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Other names for Hollyhocks, past or present:

English - Alcea, Althea Rose, Hollyhock Flower, Malva, Malva Flower, Rose Mallow, Garden Mallow
Latin - Malva hortensis, Alcea rosea, Althaea rosea, Malvae arboreae flos
German - Ernrosen
French - Malves de Jardin
Dutch - Stockroosen
Italian - Malva maggiore

Hollyhocks - Background & Uses

Native to Asia, Hollyhocks is a popular ornamental plant that thrives in dry environments.[1]

Hollyhocks has a history of use in various traditional medicinal systems. For centuries, healers have considered the plant to have demulcent, diuretic, and emollient properties.[2] In Medieval England, dried Hollyhocks blossoms were prepared as tea to soothe inflammation of the throat and mouth.

Image source - - lic. under CC

Hollyhocks is said to have been used by healers of the Wiccan tradition to relieve chest congestion and prevent kidney stones.[3]

In Ancient China, the herb was used for culinary purposes.[4]

In contemporary literature, Hollyhocks is described as being used to treat and and prevent respiratory disorders and digestive ailments. [5]In certain cases, the plant is reported to have had a soothing effect on mucous membranes. Hollyhocks is also considered to have been effective in treating irritable bowel disorder, hayfever, peptic ulcers, colic, bladder inflammation, emphysema, gastritis, bronchitis, and diarrhea.[6]

Also considered an aromatic, Hollyhocks is a common ingredient in home spa treatments and cosmetic products.[7]

Hollyhocks - Scientific Studies

Research into the potential medicinal benefits of herbs has determined that Malva hortensis (Hollyhocks) is similar in composition to Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow).[4]

Hollyhocks in old Herbals & Pharmocopœia:

Elizabeth Blackwell's "A Curious Herbal" (1751): 1. This plant grows six or seven foot high; the leaves are a light green and the Flowers a pale Red. 2. It grows in Garden and flowers in July and August. 3. Hollyhocks are much of the Nature of the common Mallows, but less mollifying; they are mostly used in Gargles for the swelling of the Tonsils, and relaxation of the Uvula.



References / more:
[1] Hollyhocks: Index of Species Information. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research.
[2] Grieve, Maude. A Modern Herbal. 1971. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, NY.
[3] Drew, A. J. A Wiccan Formulary and Herbal. 2005. The Career Press, Inc. Franklin Lakes, N.J. [4] Lawton, Barbara Perry. Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. 2004. Timber Press, Inc. Portland, OR.
[5] Heatherly, Ana Nez. Healing Plants: A Medicinal Guide to Native North American Plants and Herbs. 1998. The Globe Pequot Press. Guilford, CT.
[6] Roberts, Margaret Joan. Edible and Medicinal Flowers. 2000. New Africa Books.
[7] Alcea. Wikipedia.

Main article researched and created by Kelsey Wambold, - 2013

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