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Now 395 398! pages of information on all the most important herbs and herbal remedies - and still plenty to come. Bookmark the site now! Want to link with us?

Marshmallow – (Althaea officinalis)

Marshmallow

Marshmallow is a typical member of the mallow family that happens to like moist soils like those found in marshes, hence the name. It grows as a tall spike with simple pink flowers and is a good source of traditional herbal remedies. The herb contains mucilagin, which makes herbal tea from the plant feel slimy in the mouth. This ingredient is very soothing and is one of the reasons marshmallow has remained an effective remedy for so long. It has a long medicinal history stretching all the way back to the ancient Romans.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Marshmallow leaf is used to ease inflammation and ulceration in the digestive system as well as the mucosa affected by dry coughs. It is an expectorant and controls bacterial infections. It can soothe irritation of the mucus membranes of the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal system as well as aid respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis. It will form a protective coating over irritated and inflamed mucus membranes. The root will treat hernia and cystitis.

Externally – Marshmallow can help boils, abscesses, burns, ulcers, sores and other minor injuries. It can limit inflammation in the skin and will help prevent skin degeneration. The herb seems to boost the immune system at the cellular level. It inhibits degradation of connective tissues. It helps the skin maintain moisture, reduces aging in the skin and helps quicken healing. It may be added to drawing ointments to apply to boils and abscesses. It is also used as an emollient for varicose veins.

Other Uses – Marshmallow is the original source of the confection we all know by the same name. Commercial sweets are now made from sugar, but there is a resurging popularity in some specialty shops for making the original variety from the root from scratch as a gourmet treat.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

It is often added to syrups or other herbal remedies that need an expectorant or demulcent quality.

Parts Used

Roots, leaves, flowers – While the roots are the main component used, the leaves and flowers can also be used medicinally.

Cautions

The mucilage produced by marshmallow may absorb other medications and make them less effective. There are no known side effects.

Preparation and Dosage

Commercial preparations with marshmallow are easily found, especially those made of the root. It is available as herbal tea, capsules and in combination formulas. Tincture can be taken three times per day in a dose of 1 to 4 ml each time. The roots may be used in a cold infusion made from 2 to 4 grams of root in a cup of cold water and allowed to infuse overnight.

Marshmallow Herbal Remedies Top