“Grass for all diseases” – called the althaea in ancient Greece. Many works describe the properties of this healing flower. Here is one of the myths associated with Althaea: “Calydon’s Queen Alfea (Althea) received a prediction that reads: “at the time the log burns down in the hearth, your son will die”. Frightened by the prediction, Alfea pulled a burning log out of the fire, extinguished it and hid it away from prying eyes. Time passed, the son grew up, and after some time, on a hunting, he accidentally killed his uncle, Alfea’s brother. In anger, the woman took out the log and threw it into the fire. At that moment her son died (in those days, brothers and sisters were closer to each other than their own children). Alfea could not bear the loss and committed suicide. ”
In different nations, the Althaea is called by a few different names. Here are some of them: wild rose, dog mug and others. Regardless of the places of growth, the flower was praised everywhere, attributing to it many useful properties. The ancient Greeks and Romans called it – Althaea, which translates as “heal.”
There are about 13 species of Althaea, but 3 of them are considered medicinal plants – Althaea officinalis, Althaea armenian, Althaea cannabis.
Botanical features of althaea officinalis
(althaea officinalis l.), family — malvaceae
Althaea officinalis – a perennial with a straight and fleecy stem. Usually it grows up to two meters in the wild. Externally similar to the mallow, which can be found in parks and gardens as a decoration. But still, Althaea has some minor differences – the leaves of Althaea have an elliptical shape, cut into three or five segments. Flowers, white or pink, appear in the second year after planting, and delight the eye all summer. In the autumn it is time to collect the seeds. They look smooth, dark brown, kidney-shaped, in a flat seed pod. Reproduction occurs by dividing the rhizome, or by using seeds.
The plant loves wet soil, so the wild rose grows near lakes, rivers and marshes. You can encounter an althaea in temperate latitudes as well as in climates with high humidity.
Collection, storage and the benefits of althaea officinalis
The maximum concentration of beneficial micronutrients is contained in the Althaea root (although leaves with flowers may also be beneficial). It is better to start harvesting the roots in spring or in autumn, after the stems wither. After harvesting the root, cut off the stem, the stiff part and the capitate part. Rinse thoroughly, cut it into pieces, and lay them on the grid to dry. An important word of caution! There must be good ventilation in the room so that the roots do not grow mold. Alternatively, put the chopped up althaea in the oven and dry at 122 °F until cooked. Shelf life – 2-3 years.
Medicines that contain althaea have a positive effect on the human respiratory system. The mucus formed during while treatment with the root of the plant soothes a strong cough. On the part of the digestive system – water extract envelops the stomach, heals ulcers, absorbs toxins, and neutralizes harmful substances in your food. Althea components stimulate cellular and humoral immunity.
- Starch – up to 37%;
- Mucous substances – up to 35%;
- Pectin – 11-16%;
- Sugar – 8%;
- Carotene, lecithin, phytosterol – 1-1.5%;
- Asparagine – 2-19%;
- Betaine – 4%.
The content of nutrients in Althaea is equivalent to flax seeds.
Indications for use: Inflammation of the lungs and larynx. Inflammation of the tonsils and laryngitis. Diseases of the genitourinary system. Skin inflammation. Joint pain, pinching of the sciatic nerve, muscle breaks. Deprive, tumors and burns.
Contraindications: Only individual intolerance to the components. However, it should be taken carefully by people with diabetes and pregnant women. Be cautious to avoid moldy raw materials.
Applying of althaea in other industries
In addition to the medical field, the stems are used in the manufacturing of paper and ropes. Fruit oil is added to paint products. Malvidin, which is part of the plant, helps to dye wool a red color.
Health recipes with althaea officinalis
Compress: Dry skin of the face.
- 1.5 tbsp dry Althea root / 200 ml of boiling water.
Soak the root in boiling water for 20 minutes. Wet the gauze in the solution. Put the gauze on the problem areas of the skin for 15 minutes. After the procedure, the remnants do not need to be washed off. Also acts as a sedative.
Hair mask: Restoration and vibrant shine.
- 1 tbsp. seeds / 150 ml of olive oil.
Mix the seeds with butter. Warm in a water bath for one hour. Distribute the finished mask on the roots and the entire length of the hair, leave for 10 minutes. Then wash the hair in the usual way. It is recommended to repeat the procedure no more than 2 times a week for a month. After two months, the course can be repeated.
Tea: Adenoma and prostatitis.
- 0.5 glasses of water at room temperature / 1 tbsp. Althaea root.
Mix the ingredients, leave for one hour, strain. Take 1 tbsp. every three hours.
Tincture: Eczema, neurodermatitis, diseases of the upper respiratory tract, tonsillitis. Expectorant, enveloping and anti-inflammatory effect.
- 20 g of Althaea root / 500 ml of vodka (40%).
Mix the ingredients, close, and leave in a dark place for two weeks. Then strain. Take 10 drops 3 times a day.
Powder: Skin inflammation, burns, pain in the joints.
- • Dilute althaea root powder diluted in warm water to obtain a thick consistency. It can be taken orally and/or externally as an ointment.