Marsh Mallow, Common marshmallow - organic seeds
Althaea officinalisLeaves 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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