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mallow - malva sylvestris - flower

Mallow, common, Malva sylvestris L.

The common mallow is one of my favourite plants and not only because of its cheerful pink to purple flowers. In the past, I drank many a cup of mallow tea to support my airways. In addition, I like to brighten up a salad with the flowers of this plant. They taste really good!

Medicinal properties of mallow, Malva Sylvestris

So this plant is more than just a pretty face. One of the main medicinal effects that mallow has, is on the airways, from your mouth to your bronchi. But Malva does more. It has a beneficial effect on complaints of the digestive system and the urinary tract. It can be used against skin problems and insect bites. And now I haven’t mentioned everything yet. You can find the rest in this monograph.

Magical effects and more

Given the pretty flowers and the soothing effect of the plant, it makes absolute sense to me that the main magical function of this plant has to do with love. But it also protects against those who’d wish you ill. This plant is also unique in its number of edible parts. You can literally eat mallow all year round and from root to seed. This does not only apply to this particular variant, but also to other mallow species.

Botanical description Common mallow, Malva sylvestris L.

Mallow stands on a firm, fleshy taproot.The stem is downy and usually erect, but can also be lying down, especially if the plant grows very large. Leaves on twigs, cordate lobed at the bottom and palmate lobed at the top, 3 to 7 parts, both with a serrated edge. The leaves are hairy and medium green to dark green in colour. The flowers are located in the leaf axils and in racemes at the stem apex. They are 3 to 5 cm in diameter with 5 moderately retuse and darkly veined petals, pink to purple in colour. After flowering, the ‘cheeses’ are created: the flattened discoid fruits.

Interesting facts

In shops, malva tea often refers to hibiscus flower tea. This is a completely different plant with different properties.
The malva is a perennial, but often behaves like a biennial in its growth cycle.
Plinius the Elder was one of the first to appreciate and write about mallow’s properties.

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