Malva sylvestris L. (Malvaceae)

(Syns.: M. glabra Des.; M. mauritiana L.; M. sylvestris subsp. mauritiana (L.) Thellung; M. sylvestris var. mauritiana (L.) Boiss)
  • Shahid AkbarEmail author


The plant is a native of Europe, North Africa and Asia, and wildly grows in the Mediterranean region. It is called khubbazi because its fruits resemble the Arabic bread (khubz). Greeks and Romans used it due to its mucilaginous and cooling properties. It is also described as the Khitmi-i-kuchak or small Khitmi of Persians. Pliny mentioned the seeds aphrodisiac. Due to its mucilaginous, demulcent and cooling properties it is used in the treatment of coughs, and other irritable conditions of the mucous membrane of pulmonary tract, the inflammation of urinary bladder, and in hemorrhoids. It is still one of the two most important plants used for medicinal purposes in northeastern Sicily, Italy, and was cited with largest relative frequency and cultural importance as medicinal plant in Sirjan of Kerman Province of Iran, in Kirklareli Province of Turkey, and is one of the most commonly used plant to treat jaundice in Mashhad, and topically as a remedy for dermal infected wounds by traditional healers of Iran. It was also reported as one of the most frequently prescribed and self-medicated plants in the Buenos Aires province in Argentina, used in popular Brazilian cuisines, in salads, soups and teas, and in traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, and inflammatory conditions. It is one of the wild edible plants used in Spain, Portugal, and in the traditional Mediterranean diet that contains high levels of K+ and zinc. Its various parts contain flavonoids, phenol derivatives, terpenoids, fatty acids and sterols, particularly omega-3 and omega-6, polysaccharides, mucilage and coumarins. Leaves are a rich source of nutraceuticals such as antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids, and minerals. Leaves are reported to possess anti-inflammatory, anticomplementary, antioxidant, anticancer and potent gastric antiulcer activities. Oral administration of ground plant was cardioprotective against I/R oxidative stress and damage in rats. Aqueous flower extract syrup was effective in adult functional constipation in a four-weeks placebo-controlled study of Iranian patients.


Alboeza Algier-malve Blue mallow Crow’s bread Ebegümeci Gurchanti Jin kui Khubbazi Rödmalva Vilayatiikangai 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.StocktonUSA

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