Common and folk names
- • Cheeseflower
- • Grande Mauve
- • High-mallow
- • Kurxi
Parts of Plants Used
Dark green= the most popular and common use
Common Mallow is a plant with showy flowers of bright mauve-purple colour in the family of Malvaceae. It is a spreading plant, which is an annual in North Africa, biennial in the Mediterranean and perennial elsewhere. It has a thick, round and strong stem. The leaves are roundish, borne upon the stem, and have 3 or 5 to 7 shallow lobes, each 2 to 4 cm long. The leaves are downy, with hairs radiating from a common centre and prominent veins on the underside.
It is in flower from June to September and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers can be reddish purple or bright pinkish purple colour with dark stripes. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees.
It is a plant native to Europe, mainly the Mediterranean countries and also found in North Africa and Asia.
- Used as an antimicrobial remedy
- Used to help reduce inflammation (swelling)
- Used to ease respiratory diseases
- Used for good functioning of the digestive tract
- Used as a laxative for young children
- Used to treat inflammation of the mouth
- Used for antioxidative properties
- Used as an aid to wound healing
- Used to reduce stomach and bladder complaints
Used to soothe skin rashes
• as a thickener for soups and stews (leaves)
• substitute for lettuce in a salad (leaves and flowers)
• fruit as a substitute for capers
• blends of herbal tea
• ingredient for herbal liquid/tincture
• flower essence (herbal supplement)
• ingredient for hair products
• facial tonics and lotions
• ingredient in skin care products
• natural yellow dye
• colouring agent in food
• ornamental use in gardens
• use of fibre for paper making
• use of fibre for cordage and textiles
• tincture of the flowers used in testing for alkalis
- Common Mallow is also called “cheeses” because the small fruits that form in late summer resemble tiny wheels of cheese
- Young girls would make garlands of mallow and chaplets for their heads to wear on May Day, in Europe.
- The May Day tradition also involves decorating doorways with the plant
- The young leaves were a very common vegetable, boiled and eaten in 19th Century Europe
- The Latin name “malva” means soft, due to its properties as a softening agent.
- The plant and seeds are often used to make yellow dye and also cream colour dye.
- A tincture of the flowers can be used for a very sensitive test for alkalis
- In North America, Malva Sylvestris is known as “High Mallow”
- An infusion of the leaves and roots can produce a natural gel to help treat damaged hair
A commonly used remedy for toothache is to chew on the leaves