Mallow, or Malva, is the wild edible green that is the source for the original marshmallow. Originally native to Europe this plant can now be found all over the world. Cultivated in some areas commercially as a vegetable crop and even growing as an invasive weed in other regions. Malva has adapted to a variety of soil conditions and climates, making it available in most areas and even during cold seasons. Here are a few of the characteristics of this plant that make it beneficial for wilderness survival.
- Malva or Mallow has a unique and easily identifiable even for beginning foragers.
- Its prolific nature means that once you are familiar with it in your area you will be able to spot it and use it even if you are in a survival situation away from home.
- Malva can grow up to 5 feet tall and in large groups which means that it can provide you with a large quantity of food that can be harvested for an extended period.
- Malva contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and medicinal compounds that promote gastrointestinal health by soothing the stomach, work as a mild laxative, work as a natural anti-inflammatory, and help with coughs and cold.
- The flowers and the leaves can be eaten raw. This will help you conserve your calories since you do not need to spend any additional energy starting and maintaining a fire in order to consume them.
- The leaves can be used topically to help promote healing for cuts, bruises, and rashes. They can be chewed into a spit poultice and then applied to the affected area and changed regularly as needed.
When you can have both medicine, and food in the same source, your chances of survival are looking good. Make sure you keep Malva on your radar when you are hiking or camping, every wild medicinal and edible you become familiar with raises your chances of survival.
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