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Althaea officinalis

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Comment from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

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Marsh-mallow is a tall plant resembling a hollyhock. Some people consider it to be difficult to grow in the garden, but it is widely available from nurseries. The slimy roots used to be boiled to a jelly to make the confectionery named after it; in France dried marsh-mallow roots are still sold as a soother for teething babies to chew on.The name Althaea is derived from the Greek altho, meaning to cure - from its healing properties; whilst the plant family name Malvaceae comes from the Greek malake meaning soft, from the particular qualities of the mallow family in softening and healing.

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  • Posted: Sun. 7th June 2009 09:21