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Althea - Hollyhock

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Alcea or Althea, commonly known as hollyhocks

Hollyhocks are popular garden ornamental plants or old fashioned favourites which are easily raised from seed.

For full effect this tall, upright short-lived perennial is best planted at the back of a sunny border, with something in front to hide their bare lower stems.

Young leaves - raw or cooked have a mild flavour, but the texture leaves something to be desired. They can also be chopped up finely and added to salads. Flower petals and flower buds – raw can be added to salads. A nutritious starch is obtained from the root. A refreshing tea is made from the flower petals.

The healing properties of hollyhock (Alcea rosea) have a long history of medicinal use. Hollyhock was used to treat inflammation of the mucous membranes. The juice is said to be very soothing to the throat and intestinal tract and recommended in the treatment of intestinal ailments. Soothing herbal bandages and bath preparations were made to treat cuts and bruises.