Common mallow (Malva sylvestris L.) from Malvaceae is an herbaceous plant, localized mainly in Europe (France), North Africa, Southwest Asia and throughout the Mediterranean basin. This species has a long history of use as food, and because of its therapeutic relevance, many parts of this plant have been used in traditional medicines and also in ethno-veterinary medicine. Leaves, in particular, are potent antioxidant, anti-inﬂammatory, anticancer and also they are effective in maintaining the integrity of the skin tissue. They have pharmaceutical properties to treat conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, abdominal pain and constipation.
A research was conducted to investigate the effect of the mallow leaves aqueous extract in maintaining of intestinal comfort and constipation treatment.
Chronic constipation causes fecal impaction, leading to intestinal obstruction, stercolar ulcerations and/or bowel perforation. Constipation can also be secondary to a disorder of the stool exemption. Such disorder can be associated with a paradoxical anal contraction or involuntary anal spasm, which in two thirds of patient can be an acquired behavioral disorder.
It was estimated that constipation has a prevalence range from 8.75% in the Asian Paciﬁc region to 27% in Western countries. Constipation is common worldwide, affecting all ages, with prevalence of 0.7–29.6% in children and adolescents and 15–50% in the elderly.
The experiment was done on rats divided into six groups of six animals. The laxative activity was determined based on the weight, frequency and water content of the feces matter. The results showed that mallow leaves extract signiﬁcantly reduced loperamide-induced constipation in a dose-dependent manner. Our extract also improved the gastrointestinal motility, mitigated colon lipid peroxidation and H2O colon overload, preserved normal antioxidant enzymes activities and non-enzymatic antioxidant levels.