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mallow - malva sylvestris - flower

Mallow, common, Malva sylvestris L.

Common mallow, Malva sylvestris, is one of my favourites and not just because of its cheerful pink to purple flowers. In the past, mallow tea supported me through troubles concerning my lungs. Today, I still brighten up salads with its flowers. They taste really good!

Medicinal properties of mallow, Malva Sylvestris

This plant is definitely more than a pretty face. As said, mallow has important healing properties which work wonders on the airways, from mouth to bronchi.
But mallow does more. It has a beneficial effect on complaints of the digestive system and the urinary tract. This plant can also be used in case of skin problems and insect bites. Read about more healing properties in the rest of this monograph.

Magical effects and more

Given its pretty flowers and the soothing effect of this plant, it makes absolute sense to me that mallow’s most important magical property has to do with love. It protects you against those who wish you ill as well.
Mallow is also unique in its number of edible parts. You can literally eat mallow year-round and from root to seed. This applies to this Malva as well as other mallow varieties.

Botanical description Common mallow, Malva sylvestris L.

Mallow grows on a firm, fleshy taproot. The stem is downy and usually erect, but might end up lying down if the plant grows large.
The leaves stand on twigs, are cordate lobed below and palmate lobed above, three to seven parts, both with a serrated margin. 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 five moderately notched and darkly veined petals, pink to purple in colour. After flowering, the ‘cheeses’ – flattened discoid fruits – are formed.

Interesting facts

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

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Mallow, common, Malva sylvestris L. image