Marshmallow, Marsh Mallow, Common Marshmallow, Mortification Root, Sweet Weed, Wymote
Althea is believed to be safe to use.
Althea grows to about 3 or 4m in height, and has slim stems which hold ovate leaves with gently serrated edges and downy hairs upon them. The flowers normally have five petals which can be white, pale red or purple.
Another extremely useful plant, all parts of Althea can be used medicinally. It is beneficial for catarrh, dry coughs, and general protection of the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose.
Althea can be used for inflammation of the alimentary canal, kidneys and bladder, for stomach ulcers, cystitis, and diarrhoea, and septic conditions of moderate severity. It can be applied as a poultice or ointment to heal boils, abscesses, ulcers, varicose veins and old wounds.
Althea is useful for spells or rites involving protection. It can also be used as a psychic-power stimulator and it is a popular Voodoo practise to place Althea on the altar during rituals in order to bring in good spirits.
Like most of the Mallow family, Althea has also been used as a food, with the roots being considered particularly palatable.