorana hortensis 

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese name: Ma yue lan hua, Ma yue lan, Ma yu lan

Bangladesh names: 

Arabic names:  العترة (al aatrah)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole herb


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 30 to 40 cm


Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:


Traditional Use:

Thought of as more of as a seasoning agent.  Used as a tonic. Jethro Kloss would commonly combine it with camomile and gentian.  He used it on a wide arrays of ailments including sour stomach, loss of appetitie, cough, jaundic, headache, toothache and snake bite.1

Clinical Studies:

Antioxidants are an essential defense mechanism to protect our body against free radical damage. They balance the production of free radicals and detoxify them when in excess. A study determined the free radical scavenging potential of the candidate plant leaves when subjected to a battery of free radical scavenging assays. 

The different leaf extracts used were aqueous, methanol and chloroform. The results suggest that Majorana hortensis (L.) H. Karst leaves could serve as a potential source of antioxidant and can be used in any preparation for combating free radical mediated damage to the body.

In-vitro microbicidal activity of the methanol extract of Origanum majorana L. was tested against seven fungi (Fusarium solani, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, A. parasiticus, Rhizopus oryzae, Rhizoctonia otyzae-sativae and Altemaria brassicicola) and six bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, B. megaterium, Escherichia coil, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus). 

The methanol extract of O. majorana can be used as an effective herbal protectant against different pathogenic bacteria and fungi. High toxicity against the growth of Aspergillus niger was diagnosed.


Palaniswamy R, Padma PR. “Free Radical Scavenging Activity Of Majorana Hortensis Leaves.” 2011 April

Leeja L, Thoppil JE. “Antimicrobial Activity Of Methanolic Extract Of Origanum Majorana L. (Sweet Marjoram).” 2007 January