Latin: Althaea officinalis
Part Used: root and leaf
Constituents: root: mucilage, tannins, pectin, asparagine; leaf: mucilage, trace essential oil, polysaccharides, betaine, coumarins, beta-carotene, vitamin B, calcium
Medicinal Actions: root: demulcent, diuretic, emollient, vulnerary; leaf: demulcent, expectorant, diuretic, emollient
Uses & Combinations
Marshmallow is an excellent demulcent. The abundant mucilage in its roots helps to relieve inflammation and irritation. Taken as a tea, it makes an effective treatment for reducing flare-ups of the digestive tract where it helps to neutralize excess stomach acid, and for easing coughs as it gently calms the throat tissue. Combine with Licorice and White Horehound to ease bronchitis, or with Comfrey to treat ulcers. The leaves can be used for treating urinary tract irritation.
Externally, the roots can be used to treat varicose veins and skin eruptions. If you add the infusion to a warm bath, it’s effective for soothing eczema and dry skin. Combine Marshmallow with Slippery Elm to make a soothing ointment.
All parts of the Marshmallow plant are edible. The seeds, leaves, and flowers can be added to salad, or the leaves can be steamed like kale or collard greens. The root can be boiled and fried and eaten like a vegetable, or sweetened to make a dessert.
You’ll find Marshmallow root in our Immune Boost tea where it’s blended with Astragalus, Echinacea, and other strengthening herbs to help boost vitality.
Features & Cultivation
Marshmallow takes its name from the salt marshes by the sea and along riverbanks in which it grows. It’s a perennial plant that thrives in damp, loamy soil. It grows between 2–5 feet tall and has soft, velvety serrated leaves. The flowers grow in clusters up the stem at the axils of the leaves.