The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

High Mallow

Scientific Names

High Mallow

  • Malva sylvestris L.
  • Malvaceae
  • Mallow family

Common Names

  • Cheeseflower
  • Common mallow
  • Country mallow
  • Malva

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Parts Usually Used

The whole herb
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High Mallow

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

High mallow is an annual or perennial; the tapering, whitish root produces a round stem, 2 to 3 feet high, with alternate, light green, downy leaves which are 5 to 7 lobed. The pink or purple axillary flowers have 5 narrow petals and appear from May to October.

Another variety: Low mallow (M. rotundifolia) is used the same as high mallow.
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Where Found

Found in waste places, rubbish dumps, fields, and along fences and roadsides, as well as cultivated. In Europe, Canada, and Mexico. Native of Europe, naturalized to North America.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, cathartic
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Biochemical Information

Mucilage, vitamin C, sugar, minerals, keratin, and coloring matter
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Pliny wrote, “anyone taking a spoonful of mallows will be free of disease.”

The Chinese eat the leaves raw in salads or boiled like spinach.
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Makes a good demulcent tea (soothing the mucus membranes) for coughs, hoarseness, bronchitis, inflammation of the larynx and tonsils, colds, laryngitis, emphysema, lung catarrh, gastritis, ague, laxative, dyspepsia, cystitis, and inflammation of the colon. Externally, a decoction can be used to wash wounds and sores. Make a poultice of the herb to soothe irritations and inflammations. A warm enema made from the leaves is helpful for intestinal inflammation.
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Formulas or Dosages

Use the fresh plant only.

Infusion: add 1 to 2 tsp. herb to 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand for 8 hours, then warm up to lukewarm. (Do not boil or steep the herb in boiling water). Drink 1 to 2 cups daily.

Decoction: For external use, boil 1 tbsp. herb in 1/2 cup water for a short time.
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Nutrient Content

Sugar, minerals, vitamin C, keratin
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Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

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