Canker Sores and Mallow
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Nancy

A friend told us about making a tea using the leaves from a mallow plant for these very painful mouth sores. After being to a couple of garden centres I realize there are a lot of mallow plants and some may be toxic. Have you heard of this and can you tell me specifically which of the mallow plants we are looking for?

Most mallow plants of the Malvaceae family are generally regarded as safe for consumption, according to Thomas Elpel’s "Botany in a Day" book. However, it you really want to be safe, it is best to use traditional mallow plants that have been recorded for their uses as medicines or food. For example, Malva sylvestris (common mallow), Malva verticillata crispa (curled mallow), and Malva sylvestris mauritanica (Mauritian mallow) that can be purchased through Richters, are all used for medicinal and edible purposes. Hollyhocks and marshmallow root (both also available at Richters) and okra and hibiscus,are all mallow family plants that are used as a food or medicine as well. All the above mentioned leaves can be used for a tea for canker sores, including marshmallows root.

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