The common mallow has suffered by comparison with its more famous cousin, the marsh mallow, the only member of the family to be an ‘official’ herb. But marsh mallow is rare as a wild plant and moreover is dug up for its root, so for the many soothing qualities of mallow, internal and external, the common form offers a highly effective alternative.
Pick the leaves before the plant flowers or whenever they are a bright healthy green. They are best used fresh, although they can be dried.
Pick the flowers and flower buds in summer. They can be used fresh or dried by spreading them out on a sheet of paper in a cool airy place. Mallow flowers turn from pinkish purple to blue as they dry. They can be used on their own as a soothing tea, and make a pretty addition to other herbal tea blends.