Mallow

Part of the plant used for medicinal purposes: mallow flower (Malvae flos)

Other names: cheeses, high mallow, tall mallow.

Description and harvesting

Mallow is an annual plant with shallow, palmate leaves and purple flowers which bloom in late spring. The plant is native to Europe, North Africa and Southwestern Asia. It grows on moist soils, by ditches, on banks, near where people live, and it is also cultivated in gardens. Flowers are always picked during dry weather, from June to September, and dried quickly to preserve their value and typical colour. They are almost without fragrance, but they have a strong mucilaginous flavour. They are kept in tightly closed containers.

Constituents and medicinal use

Mallow flowers are efficiently used in tea blends, primarily because of mucilage which makes up for 6 – 8 % of the flower. Mucilage is a polysaccharide which swells when mixed with water. This is why mallow is added to tea blends for relieving constipation contain mallow. It is also added to tea blends for haemorrhoid relief.
The flowers also contain tannins, flavonoids, various monoterpenes and malvone A. Malvone A is a phytoalexin (its role is to defend plants against various fungal, bacterial and viral infections and it synthesises when the stress factors are activated, such as water or nutrient availability fluctuation, temperature change, radiation). Phytoalexins are integral parts of the plants’ “immune system”. Hence, Malvone A is a substance that is most responsible for the antimicrobial function of mallow. The methanol extract from mallow flowers, for example, shows activity against certain bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Erwinia carotovora, Entrococcus faecalis.
It has been proven that mallow flowers protect rats against stomach ulcers caused by alcohol, meaning that the mucilage protects the gastric mucosa against ulcers. To this end, it is added to tea blends for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux, since mucilage protects the oesophagus when gastric acid returns to it.
Mallow has an antifungal effect and works agains Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger, for example.
Flavonoids in the plant prevent the development of cancer in humans.

Monk Simon Ašič’s product containing mallow flower:

Sources:

1. Razavi S. Bioactivity of Malva Sylvestris L., a Medicinal Plant from Iran. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2011. Nov-Dec; 14(6).
2. Galle-Toplak Katja. Zdravilne rastline na Slovenskem. Založba Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana, 2002.
3.
Domača lekarna Simona Ašiča, Priročnik za nabiranje zdravilnih zelišč, Celjska Mohorjeva družba, Celje, 2014.
4. Karlin M. Slovenska imena naših zdravilnih rastlin. Priloga Farmacevtskega vestnika, št.1-3/XV.

Malva sylvestris L.

Product containing mallow flower:

Mallow