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a genus of plants of the family Labiatae. They are perennial herbs with elongated, ovate leaves and small pink or pinkish-purple flowers in paniculate-cymose inflorescences. There are more than 20 species in Europe (primarily in the Mediterranean area) and Southwest Asia. Five species grow in the USSR; they are widespread in the European part, the Caucasus, and southern Siberia. Wild marjoram (O. vulgare) is found in dry meadows, clearings, and light forests. The herb contains essential oil, tannin, and ascorbic acid. The dried flowers and leaves are used in decoctions for atonia of the intestine and as an expectorant.Origanum is a component of sudorific tea and is also used in baths. The leaves are used as a condiment and a seasoning in food and in the production of liqueurs and vodka. The plant is nectariferous. Animals will not eat Origanum. Sometimes Majorana is included in the same genus, but usually it is considered to be a separate genus.
REFERENCESAtlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
Prianoaromaticheskie rasteniia SSSR i ikh ispol’zovanie v pishchevoi promyshlennosti. Moscow, 1963.
T. V. EGOROVA