Mallow Leaves. N. F. IV. Malvae Folia. Malva sylvestris L. Common Mallow. Flores Malvae, Folia Malvae, P. G. High Mallow. Cheese Cake Flower or Pancake Plant.—It is described by the N. F. as the "the dried leaves of Malva sylvestris Linné and of Malva rotundifolia Linné (Fam. Malvaceae). Reject leaves showing brown fungous growths of Puccinia Malvacearum Montagne." N. F. This is a perennial, herbaceous, European plant of the Fam. Malvaceae. Almost all the species of the genus are possessed of the same properties. M. rotundifolia, L., known as cheeses, one of the most common, as well as M. sylvestris, are both used in medicine. The leaves often show a fungus growth. "Leaves of Malva sylvestris, petiolate with petioles up to 10 cm. in length, orbicular or reniform, slightly truncate or cordate at the base, from 10 to 11 cm. in length, and from 15 to 20 cm. in width, with three to seven shallow, angular or rounded lobes, venation palmate, margins crenate-dentate, pubescent on both sides. Leaves of Malva rotundifolia, with petioles up to 20 cm. in length, obicular up to 8 cm. in width, base deeply cordate, five to seven shallow rounded lobes, venation palmate, margins with rounded blunt teeth, pubescence more scant than in M. sylvestris. Intermixed with the leaves are frequently found dark purple flowers and glabrous reticulated carpels (M. sylvestris) or pale bluish flowers and pubescent rounded carpels (M. rotundifolia). Inodorous; on chewing it becomes very mucilaginous, taste bland. When examined under the microscope, sections show an epidermis containing mucilage cells; numerous stomata, on both surfaces, each with three or four neighboring cells; trichomes of three distinct types, small, short-stalked glandular hairs, single, large, one-celled curved hairs with thick walls and compound or stellate hairs in groups of two- to six-cells (the latter especially numerous in M. sylvestris); palisade tissue of one or two rows of cells, the mesophyll of three or four rows; the parenchyma containing calcium oxalate in rosette crystals and numerous mucilage cells which are distributed in the tissue of the veins; veins with collateral bundles. The powder is light green and, when examined under the microscope, exhibits the characteristic hairs, mucilage cells, epidermis with stomata, and rosette crystals of calcium oxalate. Mallow Leaves yield not more than 16 per cent. of ash." N. F. The herb and flowers have a weak, herbaceous, slimy taste, without odor. They abound in mucilage, which they readily impart to water, and the solution is precipitated by lead acetate. The infusion and tincture of the flowers are blue, and have been used as indicators, being reddened by the acids and rendered green by alkalies. The roots and seeds also are mucilaginous. Common mallow is emollient and demulcent. The infusion and decoction are sometimes employed in catarrh, dysentery, and nephritis complaints, and are applicable to all other cases which call for the use of mucilaginous liquids.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.