Marjoram (Origanum majorana, Lamiaceae) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavours. Marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness.
Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. The plant's height is about 60 cm, the stem is square, and ramose. The leaves are small, however, furry, oval and have a characteristic beautiful lavender smell. The flowers are usually small and white.
In Greece marjoram has been known since ancient times where it was used as medicine for gastric and intestinal discomfort. Now it is grown as an ornamental and aromatic plant in pots and gardens.
The leaves are used as a spice, usually for meat and fish, but also as an infusion. From the leaves of the plant we can extract essential oils which are used as an antiseptic while they also have use in perfumery.
When sipped as an infusion, it is sweetened usually with honey. This is made just like sage -by steeping sprigs of the dried herb in boiling water, covering the mixture and letting it stand for about 5 minutes. It must be strained to drink.
Greeks often make an infusion out of dried oregano, much the same as they do with marjoram and sage. It is prepared in the same way -infused, not boiled.
Chamomili (Chamomile tea)
Greeks believe that the sweet, gentle aroma of chamomile calms the nerves, soothes the stomach and helps against constipation.
Faskomilo (Mountain sage)
The plant has a strong aromatic odor, a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and is even used in modern times as an ornamental garden plant. The common name "sage" is also used for a number of related and unrelated species.
In antiquity it was used in the manufacture of myrrh and for medicinal purposes. Dioscorides, Hippocrates and Pliny have mentioned often diosmos as a plant with great medicinal value and lovely fragrance.
Greek Mountain Tea
Greek Mountain Tea is made using the dried leaves and flowers of Sideritis plants (ironwort). The tea is aptly named: the plant is found on rocky slopes at elevations over 3,200 feet (1000 meters).