Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Common name:


Synonym name:

Hebrew name:

נטופית רפואית

Scientific name:

Althaea officinalis


Malvaceae - חלמתיים

Arabic name:


perennial plant
0.6-1 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
marsh-mallow is Very rare in Israel. The plant can be found in wetlands, in the Sharon region and Hula Valley.
marsh mallow is a Perennial grass from the Malvaceae family. The plant is very rare in Israel but it can be found growing in moist lands. Its leaves are egg shaped or palmate (resembles a hand), the flowers arranged in groups in pinkish white color. In the herbal medicine the plant helps to treat the following diseases: gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcers, intestinal inflammation, inflammation of the mouth and throat, persistent cough and for accumulation of phlegm in the respiratory tract.
For treating intestinal inflammation and respiratory diseases
 Dip a handful of Medical marsh-mallow green leaves in a glass of boiling water, wait for 5-10 minutes and drink as a tea. 
Other option is to cook fifteen pounds of marsh-mallow leaves and 2 handfuls of mallow leaves, in a liter of water, for about fifteen minutes, until you get thick mucus soup. Season it with salt and a teaspoon of turmeric and drink. 
Althaea scientific name is derived from the Greek word Altho, meaning cure. Pliny the great Greek naturalist from the first century notes that, all who drink from its juice will be immune from any disease. The Romans used it as a vegetable dish. 
Rabbi Tzahalon, in his book "treasure of life" (otzar ha khayim) notes that the plant characters are:  hot, dry softens and heals, and its root when cooked with honey opens the airways. The plant is mentioned in the British Pharmacopoeia book as diuretic, softens tissues and heals wounds. 
Yemenite Jews used to boil the root in water and drink the decoction for treating fever and phlegm. Turkish Jews boils the root powder in milk, sweeten with honey and drink it as an effective treatment for respiratory diseases.