Marshmallow Althaea officinalis L.
Marshmallow is a large, perennial herbaceous plant of the Slezov family - Malvaceae. It grows in wet places along the rivers and marshes, in riparian shrubs almost all over Bulgaria. The stem is hollow, straight, hairy, up to 1.5 m high. The rhizome is short, multi-colored, with a thick fleshy, branched root with a white core. The leaves are velvety bristle with long handles, the lower ones are five-pointed, and the upper ones are three-pointed, large jagged. The flowers are grouped in the bosom of the upper leaves and their handles are not shorter than the leaves of the leaves. They are relatively small, white or pale pink to pink-red, with a non-fitting double cup, 5-leaf petal and numerous stamens. The fruit is deciduous, flat, disk-shaped, with 15-20 yellow-green saplings similar to slices easily detached from each other.
The marshmallow blooms and fruitfuls in the first year.
The roots, the flowers and the leaves are used in medicine. The roots in autumn, the leaves during flowering, and the flowers - at the beginning and during flowering.
The plant contains essential oil, mucus and vitamin C. The herb acts anti-inflammatory, softening and expectorant, mainly due to slime substances. It is also used for gastrointestinal inflammation.