Marshmallow

Marshmallow – Althaea officinalis

Part Used: Root and leaf.

Constituents:

In the root:

  • Mucilage, 18-35%
  • Miscellaneous; about 35% pectin, 1-2% asparagine, tannins.

In the leaves:

  • Mucilage; including a low molecular weight D-glucan, Flavonoids such a kaempferol, quercitin and diosmetin glucosides, Scopoletin, a coumarin, Polyphenolic acids, including syringic, caffeic, salicyclic, vanillic, p-coumaric etc.

Actions: Demulcent, emmolient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant

Indications: Its abundance of mucilage makes Marshmallow an excellent demulcent that is indicated wherever such an action is called for. The roots have been used more for the digestive system whilst the leaves are used more for the urinary system and lungs. All inflammatory conditions of the G-I tract will benefit from its use, e.g. inflammations of the mouth, gastritis, peptic ulceration, colitis, etc. The leaves help in cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel as well as bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, irritating coughs. Externally the herb is often used in drawing ointments for abscesses and boils or as an emollient for varicose veins and ulcers.

Priest & Priest tells us that it is a “soothing demulcent indicated for inflamed and irritated states of mucous membranes. Particularly suitable for the elderly with chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system or genitourinary tract” They give the following specific indications: acute respiratory disease, gastroenteritis, peptic ulcer, cystitis, urethritis, inflammation of mouth & throat, inflamed hemorrhoids, inflamed wounds, burns & scalds, bedsores, abscesses, boils, ulcers.

Preparations & Dosage: 1-4 ml of the tincture three times a day. A cold infusion of the roots should be made with 2-4 gms. to a cup of cold water and left to infuse overnight.

Remedies For:

Demulcent, emmolient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, mucilaginous.

Its abundance of mucilage makes Marshmallow an excellent demulcent that is indicated wherever such an action is called for. The roots have been used for the digestive system whilst the leaves are used for the urinary system and lungs. All inflammatory conditions of the GI tract will benefit from its use, e.g. inflammations of the mouth, gastritis, peptic ulceration, colitis, etc. The leaves help in cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel as well as bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, irritating coughs. Externally the herb is often used in drawing ointments for abscesses and boils or as an emollient for varicose veins and ulcers.

Combinations: As one of the most effective and safest demulcents, it may be used in any situation where this action is appropriate.

Author: Life Enthusiast