Malva sylvestris, this is the scientific name for Malva, belongs to the Malvaceae family and is a bushy and perennial plant. In addition to being a plant suitable for ornaments as it is very pleasing to the eye, it is cultivated because it has many phytotherapeutic capacities.
Etymologically Malva derives from the Latin "Mollire alvum" which means precisely "soften" or rather "calming". It comes from Asia and Europe, grows spontaneously in the middle of the fields in the Mediterranean and mountain regions and we find it up to a height of over 1000 meters. It is easily identifiable in the midst of other plants or herbs for its characteristic dark lilac flowers. Already many years ago, mallow leaves were used as remedies for many ailments, it is even said that it was collected by farmers and placed on the windowsills of houses, on the eve of San Giovanni, so that it absorbed the "guazza" and chased away all ills. Hippocrates, in ancient Greece, used it for the emollient and laxative abilities, still found today.
The mallow has an erect stem, serrated leaves covered with hair. The flowers have 5 pink petals that tend to purple; these flowers move to follow the sun just like sunflowers. The height of its bush can vary from 30 cm to 1 meter.
What is used in the mallow are the flowers, which must be collected at the beginning of flowering with the youngest leaves, and mainly with them infusions and decoctions are prepared. The flowers must be previously dried in the dark and in the open air even if it is difficult to maintain them correctly as with drying the flowers turn blue and become discolored.
Beneficial properties of a mallow infusion
Often we assume a mallow infusion to combat aches and pains caused by fever, inflammations, colds, but also constipation. The mallow is also diuretic and sedative, as it seems that it can act on the nerve endings by alleviating pain. Very useful for relieving dental pain, abscesses or stomatitis but it is also very effective against inflammation of the intimate parts of our body, digestive and respiratory tract and finally has the ability to purify our body inside by expelling toxins.
Drink a mallow infusion it is very useful in case of cough because it is really effective against catarrhs, or by dipping a cotton ball in the infusion of mallow you can cleanse and flare the eyes and also cure conjunctivitis.
If it is applied locally with compresses it is very useful also in case of boils, acne, eczema and all skin irritations.
A mallow infusion also exerts an important soothing and emollient action, so much so that when mixed with the water in our bath, it will be an excellent beauty product for our skin. This plant, in fact, is rich in mucilage, vitamins A, B1, C and E, tannins and much more that give it its soothing action. In addition, mallow flowers contain essential oils with an antioxidant action.
It is also a plant widely used in the preparation of soaps, eye drops and toothpastes. The root is even very useful for combating tingling and for keeping teeth white and sanitized.