Some of the most impressive health benefits of Malva sylvestris includes its ability to speed wound healing, protect against infection, reduce inflammation, reduce signs of aging, improve respiratory health, optimize digestive functions, improve sleep, and treat headaches.

The scientific name, Malva sylvestris, is just as lovely as this flowering plant in the Malva genus, and is more popularly known as high mallow or common mallow. This plant if often found in fields and hedgerows and has a striking purple flower and stands between 3-4ft in height. It is native to western Europe, but has spread to portions of the Mediterranean and northern Africa, and has been imported to much of the English-speaking world. Oddly enough, and one of the defining characteristics of the Malva genus, are the nutlets and seeds (also called cheeses, due to their shape). The mucilage found in Malva sylvestris is very valuable for its various medicinal uses, and this flower has been in use since ancient times.

Known as common mallow to English-speaking Europeans, it acquired the common names of cheeses, high mallow and tall mallow (mauve des bois by the French) as it migrated from its native home in Western Europe, North Africa and Asia through the English-speaking world.

Preparation / Dosage

Soothing Cough Mixture:

Place two teaspoons of fresh torn up mallow flowers or herb in half a cup of cold water, cover and let mixture stand for at least four hours. Strain and add honey and lemon to taste. Take as you would cough syrup as often as needed.

Stomach Soothing Mallow Tea:

Add one and a half teaspoons of mallow to a cup, pour on boiling water and cover and leave to infuse for twenty minutes, strain and drink.

Pain Relief

One of the common uses of Malva sylvestris is as a pain reliever. Not only will the chemicals from the flowers help to speed healing, due to their rich vitamin content, but will also offer certain analgesic properties to the area, reducing pain and discomfort. This analgesic ability of the common mallow can be used in many ways throughout the body, both internally and externally. This also makes it a popular application in face masks or topical headache remedies.

Immune System Protection

Building on that first health benefits, Malva sylvestris can also boost the immune system by preventing bacterial infections and other foreign agents to affect those wounded areas.

Anti-inflammatory Action

Mallow is known for its capacity to reduce inflammation in the body and help treat common afflictions such as gastritis, sore throat, rashes, ulcerations and toothaches. It makes an outstanding antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory and is thus useful for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions.

Respiratory Illnesses

If you are suffering from any chest congestion or a respiratory condition, then using Malva sylvestris is a great idea. Not only can it increase expectoration, which can clear out the respiratory tracts, but it also soothes the throat and glands due to its anti-inflammatory aspects, while also promoting healing and more rapid recovery.

Anti-aging Effects

Malva is best known in skin care for its ability to soothe dry, rough skin. If you're suffering from winter dry skin or similar skin issues, Malva is the perfect remedy.

Digestive Issues

For those people who feel backed up or unable to properly move their bowels, it can be an uncomfortable feeling. Using powerful laxatives can have a range of other effects on the body, but by steeping some flowers into a tea, you can create a mild laxative beverage that will regulate your digestive system and relieve any strain on that organ system.

Sleep Problems

Many people struggle to fall asleep, but you can turn to the use a cup of Mallow tea to relax the mind and body, letting you drift off into relaxing, restful sleep.


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