Marsh Mallow comes from the same family as Malva sylvestris L. The flowers also look alike. However, I noticed a couple of differences. Marshmallow had darker petal compared to mallow. Also, when I steeped the mallow tea, the purple petals turned colourless. This did not happen with marshmallow as dramatically, and the petals mostly kept their colours.
As for the taste, I thought marshmallow was mellower and somewhat sweeter compared to common mallow which had a slight tartness. This tea also is drunk for its medicinal properties. Marshmallow is a ‘mucilaginous’ herb which has a gluey consistency that may inhibit coughing by forming a protective coating on the mucosal lining of the respiratory channel according to this resource. Indeed, modern herbalists recommend marshmallow for relieving digestion and respiratory problems such as cough, colds and asthma as noted here.
Moreover, a research found that the extract of marshmallow exhibited strong antioxidant activity. Such natural antioxidants can project the human body from free radicals.
A native of the British Isles (and the temperate regions of India), marshmallow is now available Europe and some parts of the Americas. You are possibly wondering if this plant has anything to do with modern confectionery. It does indeed! In the old days, a medicinal version of this confectionery was made out of Althaea Officinalis, the marshmallow plant.
Type: Tisane (non-tea)
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Tones of navy and purple flowers with green sepals
Liquor colour: Light yellow for the rest
Tea aroma: Spicy and mint
Tea taste: Mellow with slight sweetness, mint and floral notes
Steeping/brewing: Infuse about 3 gr of dry leaves in 100°C water for about 3 minutes.
Shelf life: Up to 2 years (the freshest the better)