For people who are learning about herbs, mallow causes some confusion because of its similarities with its relative, the marsh mallow. What we now call mallow is, in fact, blue mallow, which can be found in most soils and conditions, while marsh mallow, as its name implies, prefers the damp conditions found in marshes, particularly salty ones.
But if you do happen to consume one believing it to be the other, don’t worry, because they have similar healing properties. Mallow’s healing properties are derived from its mucilage and tannin content and was heavily promoted by the Romans as a healing plant which is why it can still be found in all damp areas where the Romans ruled.
Mallow Benefits And Medicinal Uses
Mallow has very specific demulcent properties, that is the ability to soothe and protect the digestive tract, as well specific emollient qualities or the capacity to heal and protect the skin.
These combined talents make mallow particularly useful in countering inflammation in the parts of the body where mucous membrane is found, notably in the bladder, gastrointestinal tract and the mouth. It can be mixed effectively with plantain and Swedish Bitters to combat phlegm in the lungs, bronchitis, coughs and hoarseness, laryngitis and tonsillitis.
If you wash your face with a lukewarm infusion of mallow you will induce a sensation soothing to allergies of the face as well as combat sore and inflamed eyes. Wounds and external ulcers on any part of the body would also benefit greatly from a mallow wash.
Sore or damaged hands or feet should be soaked in a mallow bath while mallow tea is very valuable in the treatment of pneumonia, gravel and all kidney diseases and is singularly beneficial in the treatment of inflamed bowels.
For vaginal irritation, a douche of mallow and yarrow will offer relief, while the powdered or crushed roots make a good poultice that will remove the most obstinate inflammation and prevent the wound from turning septic, while the fresh leaves make an excellent cleansing agent.
If you, or somebody in your care suffers from emphysema, make a mix of 30g mallow, 20g sage, 20g liquorice, 25g thyme and 30g Iceland moss; take a teaspoon of the mixture and infuse it in a cup of boiling water and drink the resultant tea. Take two or three cups a day for as long as the condition is a problem.