Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) is a celebrated hero in gardens and pharmacies alike. Its delicate white flowers are slightly purple at the base and resemble those of its relative, the common mallow. But this plant doesn’t just cut a fine figure in the garden, it’s also extremely helpful when it comes to soothing a cough or a hoarse throat, stomach complaints or minor injuries. And it is because of these protective properties that marsh mallow is also found in many Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products.
Always ready to help.
White mallow, mortification root, sweet weed: the marsh mallow plant has almost as many names as it has uses. Moreover, its healing properties are already apparent in its scientific name – Althaea comes from the Greek “ἄλθειν” (althein), which means “to heal”.
The secret of the marsh mallow is hidden in its roots, leaves and flowers: healing plant mucilage. This mucilage covers tissue in a protective layer – be that in the mouth, in the stomach or on the skin.
Nice and sticky.
It’s no coincidence that this plant shares its name with a popular item of fireside confectionery. The root was originally used to give marshmallows their sticky consistency. Incidentally, modern-day marshmallows were not invented in America, but in France.
A salty life.
Does the flower conjure up memories of your last trip to the beach? You may well have spotted it there, as the marsh mallow loves saline soil. So if your garden has moist, salty and nutrient-rich earth, this plant will likely thrive.
Saline soils tend to be dry. But this is no problem for the marsh mallow, as its roots contain numerous mucous cells that keep its moisture levels well balanced. The talented plant can use these moisture-retaining properties to support the skin – including in our cosmetics.
A helping hand.
The marsh mallow’s moisturising talents shine in our classic Dr. Hauschka Hydrating Hand Cream. It is a key ingredient in this much-loved formulation – and has been for the past 30 years, helping dry, rough and chapped hands through many a cold autumn and winter. For all that it is, we want to say a big thank you to the marsh mallow.