Koehler's Medicinal-Plants 1887
Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis
), a name frequently misapplied to the Swamp Rose-mallow, is properly given to a much smaller pink flower, measuring only an inch and a half across at the most, and a far rarer one, being a naturalized immigrant from Europe found only in the salt marshes from the Massachusetts coast to New York. It is also known as Wymote. This is a bushy, leafy plant, two to four feet high, and covered with velvety down as a protection against the clogging of its pores by the moisture arising from its wet retreats. Plants that live in swamps must perspire freely and keep their pores open. From the marsh mallow's thick roots the mucilage used in confectionery is obtained, a soothing demulcent long esteemed in medicine.
The generic name Althaea is derived from the greek, altho
(to cure), from the Mallows healing properties. The name of the order, malvaceae, is derived from the Greek, malake
(soft), from the special qualities of the mallows in softening and healing. 2