Used for more than 2000 years, Marshmallow is amazing for respiratory issues, coughs and colds, but it's jelly-like substance is also great for the digestive system, skin issues and heart health, as well as fighting all kinds of viruses and bacteria!The main difference between the leaves and the root is that the leaves are more practical to use as a poultice and they are slightly milder in their effects.
Marshmallow was an inspiration for today's famous candy, but it is actually a plant that's been used for at least 2000 years for it's potent medicinal benefits:
Marshmallow has been used for coughs and irritated throats for thousands of years, with the oldest known recorded use dating back to the 9th Century BC!
Pharmaceutical cough medicines such as Benylin, Robitussin, and Vicks - work by affecting a signal in the brain which tells the coughing reflex to turn off. While this can help in the short-term, these medicines are not suitable for long-term use - people with chronic issues such as bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema. This is because coughing is actually a protective mechanism in the body - your body is trying to expel something that shouldn’t be in there.
Marshmallow works differently because its effects are much more local. It contains high levels of mucilage, which is essentially a soothing, cooling goo that coats and protects the mucous membranes. It reduces inflammation in sore and irritated throats.
It is a great remedy for both dry, hacking coughs and wet, productive ones and the overall respiratory health. Additionally, Marshmallow is a great plant medicine for children because it is effective, soothing, and gentle.
Marshmallow can also make the healing actions of other herbs stronger. Combining it with other herbs is an excellent idea, and for beating a cold or the flu try adding more anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herbs such as echinacea, licorice or oregano. When combined, these target the underlying cause of the sickness (including bacteria) and coat the throat to ease discomfort.
As several reports suggest, marshmallow works wonders for the lungs.
According to the studies, the antioxidants in the Marshmallow might help prevent cancerous tumor growth, especially in the lungs. Also, the high amounts of vitamin C clear out mucus anywhere in the body, and the high levels of vitamin A are important for fighting cancer and keeping the overall health of the body. Marshmallow also contains asparagine, a valuable amino acid essential for our health, so adding Marshmallow to the diet is a great preventative for cancer and various illnesses and could be a valuable addition to a cancer-fighting treatment.
Digestive uses for Marshmallow include lowering or preventing heartburn, stomach ulcer symptoms, diarrhea and constipation. The jelly substance coats the inside of the stomach and prevents acid from causing discomfort and “burning”, while at the same time healing the leaky gut syndrome.
Marshmallow also helps people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
By helping soothe the nerves of the skin, marshmallow soothes the irritation and it's even well-tolerated by those with allergies and hypersensitive skin.
For many years, it has provided relief from itching, swelling, redness and chaffing.
Marshmallow can be used topically on the skin to treat a number of problems: insect bites, wounds, burns, scrapes, dry/chapped skin and peeling, eczema and dermatitis. The roots and stem of the marshmallow plant secrete mucilage, which softens skin, lowers swelling and kills bacteria. That’s exactly why it’s often added to skin-care products and ointments for clearing issues like bites, infections and wounds.
If you feel symptoms of tonsillitis, bronchitis, a urinary tract or respiratory infection coming on, take marshmallow at the first sign of discomfort like swelling, burning and tenderness. It helps speed up the healing process and naturally kills bacteria that can cause various ailments.
Once ingested, it helps increase the flow of urine, which improves the body’s ability to draw bacteria out of the urinary tract. This is the reason it’s also recommended for treating kidney stone symptoms.
Inflammation is one of the root causes of heart disease, and since marshmallow fights inflammation, it can improve heart health. In some studies, it also elevated levels of good cholesterol.
Marshmallow has diuretic effects and acts similar to “water pills” that are intended to lower fluid retention, edema and bloated stomach. If your diet or hormone levels (such as experiencing PMS or menopause) cause you to retain water and feel uncomfortable, marshmallow can help increase urination and balance fluids.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - Let 1 tablespoon of dried marshmallow leaf stand in 1 cup of cold water for 1 hr., stirring occasionally. Heat to a gentle boil; simmer, covered, for 10 min. Alternatively, you can leave it in a cup overnight and drink it in the morning, without cooking! You can add this infusion to your bath or a foot soak to relax and give your skin a treat!
Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Poultice/Compress - Take 1-2 tablespoons (or as much as it is needed to cover the affected area) of marshmallow, add enough water to cover it and leave it until it turns into a jelly mass. Put it on the affected area of the skin, cover with a gauze and leave for at least an hour or overnight, or apply the liquid on your skin with a cotton ball.
The taste: This tea has an earthy taste, which some find bland or unpleasant, but others really enjoy. You can choose to add some honey or lemon to improve the flavor, or some licorice root for additional sweetness and similar benefits!
Precaution: Marshmallow is safe for children.
Because it coats the lining of the stomach, marshmallow may interfere with the absorption of other drugs or herbs. For this reason, it is important to take marshmallow several hours before or after taking other herbs or medications.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles, and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements on this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health.
Known throughout the ancient Egyptian, Arab, Greek, and Roman cultures, this herb has been used continually for at least 2000 years. In traditional folk practices, it was given to soothe and moisten mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts, and also as an external poultice.
However, while concoctions of all parts of the Marshmallow plant have been used as a medicine, the traditional use of the plant can be found in old recipes: Stems of marshmallow were peeled to reveal the soft and spongy pith. This pith was boiled in sugar syrup and dried to produced a soft, chewy confection. Commercial marshmallows are a late-nineteenth-century innovation, which was a development of a well-used recipe from the old days using the Marshmallow plant itself. This plant has been used in beverages, desserts, candies, cosmetic creams, and was the "root" of the original marshmallow confectionery.
Marshmallow was once thought to have influence where affairs of the heart were concerned. A bouquet of the leaves left on the grave of a loved one was believed to ensure a safe journey to the next world, while a bunch placed on a windowsill of the home would guarantee the return of a lover gone astray.
Most of the mallows are considered edible and have been used as a food source. The Romans considered a dish of mallow a delicacy. Further, the 16th-century Italian physician and botanist, Prosper Alpinus, reported that the Egyptians also ate mallow. Mallow was boiled and fried with onions and butter in the Arabic speaking countries of the middle east and Asia in times of famine or crop failure.The use of the herb spread from Greece to Arabia and India, where it became an important herb in the Ayurvedic and Unani healing tradition. In Ayurveda, the root was used to reduce vata (dry constitutional type) and increase kapha (wet constitutional type) and was considered to be energetically cold, sweet tasting, and moistening.
Common Names: Marshmallow, althea, sweet weed, mallards, guimauve, mortification plant, schloss tea, wymote, Mallow, white mallow, common marshmallow, malvavisco, hatmi, iviscus, ghasul, khitmi, khatmah, usubeni-tati-aoi