We have heard of various plants used as an herb for years in traditional medicine and mallow plant is one of the many plants that is passed by daily without anyone taking notice and is known for a variety of health benefits.
Mallow, (Malva Sylvestris) also known as Malva or cheese weed because the seed pod of the common mellow plant looks like cheese, a plant in the Malvaceae family, a relative of the genus Althaea from the Greek word “althainein” which means to heal and the word move meaning soft which is also derived from a Greek word “malakos” meaning to sit, a species of the common marshmallow plant.
The marshmallow root was used in the first marshmallow type of candies. An annual shrub that can live for several years and a popular plant used as an herb, some weeds grow anywhere, pervasive green presence of which you don’t take notice of, like cracked sidewalks, vacant lots, unattended gardens and can be found all over the world, especially in Asia, Africa and Europe, a plant that is grown rain or shine, unlike some plants that depends on rainfall mainly for growing. It have erect or low stems branching from the base that grows high and rounded leaves with fuzzy serrated (having a jagged edge like the teeth of a saw) edges. The stem is hairy and have small leaves that bud from the axillas foliates. The flowers have short petals, purple and white. A friendly and useful plant, very nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals especially in the leaves although the entire plant is useful.
The mallow plant has been used as a powerful herbal medicine and as a wild food source especially during the Roman times and is being cultivated and eaten as a vegetable in China and is still used as an ingredient in herbal cough medicines, lotions and other cosmetics because it is beneficial for the skin. The entire plant can be used for a number of ailments.
An infusion prepared with this plant is useful as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory remedy for coughs
- Infections of the throat
- It is popularly known to treat and prevent urinary tract infections
- Chest pains
- Inflammation of the larynx and tonsils
- Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)
- Sore throats and gums
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Muscle pain reliever
Mallow is known for its delicious sweet taste, this herb is not only known for its soothing medicinal tea benefits but it can also be added to various dishes as a garnish like salads, desserts and as a topping on cakes. It can be used to make poultice ( a soft heated dressing applied to an inflamed or sore area of the skin), also salve, a soothing ointment and a tincture, a solution that consists of medicinal substance that is dissolved in alcohol.
The leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium and iron, a boiled liquid may be used externally to clean abscesses and boils by pulling out the pus. It is also helpful in the treatment of skin abrasions, rashes and burns. Research have also been proven that this powerful herb is used to protect the kidneys.
There have been no known side effects from consumption or use of the herb but it is always necessary to consult with a health care practitioner before use, it can be found at your local natural health food store and is prepared by boiling water over two teaspoons of the dried herb and let it steep for about 10 to 15 minutes.