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Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1466-72. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.03.012. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Leaves, flowers, immature fruits and leafy flowered stems of Malva sylvestris: a comparative study of the nutraceutical potential and composition.

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CIMO/Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Bragança, Portugal.


Malva sylvestris is widely used in Mediterranean and European traditional medicine and ethnoveterinary for the treatment of external and internal inflammation, as well as injuries. Moreover, its use is not only limited to therapeutic purposes; but also the species is locally regarded as a food wild herb. Considering that antioxidants and free radical scavengers can exert also an anti-inflammatory effect, the extracts of different parts of the medicinal/edible plant M. sylvestris (leaves, flowers, immature fruits and leafy flowered stems) were compared for their nutraceutical potential (antioxidant properties) and chemical composition. Particularly, mallow leaves revealed very strong antioxidant properties including radical-scavenging activity (EC(50)=0.43 mg/mL), reducing power (0.07 mg/mL) and lipid peroxidation inhibition in lipossomes (0.04 mg/mL) and brain cells homogenates (0.09 mg/mL). This part of the plant is also the richest in nutraceuticals such as powerful antioxidants (phenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, and tocopherols), unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. alpha-linolenic acid), and minerals measured in ash content.

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