Marsh-Mallow, or Althaea officinalis, L. an indigenous perennial plant, growing in salt-marshes and on the banks of rivers; flowering in the month of August. This useful plant may be easily propagated, either by parting the roots in autumn, when the stalks decay ; or by sowing the seeds in the spring. It delights in a moist soil, where it will grow to a considerable size; and thrives well, when transplanted, in any soil or situation.- Bees are remarkably fond of its melliferous flowers.
Every part of the Marsh-mallow, and especially the root, on boiling it, yields a copious mucilage ; on account of which, it is frequently employed in emollient cataplasms, and by way of infusion. In humid asthma, hoarseness,dysenteries, and likewise in nephritic and calculous complaints, it is of eminent service ; as, by lubricating and relaxing the vessels, it procures a more easy passage to the stagnant fluids. It is with equal advantage applied externally, for softening and maturating hard tumors ; and, when chewed, it is said to afford relief in difficult teething.-The Syrup of Marsh-mallows, sold in the shops, is prepared from the roots, and chiefly used for sweetening emollient decoctions.