Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

mallow the name of various plants in the family Malvaceae which because of their mucilaginous properties have a role in the herbal medicines of many countries. Many authors have attested to their virtues, but none more sweepingly than Pliny in the 2nd century ad:

About these [mallows and marshmallows] many other amazing things are said, but the most striking is that if anyone takes daily half a ladleful of the juice of any of them, he will be free from all diseases.

Mallows are, however, sometimes eaten as pot-herbs. Those of the genus Malva are treated here. The marshmallow, of the genus Althaea, has its own entry. For musk mallow, see musk.