Mountain Rose Herbs

Marshmallow Extract

Also known as

Althaea officinalis, althaea root or althaea root, mallow root, mortification root, Schloss tea, sweet weed, Hock herb.

Introduction

Marshmallow is a perennial herb native throughout damp areas of northern Europe and western Asia. It is now naturalized to the Atlantic coast of the United States and used as an ornamental for its pointed foliage and purple flowers.

References to marshmallow root as a healing herb are found in Homer’s Iliad, written over 2,800 years ago. Its genus name Althaea comes from the Greek altho, to cure, and its order name, Malvaceae, is derived from the Greek malake, soft Marshmallow root was widely used in traditional Greek medicine.

The use of the herb spread from Greece to Arabia and India, where it became an important herb in the Ayurvedic and Unani healing traditions.

Constituents

Mucilage (arabinogalactans and galacturonorhamnan), the amino acid asparagines, antioxidant flavonoids 8-hydroxyluteolin and 8-b-gentiobioside, coumarins, fats, kaempferol, phenolic acids, quercetin, sugars, tannins, and volatile oil.

Parts Used

The dried root. Reputable suppliers test the product for its ability to swell when mixed with water. Marshmallow root does not swell as much as marshmallow leaf when placed in water.

Typical Preparations

Cold macerations, warm infusions, tincture, and fluid extract or capsulation.

Summary

Marshmallow root has long been used as a food, particularly during times of famine when it is more abundant than other vegetables. Medicinally, it has been approved by the German Commission E in supporting inflammation of the gastric mucosa, and for irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. When combined with other herbs, it is additionally used for mild respiratory symptoms, including cough. The root is traditionally used to support a healthy digestive system, but this application has not been clinically studied.

References

Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann pg. 526

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13880209.2010.516754

Precautions

Marshmallow root is completely non-toxic, but its mucilage can interfere with the absorption of other medicines if taken at the same time. The asparagine in the root can cause a mild odor in the urine, but has no other physiological effect.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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