Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) -- the herb, not the white puffy confection roasted over a campfire -- has been used for more than 2,000 years as both a food and a medicine. The Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Syrians used marshmallow as a source of food, while the Arabs made poultices from its leaves and applied them to the skin to reduce inflammation. Both the root and leaves contain a gummy substance called mucilage. When mixed with water, it forms a slick gel that is used to coat the throat and stomach to reduce irritation. It is also applied topically to soothe chapped skin.
Very few scientific studies have looked at the effects of marshmallow in humans. Most of its suggested uses come from a long history of use in traditional healing systems.
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Common cold/sore throat
  • Cough
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Skin inflammation

Herb Description

Marshmallow ( Althea officinalis )-the herb,has been used for centuries as both a food and a medicine. Its botanical name comes from the Greek word "altho," which means "to cure." The Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Syrians used marshmallow as a source of meal,To reduce inflammation on the skin Arabs used its leaves & applied on external areas. Marshmallows are incredibly cool not because of its good taste, but also a good source of light, just lighting them you can create a great light in a dark campsite.Due to exceptional healing properties it has been used by herbalists for many centuries to heal a range of ailments, hence its botanical name, Althea officinalis, from the Greek altho, meaning 'to heal'.
Mallows & there family grows largely in the tropical region, where they form a large proportion of the vegetation; towards the poles they gradually decrease in number. Besides the medicinal virtues of so many species, some are employed as food; the bark of others affords a substitute for hemp; the cotton of commerce is obtained from the seed vessels of yet other species, and many ornamental garden flowers are also members of this group.
Both Marshmallow root and leaf are medicinal teas. The root is used as medicine to prepared cough tea and cough syrup medicines In the United States, marshmallow is used as a component of dietary supplement antitussive and demulcent preparations .

Uses and Benefits

Marshmallow is used to cure following problems:
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Common cold/sore throat
  • Cough
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Weight loss aid (marshmallow swells with fluid and gives a sense of fullness)
  • Wound healin
Marshmallow is excellent for the skin. If applied externally it shows fantastic moisturizing and nourishing properties and is used to soothe and repair dry and cracked skin.
Marshmallow contains anti-inflammatory effect, Marshmallow is very good for problems with the urinary system, including .cystitis, urethritis, urinary gravel and calculus. 
Marshmallows leaf if used internally cure the irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa and associated dry cough.
Root of Marshmallow use in :
  • Demulcent
  • diuretic
  • emollient
  • vulnerary.
Leaf of Marshmallow use in :
  • Demulcent
  • expectorant
  • diuretic
  • emollient
  • antilithic.
Flowers of Marshmallow use in :
  • expectorant

Side Effects

Not recommended during pregnancy .
Don't take medicine if it shows following symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.The right away is to talk to your doctor.
  • Breathing problems.
  • tightness in your throat.
  • Chest pain .
  • Skin hives.
  • rash.
  • itchy.
  • swollen skin .
  • tightness in your chest .


As a dietary supplement take 1-3 ml. (approx. 28-84 drops), 3 times a day
  • Leaf fluid extract: ¼ to ½ tsp (1:1 g/mL),2-3 times daily
  • Leaf tincture: 1 to 2 tsp (1:5 in 25% ethanol), 2-3 times daily
  • Root infusion or cold-water maceration (2% to 5%): 5 ounces (1 to 2 tsp) taken to soothe cough and sore throat
  • Dried root: 2 to 6 g or equivalent preparations daily (cold infusion 3 times per day)
  • Marshmallow cough syrup (from root): 2 to 10 g per single dose
Unless otherwise prescribed: 5 g per day of cut leaf.
Infusion: 1-2 g in 150 ml boiled water, two to three times daily.
Cold maceration: 1-2 g in 150 ml cold water for 60 minutes stirring occasionally; strain and warm before drinking, two to three times daily.
Fluidextract 1:1 (g/ml): 1-2 ml, two to three times daily.
Tincture 1:5 (g/ml): 5-10 ml, two to three times daily.
For Adults (18 years and older) in skin inflammatory conditions (eczema, psoriasis): Applied, 5-10 grams of marshmallow in ointment or cream base or 5% powdered marshmallow leaf to the skin three times daily. Daily oral doses of 5 grams of marshmallow leaf, or 6 grams of marshmallow root have been suggested by mouth. Oral and pharyngeal irritation: A dose of 2 grams of marshmallow in 1 cup of cold water, soaked for 2 hours then gargled has been used.
Children (younger than 18 years) There is not enough record scientific data to prescribe marshmallow for use in children.

Drug Interactions

Don't take marshmallow along with other herbs or medications because it may interfere with the absorption of certain medications .So it is important to take marshmallow several hours before or after ingesting .
Marshmallow is generally safe with only rare allergic reactions reported.

Oral marshmallow preparations may interfere with the absorption of drugs or other herbals in the body. Because it coats the gastrointestinal tract.

No comments:

Post a Comment