Althea Rosea. Hollyhock.

Botanical name: 

Description: Natural Order, Malvaceae. This is the common hollyhock, so much cultivated in our gardens for its large and showy flowers. The generic characters are the same as the marsh mallows.

Properties and Uses: The flowers are demulcent; and also yield a slightly tonic property of a somewhat nauseating taste, that acts mostly upon the renal organs. The mucilaginous qualities are best extracted by tepid water; and make a good drink for irritable coughs, and irritated stomach, bowels, bladder, and urethra. The tonic and diuretic properties are best extracted by water at nearly a boiling temperature. I have found them of considerable service in the treatment of irritable forms of spermatorrhea, and chronic sensitiveness of the prostate, neck of the bladder, and urethra. The roots are said to be similar to the flowers.

Pharmaceutical Preparations: I. Mucilage. Hollyhock blossoms, dried, two ounces; water, a sufficient quantity. Macerate for four hours at a low heat, and strain. Dr. S. Thomson used a thick mucilage of this kind in his preparation called " Bread of Life."

II. Compound Sirup. Hollyhock blossoms, celastrus scandens, each half a pound; hydrastis and caulophyllum, each two ounces. Digest the hollyhock in one quart of hot water for three hours. Crush the other articles, and treat them with diluted alcohol in a percolator till a quart has passed. Set this aside, and add the hollyhock and its decoction to the ingredients in the percolator, and then add water till two quarts have passed. To this add two pounds of sugar, and evaporate on the water bath to one quart. Mix the two products. I have used this preparation to great advantage in spermatorrhea. Dose, a tablespoonful four times a day.

The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at