Marshmallow root has been used as an herbal medicine for thousands of years. The botanical name of marshmallow root is althea officinalis. This perennial plant has pink flowers, which generally blooms in the fall months and are used to make expectorant syrups.
Also known as common marshmallow, mallow, and white mallow, marshmallow root is native to Europe but has been brought to America recently as a plant for medicinal uses. Marshmallow root has a long history as an herbal remedy for cough, sore throat and other respiratory problems such as bronchitis and whooping cough, due to the large amounts of mucilage found in the flower as well as the root.
Medicinal used has also been recommended for diarrhea, indigestion, along with chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastro esophageal reflux disease. This herb has shown to be helpful in almost all problems related to inflammation of the digestive tract, including peptic ulcers, hiatus hernias, mouth ulcers, enteritis and colitis.
Additionally, weight loss has been promoted when taking marshmallow root supplements because it swells when mixed with fluid, prompting the stomach to have a feeling of more fullness.
Lastly, external uses have shown to be very effective as well as marshmallow root has anti-inflammatory activity on the human tissue. Personal care products containing this herb could be helpful in treating cuts, scrapes, and other wounds, as well as a remedy for eczema, psoriasis and pinkeye.
Supplements are the best way to take marshmallow root, available in tablets, capsules and in liquid extract form.