Malva sylvestris 'Common Mallow' ~ Perennial, Medicinal Seeds
Malva sylvestris 'Common Mallow' ~ Perennial, 100+ Medicinal Seeds
Plant Your Garden w/ Bee Friendly Plants
Albert Einstein is sometimes quoted as saying, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”
The common mallow (Malva sylvestris) has a range of medicinal and food uses, and can be found across the globe, from Asia to Africa and Europe.
Some plants seem to be our constant companions, no matter where we live. Often, they will also be some of our really useful species. It will soon become clear that the common mallow (Malva sylvestris) is one of these plants.
Rather than being looked upon as a weed, the mallows can be more usefully described as some of our gloriously abundant plant helpers. A number of mallow species have long been used as a food and medicine, wherever they are found native, and especially in the Middle East and Asia. You won't have far to go to find the common mallow in most parts of Europe, North Africa and Southwest Asia either.
Mallow is known to freely seed. The round seed pods, known as 'cheeses', soon follow flowering. These were once munched by children on their way to and from school. The pods are held on stalks, close to the flowering stem.
Leaves, flowers, seed pods, roots.
Leaves, in spring; flowers from late spring; seed pods from early summer. Roots could be harvested from larger rosettes whenever large enough.
Medicinal and nutritional constituents
Vitmains A,B,C,E; inulin; mucilage; phenols; flavonoids; essential fatty acids; fibre; calcium; magnesium; zinc; selenium; potassium.
Traditional and contemporary uses
As with many wild food plants, the common mallow has also had a long history of medicinal use. Due to its high mucilage content, mallows make excellent soothing demulcent herbs, especially for cases of inflammation, either for the urinary, digestive or respiratory systems.
Pregnant women or new mothers may like to know that mallow leaves can provide useful amounts of iron, as well as being quite high in zinc and most vitamins.
All of the Mallow family with exception of the cotton plant (Gossypium hirsutum), are reportedly edible. With their high mucilage content, the leaves can usefully be taken as an emergency antidote to irritation or burning that may be caused by the accidental consumption of acrid plants in the buttercup family.
During the war of 1948, when Jerusalem was under siege, mallow was an important famine crop, and one that is still celebrated on Independence day every year with a traditional dish made from mallow leaves.
In China, mallow roots are a popular and a common ingredient in making hearty, yet medicinally potent soups and broths. The inulin-rich tap roots of a number of different mallow species, including common mallow, have been used.