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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)?

Health Benefits of Hollyhock
  • Common name - Hollyhock
  • Botanical name - Alcea Rosea
  • Family - Malvaceae

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is the ancient herb which has been used since long ago for various healthy purposes. As all it's parts, leaves, root and flowers are edible. So this plant became much popular in medieval times. An herbalist in 15th century gave it a name of Hollyhock. Flowers of Alcea rosea are more popular than other parts due to their bright colors. Alcea rosea is popularly grown in gardens due to its attractive flowers. But not only their beauty, medicinal properties are also numerous, which help in treating various health ailments. Common mellow and peony are the other names used for it. It is found both in biennial and perennial varieties of plants, so can live for whole year or for a season. These are gardener's favorites plant due to its attractive flowers and easy growing ability.

General Description

This plant grows up to 8 feet of height. Flowers may vary in colors, from dark red to orange including pink and yellow too. This plant can grow in wide variety of soils. This variation is with colors of the flowers too, as different soils are preferred by different colors of flowers. Sandy soil is favored by darker red color while the clay soil is preferred by the lighter color. It grows in medium moisture, average, well-drained soil in full sun. This plant can tolerate wide range of soil conditions but cannot grow in wet winter climatic conditions. Alcea rosea can easily be grown from the seeds of this plant. These plants are tender and young plants can be destroyed by snails and slugs. Foliage of this plant is large, rough and heart-shaped. It has long blooming time from June to August. However there is a problem with its foliage they can easily be up-rooted.

Medicinal Properties of Alcea rosea

  • Demulcent
  • Diuretic
  • Emollient
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Febrifuge
  • Digestive
  • Decongestant
  • Anti rheumatic
  • Analgesic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Healing
  • Antipyretic
  • Antispasmodic

Health Benefits of Hollyhock

  • It’s soothing effect on gastrointestinal system, urinary tracts and respiratory system helps to treat the ailments of all respective systems.
  • Owing to its diuretic action, it promotes urination and prevents urinary tract infection. Due to proper urination all the toxins and bacteria get cleared from the tract which results in removal of the infection.
  • Cold infusion of this herb helps to heal sore throat as it possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Splinters, chapped skin, swelling and painful inflammation of any part can be relieved by Hollyhock. This effect is due to anti-inflammatory effect of the plant. Apply a poultice of the leaves of this plant to get this benefit.
  • As Alacea rosea possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, so it helps in treating breathing difficulties and facilitate easy breathing.
  • It aids in digestion and prevents indigestion and any other type of digestive troubles. This herb can be used to treat bloating and increases appetite as well.
  • Healing properties of Alacea rosea facilitate faster healing of the wounds and ulcers, either applied externally or taken internally. Astringent and demulcent properties of Alacea rosea is behind the healing action on ulcers and wounds.
  • Antispasmodic action of the herb treats the painful spasms during menses and gives relief to the patient. Dysmenorrhea can be treated with this herb due to this medicinal property of the herb.
  • Some studies suggest about the potential of the shoots of the plant to ease the difficult labor pains.
  • Dysentery can be treated by this herb, as it possesses digestive properties which improves digestion and treat symptoms.
  • Loss of appetite can be treated by the use of its roots, which stimulate the digestive process and increase the rate of metabolism.
  • High fevers can also be reduced by this plant, as it brings down the body temperature by stimulating sweating.
  • It can also be used in the form of natural moisturizing agent due to the emollient property possessed by it.
  • Alacea rosea improves blood circulation and prevent all kinds of diseases caused due to the slow blood circulation.
  • Constipation can also be treated by this plant owing to digestive and cleansing properties of Alacea rosea.
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