althaea(redirected from althea)
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common name for members of the Malvaceae, a family of herbs and shrubs distributed over most of the world and especially abundant in the American tropics. Tropical species sometimes grow as small trees.
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a genus of herbaceous plants of the mallow family. Within the Eurasian temperate zone there are about 12 species, eight of which are found in the USSR. The most important species is Althaea officinalis (the marshmallow), a plant with axillar blossoms, growing in both Europe and Asia; in the USSR it is found in the steppe and forest steppe zones of the European part of the country, in Siberia, in Kazakhstan, and in some districts of Middle Asia. The plant grows along river and lake banks, in solonetzic meadows, in brush, and less often on wasteland. The marshmallow is cultivated in the Ukraine and the Krasnodar Krai. The dried roots of this plant are used medicinally in the form of a powder, infusion, or syrup, as an emollient, expectorant, antipyretic, and unguent, mainly in connection with respiratory diseases. Preparations of the marshmallow are sometimes used to treat inflammations of the urinary tract.
REFERENCESAtlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
Kondratenko, P. T., S. D. Kur, and F. M. Rozhko. Zagotovka, vyrashchivanie i obrabotka lekarstvennykh rastenii. Moscow, 1965.