Chinese mallow, also known as cluster mallow is an herb. It is the species of the genus Malva in the family of Malvaceae. Scientifically it is known as Malva verticillata. Usually found in East Asia, it grows in the woodland areas of different soil types.
Chinese mallow is related to the hibiscus and marshmallow plants. The leaves and seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. These leaves are consumed as a tea or used in salads. These leaves give out a mild fragrance to the salad. The seeds have a pleasant nutty flavour.
The Chinese mallow seeds contain polysaccharide which stimulates the white blood cells. The seeds also have anti-cancer properties. The polysaccharides, mucilage, and flavonoids present in the seed aids in eliminating irritation and mild inflammation.
Chinese mallow also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Mallow tea also helps soothe dry cough and sore throats. It is also used as a laxative to relieve constipation and to relieve water retention by increasing urine production.
The effect of Chinese mallow on lowering the blood sugar level is under research.