Health Benefits of Malva Sylvestris
Some of the most impressive health benefits of Malva sylvestris includes its ability to speed wound healing, protect against infection, reduce inflammation, reduce signs of aging, improve respiratory health, optimize digestive functions, improve sleep, and treat headaches.
The scientific name, Malva sylvestris, is just as lovely as this flowering plant in the Malva genus, and is more popularly known as high mallow or common mallow. This plant if often found in fields and hedgerows and has a striking purple flower and stands between 3-4ft in height. It is native to western Europe, but has spread to portions of the Mediterranean and northern Africa, and has been imported to much of the English-speaking world. Oddly enough, and one of the defining characteristics of the Malva genus, are the nutlets and seeds (also called cheeses, due to their shape). The mucilage found in Malva sylvestris is very valuable for its various medicinal uses, and this flower has been in use since ancient times.
The flowers and leaves of this unique herb are used for medicinal purposes, including in an essential oil extract that can have some powerful effects on the body. The leaves can also be steeped in a tea, the seeds can be eaten, and those leaves that aren’t afflicted by any rust disease (a common issue for the species) can also be consumed or applied topically for a wide variety of benefits in the form of poultices. This plant contains a number of active ingredients that impact human health, so let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of Malva sylvestris.
Health Benefits of Malva Sylvestris
Pain Relief: One of the common uses of Malva sylvestris is as a pain reliever, particularly in topical applications. If you have been wounded or injured in some way on your skin, you can apply the leaves of Malva sylvestris in the form of a poultice to the affected area. Not only will the chemicals from the leaves help to speed healing, due to their rich vitamin content, but will also offer certain analgesic properties to the area, reducing pain and discomfort. This analgesic ability of the common mallow can be used in many ways throughout the body, both internally and externally. This also makes it a popular application in face masks or topical headache remedies.
Immune System Protection: Building on that first health benefits, Malva sylvestris can also boost the immune system by preventing bacterial infections and other foreign agents to affect those wounded areas. This can also be achieved through consumption of Malva sylvestris leaves, seeds, and supplements.
Anti-inflammatory Action: If you have experienced any insect bites, large bruises, sunburn, or rashes on your skin, a gel or poultice made of Malva sylvestris can be very effective for reducing inflammation and swelling, while also stimulating more rapid healing. When using the essential oil or ingested varieties of Malva sylvestris, you can also apply it to joints and aches.
Respiratory Illnesses: If you are suffering from any chest congestion or a respiratory condition, then using Malva sylvestris is a great idea. Not only can it increase expectoration, which can clear out the respiratory tracts, but it also soothes the throat and glands due to its anti-inflammatory aspects, while also promoting healing and more rapid recovery.
Anti-Aging Effects: The impact that topical Malva sylvestris use can have on the body is impressive. In fact, for those worried about aging too quickly, or check to the mirror every day for wrinkles, use a gel or cream with mallow as an ingredient and keep your skin looking young and rejuvenated!
Digestive Issues: For those people who feel backed up or unable to properly move their bowels, it can be an uncomfortable feeling. Using powerful laxatives can have a range of other effects on the body, but by steeping some seeds or dried leaves into a tea, you can create a mild laxative beverage that will regulate your digestive system and relieve any strain on that organ system.
Sleep Problems: Many people struggle to fall asleep, but you can turn to the use of Malva sylvestris essential oil or a relaxing cup of mallow tea to relax the mind and body, letting you drift off into relaxing, restful sleep.
A Final Word of Warning: There have been numerous reports of drug interactions from people using Malva sylvestris in addition to other prescribed medicines, particularly for digestive or respiratory-related issues. Before adding this powerful herb to your health regiment, check with your doctor regarding any other medications you may currently be using.