Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Magical Mallows
 © Anne Calzada Herbalist 
The other day, a beautiful soul asked me about Mallows. They showed me Malva and said someone had told them it was a Globe Mallow, it was actually a Malva not a Sphaeralcea, which is the Latin for the Globe Mallow. Globe mallows have orange flowers and malvas have pink, white or lavender ones! Here is where the plant knowledge and the Latin comes in! If you want to know about plants, then you want to know about plants, right?
This is Malva or Mallow or Cheese Wheels or Cheeseweeds! I call it Malva. In it's own botanical reality, it is Malva neglecta from the Malvaceae family which includes Globe Mallows and also Marshmallows! The perfect analog for Marshmallow when you do not have access. I believe in using herbs from the garden if ya have one. Plant, plant plant. Harvesting from the wild is not really sustainable as the plants own territories are vanishing and as more people discover that they want to be Herbalists or "rewild" themselves to the woods, they come out and take the plants that we teach you about. That comes with huge responsibility and protection of our Green Nations!!! Everything is circumstantial when wild harvesting. You have to know if that plant is endangered in the wild, how long does it take for it to mature? Does it replicate easily? Is it sustainable? Is it the Grandmother or Grandfather plant in its community? Do you really need this plant for beauty, medicine or food or does the forest need it more? Ya gotta know! That is why I promote gardening and growing. That is why I  promote using the herbs that people call weeds for beauty, food and medicine. Then you just walk out your door or into the kitchen or your own greenhouse! If you are lucky to know about plants, you can do a lot. You really do not need like 50 plant medicines in the apothecary. You will learn that. Everyone wants to harvest the Osha out here in Colorado, but do they know about mullein, elecampane, horehound etc...? People do what you teach them, they use what is promoted. So instead of promoting exotic endangered herbs, we need to learn about the ones that are just as powerful growing at our own feet. Yes, I have harvested Osha and shared it with others, but I am not promotin' that beauty!
So, Malva is actually a known "weed".
Malva is safe to eat raw. The whole plant is completely edible. Medicinally we use it for its mucilaginous and demulcent  properties. That makes it soothing to mucous membranes. It has an affinity for the digestive and respiratory systems. I like to add it to soups and stews. You can steam it too! I also like to dry it out for the Winter months. 

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Green Blessings!
Anne xo