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Althaea officinalis L.

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Vernacular name:

Arabic: Khatma wardi

Chinese: Shu k’ui

English: Common marsh-mallow, Common marshmallow, Hock Herb, Hollyhock, Round Dock

French: Alcee, Alcee rose, Althee rose, Mauve rose, Pass rose

German: Augenpappel, Baummalve, Baumrose, Gartenmalve, Rosenpappel

Greek: Altaia

Italian: Malvarose, Malvoni

Kannad: Doddabindigaegidda

Malta: Hollyhock, Malvarose

Persian: Khatmi

Punjab: Gul-khaira, Khatmi, Rishak hatmi

Roumanian: Nalba de gardina

Russian: Chernaya roja, Shtok rosa

Spanish: Malva arborea, Malva loca

Tamil: Simaithuthi

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom: Plantae - plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants

Subkingdom: Viridiplantae

Infrakingdom: Streptophyta - land plants

Superdivision: Embryophyta

Division: Tracheophyta - vascular plants, tracheophytes         

Subdivision: Spermatophytina - spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames

Class: Magnoliopsida

Superorder: Rosanae

Order: Malvales

Family: Malvaceae - mallows, mauves

Genus: Althaea L. – marshmallow

Species: Althaea officinalis L. – Common marsh-mallow, Common marshmallow, Hock Herb, Hollyhock, Round Dock

Phytogeography: A genus of herbs, distributed from the east Mediterranean region to Central Asia. Native to China and Greece, very commonly cultivated in Indian gardens. Sometimes found as an escape in waste places and along roadsides.

Plant description: Althaea officinalis is a perennial herb 60 to 120 cm high. Stem is erect. The roots are usually harvested from October to November. After cleaning and drying at a maximum temperature of 35°C.

Leaves: Short petioled.

Flowers: Axillary reddish-white flowers and 6 to 9 sepals of the epicalyx are bind at the base 8 to 10 mm long. Heart-shaped petals and sepals are five in number and many stamens fused with each other to anthers in a column. The ovaries are in a ring. There are numerous styles. The mericarps are smooth and downy.

Fruits or seeds: Fruit is disc-like and open up into the mericarps. Compressed dark brown kidney-shaped seeds are glabrous.

Propagation: Seeds

Parts used: Leaves, root, flowers

Phytochemical Constituents: b-sitosterol; 10-nonadecenoic acid; 3-heptadecen-5-yne; 7,10-octadecadienoic acid; 8,11-octadacadienoic acid; 8,11-octadacadienoic acid; 9- hexadecenoic acid; 9,12,15- octadecatrienoic acid; 9,12-octadecadienoic acid; altheacalamene; altheacoumarin glucoside; altheahexacosanyl lactone; Amino acids; Asparagine; Caffeic acid; Coumarins; Cyclopropaneoctanoic acid 2-hexyl; cyclopropaneoctanoic acid,2-octy; Dihydroionone; Disaccharide; Docosanoic acid; Eicosanoic acid; Ferulic acid; Flavonoids; Heneicosane; Heneicosanoic acid; Heptacosane; Heptadecanoic acid; Hexadecanoic acid; Hypolaetin-8-glucoside; Isoquercitrin; Kaempferol; Lanosterol; Lauric acid; Linoleic acid (omega-6); Methyl 2-octylcyclopropene-1-heptanoate; Monosaccharide; Mucilage; Naphthalene decahydro 2,6-dimethyl; Naphthalene; Nonacosane; Nonanoic acid; Octacosane; Octadecanoic acid; Omega-3; Palmitic acid; p-coumaric acid; Pectins; Pentacosane; Pentadecanoic acid; Phenol, 2,6-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-methyl; p-hydroxybenzoic acid; p-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid; phytosterols; Saccharose; Salicylic acid; Scopoletin; Squalene; Starch; Tannins; Tetracosan; Tetracosanoic acid; Tetradecanoic acid; Tricosane; Tricosanoic acid; Undecyne; Vanillic acid; γ-sitosterol;

Pharmacological actions: Analgesic; Antiangiogenic; Antibacterial; Antiinflammatory; Antimicrobial; Antinociceptive; Antiobesity; Antioxidant; Antiphospholipase A2Antiproliferative; Anti-thyroid; Antittusive; Anti-tumour; Antiulcer; Astringent; Cooling; Cosmetic; Demulcent; Diuretic; Emollient; Febrifugal; Hepatoprotective; Hypoglycaemic; Immunomodulatory; Soothing;

Medicinal uses: Abscesses; Arthritis; Asthma; Bacterial infection; Boils; Bronchitis; Burn; Burning micturition; Cancer; Colitis; Constipation; Cough; Cystitis; Diarrhoea; Dysmenorrhoea; Dysphagia; Dysuria; Enteritis; Gastritis; Haemoptysis; Haemorrhage; Hyperglycaemia; Inflammation; Insect bite; Intestinal colic; Joint pain; Lipemia; Mastitis; Metritis; Neovascularization; Obesity; Pain; Peptic ulcer; Platelet aggregation; Proctitis; Renal calculi; Respiratory disorders; Rheumatoid arthritis; Skin burns; Skin cuts; Snake bite; Thirst; Ulcer;

Althea officinalis is widely used in the irritation of oral, pharyngeal mucosa and associated drycough, mild gastritis, skin burns and for insect bites. It is also used in catarrh of the mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract, as well as for inflammation, ulcers, abscesses, burns, constipation and diarrhoea.

The results showed that the reddish pink flowers of A. officinalis have more antioxidantactivity and the power of antioxidant activity was reddish pink > pink > white

References

Ali S.S.M., et al., 2011, “Pharmacological activity of Althaea officinalis L.,” Journal of Medicinal Plants Research; 5(24): 5662-5666. [Web Reference]

Al-Snafi A.E., 2013, “The pharmaceutical importance of Althaea officinalis and Althaea rosea: A review,”IntJ Pharm Tech Res; 5(3):1387-1385. [Web Reference]

Elmastas M., et al., 2004, “Determination of antioxidant activity of marshmallow flower (Althaea officinalis L.),” Analytical letters; 37(9): 1859-1869. [Web Reference]

Fahamiya N., Shiffa M, and Aslam M., 2016, “A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW ON ALTHAEA ROSEA LINN.,” Journal of Pharmaceutical Research; 6(11): 6888-6894.  [Web Reference]

Farzaei M.H., et al., 2016, “A mechanistic review on medicinal plants used for rheumatoid arthritis in traditional Persian medicine,” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology; 68(10): 1233-1248. [Web Reference]

Grollier J.-F., et al., 1990, “Cosmetic compositions for the treatment of the hair and skin contain in the form of a powder particles resulting from the pulverization of at least one plant substance and a cohesion agent,” U.S. Patent No. 4,933,177. 12 Jun. 1990. [Web Reference]

Hage-Sleiman R., Mroueh M. and Daher C.F., 2011, “Pharmacological evaluation of aqueous extract of Althaea officinalis flower grown in Lebanon,” Pharmaceutical biology; 49(3): 327-333. [Web Reference]

ITIS, 2017, “Althaea officinalis L.,” Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, March 1, 2017. [Web Reference]

Jaffary S.R.A., et al., 2016, “In vitro antioxidant and reducing capability of weight loss tablet formulation,” Pak. J. Pharm. Sci; 29(5): 1749-1753. [Web Reference]

Ozturk S. and Ercisli S., 2007, “Antibacterial Activity of Aqueous and Methanol Extracts of Althaea officinalis and Althaea cannabina from Turkey,” Pharmaceutical biology; 45(3): 235-240. [Web Reference]

Rani S., Khan S.A. and Ali M., 2010, “Phytochemical investigation of the seeds of Althea officinalis L.,” Natural product research; 24(14): 1358-1364. [Web Reference]

Sendker J., et al., 2017, “Phytochemical Characterization of Low Molecular Weight Constituents from Marshmallow Roots (Althaea officinalis) and Inhibiting Effects of the Aqueous Extract on Human Hyaluronidase-1,” Journal of Natural Products; 80(2): 290-297. [Web Reference]

Soares, Andreimar M., et al. "Medicinal plants with inhibitory properties against snake venoms." Current Medicinal Chemistry 12.22 (2005): 2625-2641. [Web Reference]

Sutovska M., et al., 2006, “The antitussive activity of polysaccharides from Althaea officinalis l., var. Robusta, Arctium lappa L., var. Herkules, and Prunus persica L., Batsch,” Bratislavske lekarske listy; 108(2): 93-99. [Web Reference]

Tabarsa M., et al., 2017, “Rheological behavior and antioxidant activity of a highly acidic gum from Althaea officinalis flower,” Food Hydrocolloids; 69: 432-439. [Web Reference]

Valiei M., Shafaghat A. and Salimi F., 2011, “Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the flower and root hexane extracts of Althaea officinalis in Northwest Iran,” Journal of Medicinal Plants Research; 5(32): 6972-6976. [Web Reference]

Zhang Y., et al., 2016, “Modulatory effect of Althaea officinalis L root extract on cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity and cell proliferation in A549 human lung cancer cell line,” Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research; 15(12): 2647-2652. [Web Reference]

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