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Traditional and historical uses of the substances.
In ancient Egypt, marjoram (Origanum marjorana) was used in healing, disinfecting, and preserving. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was said to treasure this herb. The Greeks called this plant "the Joy of the Mountain" and used it to make wreaths and garlands for weddings and funerals. In the Middle Ages, ladies carried it in posies and used it in sweet-bags. It was used in love spells, being worn at weddings for happiness, and added to food to strengthen a love. It was used as a strewing herb for the dirt floors that were predominate in early times. The leaves of marjoram are infuse for a relaxing bath and are also use as a hair conditioner. An infusion to tea will relief insomnia, colds and coughs. The tea can also be use to reduce tension and headaches. It helps with sea sickness an also post-menstrual symptom cramps. Marjoram needs full sun with a well-drained, rich soil. http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/crops/special/marjoram.html
In the Middle Ages, the herb was used for asthma, coughs, indigestion, rheumatism, toothaches and heart conditions.
Culpeper writes “The powder snuffed up into the nose provokes sneezing and thereby purges the brain”. Astrologically, he assigned it to Mercury under Aries.
“It is warming and comforting in cold diseases of the head, stomach, sinews and other parts taken inwardly or outwardly applied. Drinking the decoction helps diseases of the chest, obstructions of the liver and spleen, old griefs of the womb and windiness and loss of speech by resolution of the tongue.
Used as a pessary, it provokes women’s courses. Made into a powder, and mixed with honey, it takes away the marks of blows and bruises. The oil is warm and comforting to the joints that are stiff.”
In Hallowell’s Popular Rhymes and Superstitions, the following advice is given.
“ On St. Luke’s Day, says Mother Bunch, take marigold flowers, a sprig of marjoram, thyme, and a little wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub them to a powder, then sift it through a fine piece of lawn, and simmer it over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will dream of your partner ‘that is to be’.
St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me
In dreams let me my true love see.
If a girl desires to obtain this information, let her seek for a green peascod, in which there are full 9 peas, and write on a piece of paper-
Come in, my dear
And do not fear;
Which paper she must enclose in the peascod, and lay it under the door. The first person who comes into the room will be her husband.”
Shakespeare alludes to this in “As You Like It”, when he talks about the wooing of a peascod.