Re: [gardeners] Althea officinalis uses

Jane Burdekin (
Tue, 9 Mar 1999 05:07:11 -0700

Thanks for the info and sites Cynthia.  I finally found a picture of the
Althaea officinalis and it is not the plant I am finding in the garden.  I
have found quite a few uses for it too, and it is available in the natural
food stores here in town.  Maybe the plant I am looking for is the  other
Malvas you mentioned.  Thanks for the site.  I'm off to check them out. 
Hmmm, that is not it.  The plant I am looking at in the garden is
definately a weed and the plants I just looked at are things you would
actually want to plant.  This weed is low to the ground and spreads out in
a rosette shape.  The leaves are round and scalloped on the edges.  It
produces small whitish/purplish flowers and forms a button shaped like a
hollyhock seed button later.  It has a carrot like tap root that is heading
for China and if you leave any piece of it a new plant (weed) will form. 
Any ideas???


> At 05:23 AM 3/8/99 -0700, you wrote:
> ><snip>I got distracted trying to find out if the "weed" called
> >Malva was of some value.  I recently took an herb class and it is one of
> >the plants the instructor pointed out.  Does any one know if it is the
> >as marshmallow plant.  I am thinking it is Althaea officinalis but I
> >find a picture to confirm it.  If that is the right name there seems to
> >many uses for this common weed that I keep digging and throwing in the
> >compost.  If it is that I sure hope I haven't completely iradicated it
> >the garden, what are the odds of that?   I better get out there and
> >preparing for pea planting tonight.  
> >
> >Jane 
> Hi Jane,
> I have some info from, "The Herb Book", by John Lust.  Says, common names
> for Althea officinalis is Marshmallow, mortification root, sweet weed,
> wymote.  The medicinal parts are root, leaves, flowers.
> Properties and uses... Demulcent, emollient, diuretic.  It's particular
> excellence is soothing irritated tissue.  Externally, use it as a
> for irritations, burns, carbuncles, and furuncle, and wounds.  (what the
> heck is a furuncle?).
> It says more, but I don't have time to type it all out this morning.  If
> you really want more, let me know and I will type up the rest of the
> decoction info etc.  I also have info on Malva sylvestris and Malva
> rotundifolia if you need it.
> A good place to start looking for a pic is at virtual garden  
> Cynthia
> **Womyn Who Moves Mountains-Little Finger Of Michigan**
> ** **USDA zone 4b-Sunset zone 41**
> ** **