Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn)

Introduction/ Herb’s Description

Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.), is a well known herb commonly known as Marsh Mallow. It is one of the important medicinal plants used in Unani system of medicine.  It is a perennial species with light brown coloured, long and thick root, ovate-cordate, slightly toothed leaves and pale pink or pale purple coloured flowers.

It belongs to the family Malvaceae. It is evergreen herb.  Roots are long and narrow. Flowers are pale blue to rose pink in colour, single or clustered. They are shaped like those of the common mallow, The flowers are in bloom during August and September, and are followed, as in other species of this order, by the flat, round fruit which are popularly called "cheeses". Leaves are grey green in colour. Texture is velvety. The odour of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is faint. 

The stems, typically grow 3 to 4 ft but can reach 6.5 feet and put out only a few lateral branches. The leaves are ovate-cordate, shortly petioled, roundish, 2 to 3 inches long and about 1​14 inch broad, entire or three to five lobed, at the margin it is irregularly toothed and thick. They are soft and velvety on both sides, due to a dense covering of stellate hairs. but are smaller and of a pale colour, and are either axillary, or in panicles, more often the latter.

Root, leaves, flowers and seeds of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) are mainly used in Unani medicine. All the parts contain mucilage. Taste of the flower of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is bitter while its root is tasteless and mucilagenous.

This palnt is native to Europe and Western Asia.  It is found in North America along the eastern seaboard. It is also found in Delhi, Khasmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and also in Pakistan and Iran. In India it is grown not only as ornamenral plant but also for the medicinal prupose. It is native of most countries of Europe and is also distributed in the temperate and subtropical region of Asia and Europe.  It occurs in Australia, Azad Kashmir (Pakistan), Belgium, France, Germany, Punjab (Pakistan), United States of America. It occurs usually near salt marshes or the ocean.

In  Unani system of medicine,  Khatmi  has  been  used  for  several centuries  to  treat  inflammatory  disorders  like  enteritis, mastitis, metritis, colitis,  arthritis,  gastritis,  bronchitis, etc.  It  also  has  been  used  for  other  ailments  like  catarrh,  , whooping  cough  dysuria, renal  calculai,  pityriasis,  dysentery,  tremor, haemoptysis and many more. 

Vernacular Names

  • English:                      Marsh Mallow, Sweet Weed
  • Arabic:                        Bazrul  Khatmi, Kasirul  Munfiyat, Khatmi, Khatmitah
  • Urdu:                           Khatmi, Khitmi, Gul-e- Khairo
  • Hindi:                          Khatmi,  Khaira
  • Persian:                       Tukhm-e- Khatmi, Reshai-e- Khatmi
  • Chinese:                      Ke Zhi Gen
  • Danish                         Altae 
  • Russian:                      Altei,  Dikaya Roja 
  • Spanish:                      Malvavisco
  • Dutch:                         Heemst 
  • French:                        Guimauve 
  • German:                      Eibisch, Ibisch 
  • Greek:                         Altaia,  Hibiscos 
  • Italian:                         Bismalva
  • Portugese:                   Malvaisco
  • Roumanian:                 Nalba mare
  • Swedish:                     Altea 
  • Tamil:                          Simaithuthi 
  • Turkish:                       Hatmi, Herba malvae

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom                     Plantae  plants 
  • Division                       Magnoliophyta 
  • Class                           Magnoliopsida 
  • Order                          Malvales
  • Family                         Malvaceae
  • Genus                         Althaea L
  • Species                       Althaea officinalis Linn; Synonyms – Malva officinalis.


The Temperament of Althaea officinalis Linn. (Khatmi) is Warm towards Moderate Cold1 and Wet1, Hot1 and Wet1

Pharmacological Actions

Root of Althaea officinalis Linn. (Khatmi):  Demulcent, Resolvent (Muhallil), Analgesic (Musakkin), Lubricant (Muzliq), Desiccant (Mujaffif), Haemostatic (Habis-ud- Dam) and Astringent (Habis). 

Seed of Althaea officinalis Linn. (Khatmi): Expectorant (Munaffis-e- balgham), Anti- Catarrh (Man’-e- Nazla), Laxative (Mulayin), Divergent (Rad’-e- Mawaad),  Cleanser (Jali),  Demulcent (Mulattif), Concoctive of  Phlegm (Munjiz-e- Bulgham), Emollient  for  stomach and organs (Murrakhi-e- Me’da wa Azalat), Diuretic  (Mudir-e- Baul) and Emmenagogue  (Mudir-e- Haiz)

Leaves of Althaea officinalis Linn. (Khatmi): Anti-inflammatory (Muhallil-e- Waram) Flowers of Althaea officinalis Linn. (Khatmi): Expectorant (Munaffis-e- Balgham), Exhilarant and Tonic to Heart (Mufarreh Wa Muqawwi- e- Qalb) and Constipative (Qabiz).

Pharmacological Actions of Althaea officinalis Linn. (Khatmi) are Anti-inflammatory, Alterative, Demulcent, Anti-tussive, Expectorant, Emollient, Diuretic, Nutrient, Mucilaginous, Resolvent, Repercussive, Stimulates White Blood Cells,


Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is indicated in Cough, Respiratory Catarrh, Chronic Cough, Dry Cough, Chest Congestion, Wounds, Boils, Abscesses, Inflammations, Stomach Ulcer, Hernia, Prostate Problems and Urinary Tract Infections.

Seeds of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) are indicated in Bladder and Kidney Troubles.

Flowers of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) are indicated in Bronchitis, Bronchial Catarrhal Affections and Burns.

Leave of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is indicated in Burns.

Root of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is specially indicated in Pleurisy, Sciatica, Indigestion, Bilious Diarrhoea, Bronchitis, Nasal Catarrh, Chest Congestion, Pectoral Catarrh, Pneumonia, Hemorrhoids, Rheumatism and Headache.

Poultice of Leaves of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is indicated in Abscesses, Wounds Ulcers and Boils.

Compound Formulations: Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.) is used in the preparation of

  • Joshanda-e- Nazla
  • Jauhar-e- Joshanda
  • La’ooq Nazla
  • Matbokh Nazla
  • Laboob-e- Sageer, Laooq-e- Nazli
  • Marham-e- Daakhaliyoon
  • Laooq Sapistan
  • Joshina
  • Laooq Mo'tadil
  • Tiryaaq-e- Masaana
  • Sharbat-e- Ejaj
  • Dawa-e- Aab Zan
  • Banadiq-ul- Bazoor
  • Arq-e-  Ambar
  • Habb-e- Shahiqa
  • Arq-e-  Ma-ul-Laham  Makoh  Kasni  Wala
  • Dayaqooza
  • Itrifal  Muqawwi-e- Dimagh
  • Dawa-ul- Misk Motadil Jawahar Wali
  • Qurs-e- Zat-ul- Janb
  • Laooq-e- Khayarshamber
  • Laooq-e- Sapistan, Lauq-e- Sapistan Khayar  Shambari
  • Majoon Muqawwi-wa- Mumsik
  • Khamira  Gawzaban  Ambari  Jadwar  Ood  Saleeb  Wala
  • Khamira Abresham Sada
  • Khamira  Gawzaban  Sada 
  • Khamira Gawzaban Ambari
  • Khamira  Murakkab
  • Triyaq-e- Nazla 
  • Khamira  Nazli  Jawahir  wala 
  • Sharbat-e- Khashkhash
  • Matbookh  Nazla
  • Sharbat-e- Aijaz
  • Qairooti-e- Arad-e- Baqla
  • Marham-e- Dakhilyun 
  • Qairooti-e- Karnab 
  • Qairooti-e- Babuna Wali 
  • Zimad-e- Waram Kulya Qawi
  • Qairooti-e-Mamool


Average dose of whole herb is 5- 7 gm


Following  drugs  have  been  recommended  to  be  used  along with Khatmi to prevent side effects. They are Honey (Shahad), Saunf  (Foeniculum vulgare), Zarishk (Berries of Berberis vulgaris)


The following drugs are mentioned in the Unani text as substitutes for Khatmi (Althaea officinalis Linn.). They are Behman Surkh   (Roots of Centaurea behen Linn.),  Khubbazi  (Fruits  of  Malva sylvestris Linn.),  Neelofar  (Flower  of  Nymphaea lotus),  Samagh-e- Arabi  (Gum  of Acacia arabica Wild) and Tabasheer (Manna of Bambusa arundinaceae).


  • PUBLISHED DATE : Jun 17, 2020
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jun 17, 2020


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