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Marsh Mallow

The everyday diet of those Bedouin who continue to maintain a primarily nomadic way of life relies heavily on bread and dates, lamb, goat and occasionally camel meat and milk. The diet is low in vitamin A and D and most Bedouin got vitamin A from eggs and from Mallow plants (خبيزة). The whole plant is edible raw or cooked. Leaves make an excellent lettuce substitute and can also be cooked as greens. The leaves are mucus-forming, so when cooked in soups they tend to thicken it in much the same way as okra. A confection made from the root since ancient Egyptian time evolved into today's marshmallows. The roots were brought to the boil in water and then simmered until the water becomes quite thick. This liquid can then be whisked in much the same way as egg whites. A tea can be made from the dried leaves. Immature seeds are edible raw or cooked. Having a pleasant nutty flavor, they are nice as a nibble but too small in most cases to collect in quantity. Bedouins chop and fry leaves with salt, olive oil, and garlic.

Root should be collected from 2-year old plants, in autumn and leaves - just before flowering for highest mucilage.

Mallows contains Vitamin C and A, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Selenium. All parts of common mallow are astringent, laxative, urine-inducing, and have agents that counteract inflammation, that soften and soothe the skin when applied locally, and that induce the removal (coughing up) of mucous secretions from the lungs. It's good for wasps and bee stings and for poisonous spiders bites.The decocted root is given to the wounded as a drink to quench thirst arising through loss of blood. It also applied with honey and raisin to hemorrhages, dislocation and swollen muscles. If meat are cooked with mallow, the peaces would be joined together. Boiled with vinegar ad used as a mouthwash, it helps toothache. Put the flowers in oil and mix them with tallow for use on sores. Make a compound infusion of plants applied as poultice to swellings of all kinds, and for broken bones. Apply it to babies' swollen stomach or sore back. Use the plant for painful congestions of the stomach. A cold infusion of plants used as a lotion for injuries or swellings. A cold infusion can be made, by soaking 6 teaspoons of the dry herb in a liter of cold water overnight, and then applied topically. According to some herbalists, the cold infusion likely extracts the plant’s mucilage (a soothing, gelatinous substance) most effectively and may work best for both internal and topical use. The root decocted in water until all the liquid has boiled away, leaving a sticky substance ad this applied to the abscess will also work

For tea boil 2 to 4 teaspoons of the dried leaves or flowers in 150 ml of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. One cup of the tea can be drunk three times per day.

#Bedouin #Herbs #Tea #Desert #Kitchen

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