Packet - Marsh Mallow, Common marshmallow - organic seeds

Marsh Mallow, Common marshmallow - organic seeds

Althaea officinalis

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Leaves can be eaten raw but are fibrous and somewhat hairy, though the taste is mild and pleasant - use finely chopped in salad (sparingly).Can be cooked as a potherb or to thicken soup - when used as a small proportion with other leaves, the taste and texture is acceptable, but if a lot of the leaves are cooked together their mucilaginous texture makes them unpalatable.

Description

  • Perennial
  • Upright perennial with a fleshy taproot, downy stems, velvety round to ovate leaves and pale pink flowers that are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs).
  • The roots are whitish yellow outside and white and fibrous within.
  • Dies down in winter and grow out again in spring.
  • Grows in any soil - will grow larger in moist than in dry soil.
  • Full sun.

Culinary Uses

  • Leaves can be eaten raw but are fibrous and somewhat hairy, though the taste is mild and pleasant - use finely chopped in salad (sparingly).
  • Can be cooked as a potherb or to thicken soup - when used as a small proportion with other leaves, the taste and texture is acceptable, but if a lot of the leaves are cooked together their mucilaginous texture makes them unpalatable.
  • The root is dried, ground into a powder, made into a paste and roasted - to make sweet 'marshmallow' when mixed with sugar and egg white.
  • (Confectionery marshmallows were once made from the root of the Althaea officinalis plant).
  • The root contains about 37% starch, 11% mucilage and 11% pectin.
  • The water left over from cooking any part of the plant can be used as an egg-white substitute in making meringues.
  • The water from the root is the most effective, it is concentrated by boiling until it has a similar consistency to egg white.
  • A tea is made from the flowers as well as the root.

Parts Used

  • Leaves, flowers and roots
  • Leaves are picked when the flowers are just coming into bloom.
  • Root is harvested in the autumn, preferably from 2 year old plants.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Soothing demulcent for treating inflammations and irritations of the mucous membranes - urinary (urethritis and kidney stones) and respiratory organs.
  • The root counters excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration and gastritis.
  • Is applied externally to bruises, sprains, aching muscles, insect bites, skin inflammations (eczema, psoriasis), splinters etc.
  • The whole plant, but especially the root, is demulcent, diuretic, highly emollient and slightly laxative.
  • An infusion of the leaves is used to treat cystitis and frequent urination.
  • The root can be used in an ointment for treating boils and abscesses.
  • Young tops and tender leaves of Marsh Mallow can be eaten (uncooked) in spring salads, to stimulate the kidneys - a syrup made from the roots will do the same. Source: Herbgarden


Packet 300 seeds