Malva sylvestris is a species of the Mallow genus. It's also called “common mallow” and “high mallow” or “tall mallow.” Pretty, bright, and typically some shade of purple, it's long been used as an emollient.
Today, malva has found new popularity as a soothing and softening ingredient in sensitive skin formulations. Malva flowers make a great addition to five of our skin care products.
This pretty flower produces a great moisturizer for sensitive skin.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
Native to Western Europe, North Africa, and Asia, malva sylvestris has showy purple flowers with dark veins, and usually stands about 3-4 feet high. A perennial plant, it likes to grow in fields or along roads and railroad tracks, and typically branches out and flowers in early summer. The flowers themselves grow in clusters of two to four, with a fringe of hair like projections.
Historically, people liked using malva flowers to spread on doorways and weave into garlands for celebrating May Day. Today, malva is enjoyed in containers and as a border plant in flower gardens.
Internal Health Benefits of Malva
Malva has a reputation for being soothing because its leaves contain a high level of plant “mucus,” making them perfect for use in a tea to soothe bronchitis, emphysema, sore throat, and cough. The tea also has a reputation for soothing stomach problems and calming intestinal inflammations, and is still used today to soothe these digestive and respiratory problems.
The leaves and flowers also contain tannins, flavonoids, and vitamin C, all protective antioxidants that can help strengthen the immune system. Traditional uses of the herb also include the treatment of gallstones, kidney stones, kidney inflammation, headaches, and toothaches.
Malva's Benefits to the Skin
Malva is best known in skin care for its ability to soothe dry, rough skin. If you're suffering from winter dry skin or similar skin issues, malva is the perfect remedy. The flower extract forms a soothing, protective gel that moisturizes skin.
Malva is even beneficial for hair! It softens, conditions, and gives hair back its bounce, which makes it perfect for all hair types, but particularly useful for fragile and fine hair that tends to break easily.
I love the soothing and softening benefits of malva flower extract, so I've included it into the following products.
- Anti-Aging Facial Oil
- Coconut Body & Face Oil
- Rosemary Peppermint Body Wash
- Citrus Mint Facial Cleanser
- Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion
Have you tried malva in other areas of your life? Please share any tips you may have.