A to Z Herbarium: Mallow
Love, Protection, Exorcism
Carrying mallow will attract love. If a loved one has left you, then placing a vase of mallow outside your door or in a window will make them think of you, and they might return.
Burning mallow will cleanse an area, and anointing oneself with mallow oil protects against magic and demons. Mallow seeds gathered at night during a full moon can be made into an oil to promote fertility.
Mallow contains a fair amount of mucilage, which makes it soothing on areas of the body with mucus membranes, particularly the respiratory and digestive tracts. This makes mallow useful in treating ailments such as coughs, bronchitis, asthma, ulcers, inflammatory bowel conditions and general wounds.
When mixed into a lotion, mallow root is soothing for the skin. As a paste, it can soothe a sore throat. The root can also be used as a gentle laxative. As a poultice, it can help stave off gangrene.
Mallow leaves help stimulate the kidneys, and a strong tea of the leaves can help alleviate stones. The leaves as a poultice or ointment can be used to treat insect bites and stings.
The mucilaginous nature of the mallow root makes it an excellent thickening agent. The root sap (from the mallow plant malva sylvestris to be specific) was once used to make marshmallows—egg whites mixed with the sap and sugar, whipped into a meringue, then baked and cut into squares. They were originally used as a throat lozenge. A similar confection was made in Egypt using mallow sap and honey. Modern marshmallows are made with gelatin, and have unfortunately lost any medicinal qualities.
When the root is boiled with water, it takes on a consistency similar to egg whites and can be used as an egg white substitute. (Vegans take note.)
Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, 2016, Llewellyn Publications