Marshmallow plant is an ornamental perennial herb which grows to 4-5 feet. It has large pink flowers that bloom in late summer. It has ovate-cordate, roundish, short-petioled leaves.
These leaves are 50-70 mm long and 30 mm broad. They are entire or three to five-lobed, thick, and irregularly toothed at the margin. Soft and velvety on both sides, they have a dense covering of stellate hair. The leaves and roots are used to make medicine.
Common name of the plant
The common name of this plant is marshmallow.
Botanical name and family of marshmallow plant
The botanical name is Althea Officinalis. It belongs to the Malvaceae family.
Geological places where Althea Officinalis grows
This is indigenous to North Africa, Western Asia, and Europe. It is also commonly found in France, Germany, and parts of the United States that include Arkansas, Nebraska, Northern Dakota, and a few other north-eastern states.
Marshmallow plant Medicinal uses
It has been used since the olden times to cure a variety of ailments. This plant can be taken in a variety of ways (discussed below). Here is a look at its applications.
1. Heals digestive tract stomach and intestinal ulcer
The marshmallow root has 25% mucilage. Humans cannot digest this mucilage. It has an ability to heal and soothe inflammations of the lining of the digestive tract. All internal irritations subside when this mucilage slides down the GI tract and goes out of the body.
The leaves also have some mucilage along with flavonoids and essential oils. Make a tea or decoction and have it two times to cure your digestive problems. The mucilage forms a protective coating for the GI tract. It rectifies the stomach problems, so you become healthy again.
2. Good for coughs
Use the decoction or extract of the marshmallow root to prepare a healing potion for people suffering from cold and cough due to irritation of the lining of the mouth and throat. Here also, the mucilage of the plant helps soothe the irritated tissues of the mouth and throat.
By coating it with mucilage it prevents further irritation. This mucilage heals the tissues, and so the person recovers from his ailment.
Take a glass of the decoction or make a tea and have it twice a day. This will prove effective in curing the cough. You can also have marshmallow syrup that you get as OTC medicine. This is a traditional medicine.
3. Relief for breast pain and breastfeeding
Sore breasts with a lump are an indication of the plugged milk duct. You need to take medicine to unclog the duct and one effective medicine is marsh-mallow. Take warm showers or warm massages and immediately breast feed the baby. Marshmallow is considered safe to use while breastfeeding. It does not have any side effects so in all likelihood; it will increase your milk supply.
Use the tea made from the root of the marshmallow plant. Drink this two times a day to get the best effect. The paste is also good for the skin so you can apply it if there are sores in the area.
4. Cure for parasitic skin infections
Marshmallow helps cure sores and open wounds on the skin. Helminths cause parasitic infections and spend some time on the skin before they move inside.
One example is the swimmer’s itch caused by parasites picked up from common swimming pools, lakes, and ponds. Hookworms are helminths.
Insects such as lice and mites also infest the skin. You can use the paste made from marshmallow to cure parasitic infections caused by the above mentioned.
It is also used for soothing chapped skin and insect wounds. Apply this paste on burns to enhance quick healing.
5. Help for diarrhea
Diarrhea is the state where you pass faeces often and in liquid form. You lose water, and there is inadequate absorption of nutrients from the food you eat.
To get relief from diarrhea, you can have marshmallow in any form, decoction, tea, or extract mixed with fruit juice. This will put a stop to diarrhea.
Remember to drink more water and coffee and soda. It will help if you eat rice, banana, apples, and toast. Other food items that help when you have diarrhea include peanut butter and yogurt. Marshmallow extract mixed with the above food items is the best choice.
6. Relief to constipation patients
Surprisingly, marshmallow is helpful for those suffering from constipation also. In fact, you can use it to rectify most of the disorders of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
By drinking the tea made from the powdered root of the marshmallow plant, a person will get a better bowel movement. He or she will be able to pass motion better because the marshmallow extract will stimulate the GI tract and improve the speed at which food pass through it.
Have the tea twice a day to get the best results.
7. Acts as a pain reliever
The extract of this plant has analgesic properties so you can use it relieve pain. You can use marshmallow root extract in decoction form to relieve pain from a sore throat or abrasion. Drink the liquid extract three times every day.
8. Has diuretic property
You can get rid of the excess fluid in your body by taking marshmallow extract. The diuretic properties help keep the body free of toxic substances. It supports your overall urinary health.
Methods of using marshmallow
- Make a tea by cutting plant for the drug.
- Use the powdered form of the drug as tablets.
- Keep dried extracts to make soluble instant teas.
- Add aqueous extract to juices.
Side effects of Marsh Mallow
This plant does not show any side effects when taken in normal doses by mouth. There are a few instances where it causes low blood sugar levels. We can also apply the paste of this plant directly to the skin.
It is recommended to avoid use during pregnancy and childbirth. Also, one must avoid use before surgery as it slows blood clotting.
Take the marshmallow one hour before you take any other medicine as there is a chance of interaction.