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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Althaea officinalis)

PROPAGATION: By seed and by division in autumn. Perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun to part shade and moisture-retentive soil.
HARVEST: Young leaves before flowering; young shoots; roots in autumn. For medicinal purposes, the roots should be lifted from 2 years plants and then dried.


Considered an immune system stimulant.
Demulcent and expectorant.
Has been used for coughs, inflammations, sore throats, irritations of the mouth and mucous membranes, external and internal ulcers, muscular stiffness, asthma, diarrhea, and cystitis.
Has been used for gastritis, esophagitis, hiatus hernia, enteritis (including large bowel), indigestion, dyspepsia, ulcerations (as adjunct to other therapies), colic, and acid dyspepsia.
Has been used to reduce colic following kidney stones.
As a poultice for a healing balm for cuts, swellings and light burns.
The original "marshmallow" which was sucked for sore throats: Soak powdered dry root and some sugar in water until it becomes like jelly.

The young leaves and shoots used in salads. The roots fried in butter. The leaves used in soups.

The leaves or roots used for facepacks. The roots thought to be useful in hair loss.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH