High mallow, also referred to as common mallow, is an herbaceous perennial used in the past as a food source and for its healthful qualities. Malva sylvestris is recognized by its lobed, dark green leaves and showy, purple-pink, five-petaled flowers. Mallow leaves can be used in hearty broths, soups, and sauces. Mucilaginous in nature, mallow leaf can also be prepared as an extract, herbal infusion, or applied externally.
High mallow is native to western Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. Also known as common mallow, the herbaceous perennial is now naturalized around the world. Mallow has been used as a food source and for its beneficial properties in traditional folk practices for centuries. Historically, the plant was used in a similar manner to its cousin, marshmallow which eventually gained popularity in use over high mallow. The demulcent and slightly astringent high mallow leaves are still a relevant herb today and can be used in a variety of applications including herbal teas and culinary recipes. The well-loved plant also boasts folkloric uses.