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Hollyhock


    Scientific Names

    Hollyhock
    • Althaea rosea L.
    • Alcea officinalis L.
    • Mallow family

    Common Names

    ivyAlthea rose
    ivyMalva flowers
    ivyRose mallow
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    Parts Usually Used

    Flowers
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Hollyhock is a tall, usually biennial plant with palmately lobed leaves, a hairy stem, and large, showy flowers of various colors in elongated spikes. The stem bears both leaves and flowers along its length. Blooms from July to September.
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    Where Found

    Native to India and southern Europe but widely cultivated as a garden plant for its flowers.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Demulcent, diuretic, emollient
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    Legends, Myths and Stories

    The fresh flowers were considered a culinary delicacy in old China. The dried flowers were much used as a tea by women in England and New England settlements. Every household had its stand of hollyhock plants, however, it is neglected in most modern gardens.
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    Uses

    Tea made from the flowers helps soothe inflammation in the mouth and throat. A fomentation or vapor bath of the tea may be helpful for earache. A poultice applied to wasp or bee stings, or to draw out thorns, and splinters. Hollyhock flowers are used as an ingredient in various cosmetics.
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    Bibliography

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

    Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

    Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

    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! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

    Buy It! Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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