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Botanic Name: Althaea Rosa


Malva sylvestris is a species of the Mallow genus Malva in the family of Malvaceae and is considered to be the type species for the genus. Known as common mallow to English speaking Europeans, it acquired the common names of cheeses, high mallow and tall mallow (mauve des bois by the French as it migrated from its native home in Western Europe, North Africa and Asia through the English speaking world. M. sylvestris is a vigorously healthy plant with showy flowers of bright mauve-purple, with dark veins; a handsome plant, often standing 3 or 4 feet (1 m) high and growing freely in fields, hedgerows and in fallow fields. Leaves are edible. Leaf or root tea soothing to irritated membranes, especially of digestive system; also used for coughs, bronchitis, stomachaches; anti-inflammatory, laxative, demulcent, mildly astringent. Useful in irritation of the gastrointestinal system. Large doses are gently purgative. Externally may be used as a soothing poultice. Its supposed sedative effect is unproven.

The young leaves when boiled is a wholesome vegetable and was eaten in several parts of Europe however, cattle do not seem to enjoy it and graze around them. Medicinal Mucilage is present in many of the Malvaceae family,especially the fruit and were employed medicinally, as demulcents and emollients. The seeds were used internally in a decoction as a demulcent and diuretic and the leaves made into poultices as an emollient for external applications. Other The species has long been used as a natural yellow dye, perhaps more recently, cream color, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seeds. A tincture of the flowers can make a very sensitive test for alkalis. In China, the leaves and flowers have been used as an expectorant, a gargle for sore throats, and a mouthwash. Diuretic properties are also attributed to the plant and it is said to be good for the stomach and spleen. Other Malva species are used similarly. Several species exist, including those with blue or black flowers. Also called "Mallow," and is similar in action to Marshmallow (Althea officinalis). Parts Used: leaf and flowers

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