Still called "mauve des bois", "grand mauve", mauve is plantfrom the botanical name of "Malva sylvestris L».
Herbaceous plant of the Malvaceae family, it grows wild on dry soils rich in nitrates, in fields, meadows, roadsides, and wasteland.
The flowers, leaves (especially young shoots and tender leaves), even the root are used both externally and internally.
What are the therapeutic virtues of this plant? What are their benefits on the human body? How to get the most benefit from it? Are there anycontraindications ?
Purple, for the record ...
The name Mauveis derived from the Latin "malva" which itself has its origins from the Greek "malacos" and which means soft. A precision that justifies the use of the plant as an emollient.
In Antiquity, the seeds of mallow were sown around tombs to bring the souls of the dead, peace and serenity.
Until recently, mallow had the reputation of being a universal remedy because it relieved almost all pain and healed wounds.
The leaf, it was rather used to trigger childbirth.
Long consumed as a vegetable, then as a remedy from the 8th century BC, its virtues were more appreciated in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The writer Cicero consumed the young shoots, while Martial used them for a cure after his orgies.
According to the Pythagoreans, mallow represented a sacred plant that freed the mind from the slavery of the passions.
Until the 11th century, it was nicknamed "the cure for all disease".
It would therefore be effective both for external and internal use.
Mallow: virtues and therapeutic benefits
In combination with flowers for the preparation of herbal teas and decoctions, the leaves have emollient, laxative, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties.
Thanks to their main biochemical constituents(ascorbic acid, calcium, retinol, thiamine, riboflavin, pectin, mucilages), and their phenolic compounds represented by flavonoids, tannins, and phenolic acids, the leaves of mallow are recommended in the softening adjunct treatment to calm itchy skin, namely: chapped skin, crevices, abrasions and insect bites.
Very effective expectorants and cough suppressants, they have also been proven to relieve temporary mild coughs, occasional hoarseness and sore throats.
It is also a beneficial anti-inflammatory agent for intestinal inflammation. They fight effectively against constipation and spasmodic colitis.
In addition, in infusion, they soothe and soften fine, dry and irritable skin. The use of their extract is highly recommended in cosmetics, as they contribute to thepersonal hygiene.It is found in particular in baby care products, make-up removers, anti-redness creams, refreshing bubble baths and creams against heavy legs.
Uses of mallow
- Internal use
Mallow leaf infusions are very effective in relieving respiratory and digestive inflammation. In preparation, throw 15g to 25g of mixture of flowers and leaves in 1 liter of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and drink 3 cups a day.
To fight against constipation, prepare an infusion of mallow leaves.
To do this, mix 30g of mallow flowers and leaves in a liter of boiling water, then let it steep. Drink 1 cup of it on an empty stomach in the morning for relief.
- External use
As an effective treatment for canker sores, use a mouthwash with mallow leaves. To do this, boil 30 to 50g of the leaves of this plant for 5 minutes.
This decoction can also be used as a gargle or in eye washes.
To treat skin infections (dermatosis, gout, boils, abscesses, etc.), experts recommend cooking the leaves in a little water. The poultice thus prepared must be applied to the infected parts.
To soothe insect bites, it is imperative to bind crushed leaves with olive oil to make an ointment. In light massages on the parts concerned, it is an excellent calming.
- For more information, consult a doctor.
Photo © Madeleine Steinbach