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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


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