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Althaea Officinalis

Althea is a perennial plant native to western Asia, Europe and North Africa. The usage of althea or Marsh Mellow dates back to ancient Egypt times. Althea officinalis can be cultivated on almost all kinds of soil, the only thing althea doesn’t like is waterlogged soil. The most comfortable condition for Marsh Mellow to grow is full sun, as it doesn’t tolerate shadow at all. The flowers of this herb have pale pink color and are in blossom from June till September. The fruits of the plant are round and flat. Its flowers, root and leaves are used in medicine.

In medicine althea officinalis is used to treat:

  • inflammations;
  • excess of stomach acid;
  • ulcer;
  • gastritis;
  • irritation of mucous membranes (urinary, alimentary canal and respiratory organs).
  • organs).

Marsh Mellow herb may be used externally for:

  • sprains;
  • skin inflammations;
  • insect bites;
  • bruises;
  • aching muscles.

Althea plant, especially its root acts like:

  • demulcent;
  • slightly laxative;
  • odontalgic;
  • antitussive;
  • emollient.

You may prepare althea leaves infusion, that helps to treat urinary disorders (cystitis and frequent urination). It’s better to harvest leaves in August. Root may be used as a key ingredient of an ointment. The best variant is to harvest roots in autumn from 2 year old plant, before using it should be dried.

Marsh mellow plant may be used in other field too. For instance the root may be used as a toothbrush or in making glue (it is used boiled). Its flowers and leaves may be used in culinary, they may be fried, boiled or added to fresh salads.