This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Majorana Pharrn. Lond. & Edinh. Majorana vulgaris C. B. Origanum Majorana Linn. Sweet marjoram: a low plant, with slender, square, branched, woody stalks; and little, oval, somewhat downy leaves, set in pairs: on the tops grow scaly heads of small whitish labiated flowers, whose upper lip is erect and cloven, the lower divided into three feg-ments. It is sown annually in gardens, for culinary as well as medicinal uses; the seeds, which rarely come to perfection in this country, are procured from the south of France, where the plant is said to be indigenous.
(a) Mifcellanea Berolinenfia, torn. vi.
The leaves and tops of marjoram have a pleasant smell, and a moderately warm aromatic bitterish taste. Infusions of them in water, in colour brownish, smell pretty strongly, and taste weakly and unpleasantly of the herb: the blackish green tinctures, made in rectified spi-rit, have less smell, but a .stronger and more agreeable taste. In disillation with water, an effential oil is obtained, amounting, as Hoffman observes, to about one ounce from sixty-four of the leaves slightly dried; when carefully drawn, of a pale yellow colour; by age, or too hafty fire in the disillation, contracting a red-dish hue; of a very hot penetrating taste, and in smell not near so agreeable as the marjoram itself: the remaining decoction, thus diverted of the volatile aromatic matter, is weakly, but unpleasantly bitterish and austere. Great part of the aromatic matter of the herb rifes also in the infpiffation of the spirituous tincture, and impregnates the distilled spirit: the remaining extract is stronger in taste than that made with water, its quantity being less, but has not much of the warmth or flavour of the marjoram.
This plant has been chiefly recommended in disorders of the head and nerves, in uterine ob-ftructions and mucous discharges proceeding from what is called a cold cause (that is, from a laxity and debility of the solids, and a sluggish state of the juices) and in the humoural asthmas and catarrhs of old people. The powder of the leaves, their distilled water, and essential oil properly diluted, are agreeable errhines, and accounted particularly useful in pituitous ob-structions of the nostrils, and disorders of the olfactory organs.