Marsh Mallow, Althaea Officinalis
This medicinal plant grows in wet meadows, in ravines, on banks of rivers and lakes, and on sea coasts. Distributed in Ukraine, Belarus, the Volga region, Siberia, and Central Asia. For medicinal purposes, it is recommended to breed by seeds or division of bushes.
Marsh Mallow is 60-150 cm high with a short thick multi-headed rhizome and thick roots. Stems slightly branched, lower parts lignified, cylindrical. Leaves alternate, long 5-15 cm, petiolate, velvety tomentose due to dense short pubescence.
The plant has protective adaptations against excessive evaporation in the form of mucous cells (retaining moisture), located in all organs, and dense pubescence of stellate hairs.
The flowers are clustered in the axils of the upper and middle leaves and on the top of the stem. Corolla pink, five-petalled. Blooms from June to September.
Medicinal raw materials are roots with rhizomes. They are collected in autumn or early spring from 2-3-year-old plants, digging to a depth of 25-30 cm. Having cleared the ground, quickly washed, cut into pieces 20-25 cm long and freed from lignified and rotted parts.
Thick rhizomes are cut lengthwise and dried at a temperature not exceeding 40 °C. Stored in a closed container 3 years old.
The plant contains up to 35% of healing mucus, essential oil, sugar, starch, fatty oil, pectins, vitamins, carotene, and mineral salts.
Marshmallow preparations have anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and analgesic effects. The mucus of the plant envelops mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract,
protecting them from irritation during inflammatory processes, In addition, it absorbs, absorbs microbial, viral and toxic products released by affected cell’s epithelium,
It does not allow contact with toxins with the mucous membrane. It is used orally for inflammation of the respiratory tract, bronchial asthma, acute gastritis with high acidity, enterocolitis, diarrhea, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum bowels, bladder stones, and difficulty urinating.
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