The mallow tea , a delicate natural remedy, but at the same time effective, for the treatment of digestive disorders, respiratory, bladder inflammation and much more.
Today I would like to talk to you about the mallow , a medicinal plant that is particularly close to my heart and that I have been cultivating in my farm for several years now.
Mallow is one of the symbols of ancient Italian folk medicine.
Until the early 1900s, before the discovery of synthetic drugs, medicinal herbs represented one of the few tools available to the doctors of the time and among the many herbs, the mallow was certainly one of the most used.
Especially when it comes to having to cure all those disturbances that affect:
- the digestive system (acidity, gastritis, colitis, hemorrhoids, constipation, intestinal problems, etc.);
- the respiratory system (sore throat, cough, cold, phlegm, etc.).
Today, to combat these diseases, we have a huge “paraphernalia” of drugs , but all carry side effects, which in some cases can be quite important.
It would be enough to read the package leaflet to realize this.
This is why I think it is very important to rediscover the value of herbal “soft care” .
Medicinal herbs can also have side effects , especially if they are abused, or if you are allergic to the plant, or to some of its compounds.
But this is certainly not the case of the mallow , which due to its delicacy is often recommended even to pregnant and lactating women and very young children.
In addition, the leaves and flowers are edible and are very good eaten in raw or boiled salad for the preparation of risottos and soups.
And besides being very good, the raw or cooked mallow (as well as the herbal tea), is very useful to regularize the intestine and keep it healthy.
Article index :
- What is the Mallow ;
- What are the properties and benefits ;
- In what ailments it can help ;
- How to prepare Malva herbal tea and how to use it ;
- Where, when and what is collected ;
- Where you buy .
There are countless varieties of Mallow , all of which are edible and can be used for medicinal purposes.
The best known are the Malva sylvestris (wild mallow), the Malvone (Althea, or malvarosa), the Malva moscata, the Malva crispa and the Malva vulgaris .
The mallow sylvestris, which is the most common of all, is characterized by an upright or prostrate bushy habit. The stem (60-80 cm) woody at the base, bears leaves petiolate at 5-7 lobes, with toothed margin and covered with hairs.
The flowers, which appear at the axil of the leaves from April to October, are pink-lilac, with darker strata.
Where it grows
Malva sylvestris is widespread throughout Italy .
It grows spontaneously in the plains, in the hills and in the mountains up to 1,300 m, in meadows, in public gardens, in uncultivated places and close to the woods.
The other varieties, besides growing spontaneous, are also cultivated as ornamental plants, or as vegetable plants, for the preparation of soups and salads.
The flowers , leaves and root are used in the mallow.
Leaves and flowers contain the following active ingredients : anthocyanins, mucilage, flavonoids, tannins, mineral salts, vitamin A, vitamin C and B1 .
Mallow has the following medicinal properties :
- Laxative : thanks to the presence of mucilage the mallow stimulates the intestinal walls to contract regularly and to slide food and waste, facilitating their expulsion, thus helping to maintain a good intestinal regularity.
- Emollient : softens and makes the superficial layers of the skin and mucosa more elastic.
- Anti-inflammatory : has the ability to defuse the mucous membranes with which it comes into contact (oral cavity, throat, stomach, intestine, colon, etc.).
- Moisturizing : it is able to facilitate the penetration of water into the body.
- Expectorant : facilitates the removal of mucus from the trachea and bronchi.
- Bechica : calm the cough.
Surely in all diseases that affect the digestive and respiratory system , but also for inflammation of the bladder ( cystitis ), and for external use as a soothing in cases of conjunctivitis and reddened skin and to eliminate acne and skin impurities.
- Acidity and heartburn;
- Acne and skin impurities;
- Afte in the mouth;
- Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder);
- Conjunctivitis (redness of the eyes);
- Ulcerative colitis;
- Irritable colon (colitis);
- Inflamed hemorrhoids;
- Gastritis (inflammation and stomach pains);
- Gingives (inflammation of the gums);
- Sore throat (pharyngitis);
- Crohn’s disease;
- Constipation (constipation);
- Gastric and duedenal ulcers.
It must be said that the tea to drink, is not the only way to take advantage of this fantastic plant.
The mallow lends itself to many other uses.
Freshly picked leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked in soups, risottos, minestrone, etc.
You can also use them to prepare baths and foot baths , to practice enemas and to make soothing compresses for red skin, or with impurities.
With the dried root it is possible to prepare a powder, useful for preparing an excellent toothpaste with emollient and disinfectant properties.
How to prepare the mallow tea?
In reality the term “herbal tea” is not correct, because with flowers and leaves of mallow, to extract perfectly the mucilage (which is certainly the most important active ingredient) it is necessary to prepare a DECOTTO .
This is what is recommended to do also the dott. Roberto Antonio Bianchi, doctor and expert in medicinal plants, author of the book ” Healing with Italian medicinal plants “. A reading that I recommend, if like me you are interested in the use and / or cultivation of medicinal plants.
You can find it in the bookstore, or on Amazon .
The mallow decoction is prepared in this way :
For the preparation of the decoction both the leaves and the mallow flowers can be used. They are fine fresh and freshly picked, or you can use the dried plant (available in an herbal medicine, or on my site ).
The decoction is prepared by putting the plant in cold water, inside a saucepan.
The dosages are these :
- 1 teaspoon of dried grass for a cup of water (in case of fresh plant 4-5 leaves and / or mallow flowers);
- 4 teaspoons of dried grass for 1 liter of water (in case of fresh plant 15-20 leaves and / or mallow flowers).
Then bring the water to a boil and boil for at least 15-20 minutes .
Finally it is filtered, left to cool and hot to drink (or you can put it in a thermos to keep the drink warm, or lukewarm).
How to use mallow tea?
- For disorders and inflammation of the digestive and respiratory tract, and in case of inflammation of the urinary tract , to drink from 3 to 4 cups a day of decoction of mallow.
- For inflammation of the mouth, gingivitis and sore throat : you can use the decoction of mallow to make gargles of 4-5 minutes.
- For the inflammations and impurities of the skin, as well as for the conjunctivitis you can prepare a pack, to be placed gently on the area to be treated. The compress is prepared in this way: you take a layer of cotton wool, or cotton wool, or flannel folded in four and you soak the decoction of mallow, after which it is applied to the painful area, leaving it in contact 5 and 10 minutes.
- Where to look : the mallow, like any other plant and spontaneous grass, should be collected away from polluted areas (roads, cities, public parks, fields cultivated with pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, etc.). It is a plant that you can easily find anywhere, but the best places to look for are in the countryside and in the mountains, in the vicinity of a forest, in spots and uncultivated land.
- What to collect : the mallow, the leaves and the root are collected from the mallow.
- When to collect : the best period for the collection of flowers and leaves is between June and September, just before the complete flowering. The root instead is collected during the autumn.
- How to dry it : the leaves and flowers can be eaten fresh, but if you intend to stock them to use it throughout the year, you will have to dry them. The flowers should be cut at the base of the bud, the leaves detached from the plant without the peduncle. They should not be washed. Leaves and flowers of mallow should be dried in the shade, outdoors, or in a ventilated room. You can put them in fruit boxes lined with newspaper, or on trellises made with a very thick weave, or in any imaginative way you can think of. The leaves will take less of the flowers, which from their beautiful deep pink must come to assume an almost blue color. The drying time depends on the temperature, at about 40 ° the leaves will put 24h, while the flowers will be 48h.
If you are looking for a 100% organic and Italian product , I can only advise you the mallow that I personally grow in the land of my farm, located in the countryside of San Girolamo (Fermo), far from polluted areas (such as highways, expressways, commercial, or industrial, etc.).
I grow with biodynamic techniques , without the aid of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or other chemical crap.
The maximum I use for fertilizing, is a self-produced compost with agricultural plant waste, such as weeds and pruning residues.
The leaves and flowers of mallow (like any other plant that I grow), are harvested by hand during the balsamic period and dried in the shade in an airy environment.
If you are interested in my herbal tea you can find it on this page.
NB : All information published on this site is informative and should not be considered as advice, or medical prescriptions, or other.