Popular names: field mallow, roadside mallow, wild mallow, Ivanov poplar, cheese grass, cat cheese, horse poplar, yard grass.

Parts Used: Usually the flowers, sometimes the entire flowering herb or just the leaves.

Pharmacy name: mallow leaf – Malvae folium (formerly: Folia Malvae), mallow color – Malvae flos (formerly: Flores Malvae).

Botanical description. The mallow has a forest spindle-shaped root, from which numerous branched, stiff-haired stems grow. These erect, sometimes creeping stems bear long-petiolate 5-lobed leaves, serrated along the edge and pubescent on both sides. In the axils of the leaves, flowers are placed on long pubescent pedicels, light red or whitish, with five large petals notched at the end, on which there are 3 dark longitudinal stripes. Blooms from June to August. Favorite places of growth – on the roadsides of dbrogues, fields and meadows, on dumps and sunny slopes, near the walls of houses.

Collection and preparation. You can collect this medicinal plant from June to August. Flowers are plucked with a calyx, but without a pedicel, you can collect all the grass, also leaves separately. Dry in the shade in a ventilated place.

active ingredients. The main active ingredient is plant mucus, which is very rich in mallow; there is also some essential oil and tannin.

Healing action and application. Like all plants rich in mucus, the main action of mallow is enveloping and anti-inflammatory. In scientific medicine, it is used little, mainly in the composition of many cough teas. Sometimes mallow infusions and decoctions are used as an emollient for inflammation of the mouth and throat, for inhalation and rinsing, and also for mild diarrhea. Mucus and tannin work together here. This is in line with the recommendations of the German National Health Service. Those who are afraid to use coltsfoot because of the side effects of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid contained in it, but it will be necessary to take the plant with mucus for a long time, should give preference to mallow.

  • Mallow tea: the recipe is the same regardless of whether the raw materials are flowers, herbs or leaves. Pour 2 teaspoons with the top of finely chopped raw materials 1/4 l of slightly warm water, leave for 5-10 hours, shaking or stirring from time to time. Strain and the tea is ready for ingestion, rinsing or inhalation. When coughing, tea is sweetened with honey (except for diabetics!). Particularly good as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory agent for babies is tea made from a mixture of mallow and primrose root in equal parts. It also needs to be sweetened with honey.
  • Mixed tea: 2 teaspoons with the top of the mixture, pour 1/4 liter of boiling water, leave for 10 minutes, strain. Dosage: 1 cup of tea 2-3 times daily.

Application in folk medicine.In folk medicine, mallow tea is very popular. Flowers, leaves and grass are applied equally. First of all, it is prescribed for colds, especially cough, hoarseness, sore throat. Hieronymus Bock (1577) notes: “Pliny writes: whoever drinks tea from mallow every day, thereby protects himself from all accidental diseases.” For pain in the stomach and diarrhea, traditional medicine also recommends mallow tea (the method of preparation is the same). We should not forget about the use of mallow as compresses on wounds. The success of the treatment in this case is due to the increased content of mucus, although the possibility of secondary infections due to inept handling (for example, applying raw leaves) is not excluded. Be careful! Treatment of wounds with this plant is an outdated method in our time.

Note. Traditional medicine does not distinguish between different types of mallow. In addition to those mentioned above, we also use “small mallow” and stock rose mallow (Matva alcea L.). The so-called red mallow (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) contains slightly different active ingredients and should not be confused with real mallow. This medicinal plant will be discussed in the section “Foreign Medicinal Plants” (p. 342). Side effects are unknown.

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