Wild mallow medicinal plant

Wild mallow medicinal plant / Naturopathy
Malva sylvestris was already known in ancient times as a medicinal plant. The wild mallow bears many names. It is called hemp poplar, Pissblume, Mohrenmalve or also Johannisappappel. The name poplar has nothing to do with the tree, but derives from the old word Papp, which means porridge, because mulberry served children as food.


  • An early medicinal plant
  • Wide spread
  • Use as a medicinal herb

Mallows are their own plant order. The distant relatives of the wild mallow include the cocoa and the baobab tree. Also marshmallow and hibiscus belong in the broad sense to the mallows, but not to the real mallows. This easily leads to confusion, for example, the Malventee available in teabags in the supermarket is mostly hibiscus. The real mallows are divided into about 30 kinds.

An almost forgotten medicinal plant of natural medicine. Image: Heike Rau - fotolia

The wild mallow grows up to 125 cm high, held by a spindle root in the form of a spindle, which has many root fibers. The stem is covered by rough hair, lignified on the ground on the outer wall, inside, however, he has a soft marrow. The mallow forms leaf buds at the foot of the stem, which expel the following year.

The leaves are reciprocal, their stems are also covered with rough hair. The leaf blade is reminiscent of ivy in the shape of a heart, other leaves that sit at the bottom of the stem, however, are round. The leaf margin is notched. The stipules are in the form of lancets.

The mallow blooms from late spring to early autumn, up to ten flowers then grow in the axils of the leaves, the stems of the flowers are shorter than the petioles.

Five small flowers, up to 5 cm in size, are in a calyx, and consists of two to three separate leaves.

The wild mallow is a pseudo-flower, followed by a female phase in a male: Initially, the dust-bags are trapped in the stamen tube, as the pollen is evacuated, the female phase begins, in which the mature red pistils begin to spread.

The scar papillae now open for insects. The main pollinators are bumblebees, but also bees and hoverflies pick up the nectar.

An early medicinal plant

Hesiod already wrote 700 v about the plant, and the Roman Dioscorides used it 800 years later against burns, Pliny at about the same time against malaise, perhaps against a flu infection. The blind Simeon should have recovered the eyesight in the Bible with the help of the mallow.

In the Middle Ages, the mallow remained a sought-after remedy. Hildegard von Bingen recommended her against melancholy, now known as clinical depression, against fever and the effects of too much "black bile". She stirred the mallow juice with vinegar and rubbed the patients with it.

The names of the mallow that end up on poplar come from this time. Miserable children got a porridge from the seeds to gain strength.

This certainly made sense, because the mallow actually works against colds and mild infections that afflict children; but the plant was also in the center of little meaningful customs. So she should wither when urine of a pregnant woman dripped on her. In the Middle Ages, our ancestors watered the mallow with it, and if it stayed healthy after three days, the woman was fertile.

The effect against irritating cough, gastrititis, bronchitis and cold are clinically proven. In animal studies, the mallow eased the accumulation of leukocytes at the site of inflammation and contained the prostaglandins, which increase the inflammation.

However, the effects of the following mallow applications in the past and today are not sufficiently proven:

Aphthae, bladder and kidney disease, asthma, eczema, hives, hoarseness, laryngeal infections, ulcers, acne, heartburn, menstrual pain, digestive problems, constipation, gingivitis, wounds and burns.

For the skin care the mallow has an important meaning. Mallow extract strengthens the elastin in the skin, including the mucous membrane of the vagina. Mallow cream is used as a remedy for dry skin, it brightens the skin and relieves pigment discoloration. So far, however, systematic clinical trials are lacking.

Extracts of wild mallow are today for example combined with olive, evening primrose and jojoba oil and are said to restore the elasticity of the skin after pregnancy, as well as give a "velvety-smooth" skin feel. At any rate, it can not do any damage, because the mallow does not irritate even sensitive skin.

Mallow also acts as a preservative, as it inhibits the growth of mushrooms as strong as cinnamon and lavender, surpassing peppermint and garlic.

Wide spread

Originally the "Syrian Mallow" comes from the Middle East and Southern Europe, but humans spread the medicinal plant on all continents except the Antarctic. In Germany, it grows in locations that resemble their hot habitat: field edges, debris and fallow land with lots of sun.

Growing mauves is very simple: The garden owner should only take care that the seeds come in a sunny location with humus rich, slightly calcareous soil. Clay soils especially like the wild mallow.

We sow the Malvensamen either directly in the field, or in small plant pots. The seeds outside should get a distance of about 40 cm, so that the plants unfold. We press one centimeter into the earth with one finger and cover it afterwards. In just under two weeks, the germs emerge from the earth.

Use as a medicinal herb

We collect the flowers and leaves from June to September, remove the stalk and dry both; while the flowers are dark blue. Mallow works well with eucalyptus and cowslips that enhance the healing effect.

The flowers contain potassium, flavonoids, tannins and dyes such as Malvin and Malvidin-3-glucoside.

Malventee helps especially against cough. The mucilage acts against colds, respiratory complaints, coughing and inflamed pharynx. They linden, especially dry, dry cough.

The tannins help against infections in the gastrointestinal system, applied externally to mitigate skin irritation, swelling and skin rash.

Put the dried leaves in hot water and let them steep for ten minutes.

As a home remedy for colds, skin problems and gastrointestinal disorders, mallow is also well-suited because no side effects occur.

The mucous substances envelop the inflamed mucous membranes and thus reduce pain in the throat and throat, thus relieving the urge to cough. Chilli can also be defused with the mallow.

Mucus and tannins of the mallow are not only suitable as medicine, but also as food:
The mallow can also be used as a vegetable, we pick the young leaves in spring, cut them into strips and eat them as a salad, or we give them in soups, where the mucilage thicken the liquid. Our ancestors put the unripe fruits in oil on.

For a mallow flower jelly, we add the Malvenblüten with water and white wine in a pot, add cloves and boil everything once briefly. If you do not like white wine, you can alternatively take diluted elderflower syrup.

Then we let the liquid draw ten minutes and tilt the cold brew through a fine sieve. We mix the whole with gelling sugar and lemon juice and boil it again for 5 minutes - with constant stirring. Then we take off the foam and fill the hot jelly in preserving jars. Fresh mallow flowers are just as well as dried.

Mallow flowers taste good in puddings such as in creams, pies or ice cream. Milk rice or semolina pudding with mallow, almost all desserts get a special touch with the medicinal plant. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)