Mountain Rose Herbs

Marshmallow Leaf

Also known as

Althaea officinalis, althaea leaf or althaea leaf, 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 leaf 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, which means soft. Marshmallow leaf 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. The Romans used it primarily as a roasted vegetable, and was mentioned in both Arabic and Chinese literature as a good food during times of famine.

Constituents

Mucilage (arabinogalactans and galacturonorhamnan), antioxidant flavonoids 8-hydroxyluteolin and 8-b-gentiobioside, phenolic acids, tannins, and volatile oil.

Parts Used

The dried leaf. Reputable suppliers test the product for its ability to swell when mixed with water.

Typical Preparations

Cold macerations, warm infusions, tincture, and fluid extract. May also be taken as a capsule.

Precautions

Marshmallow leaf is completely non-toxic, but its mucilage can interfere with the absorption of other medicines if taken at the same time.

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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