Marshmallow - Althaea officinalis

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This Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA. The expanded 3rd edition materia medica, and additional herbal tidbits are also available as a kindle ebook at Amazon and details on this e-book are here.

Marshmallow - (Althea officinalis) (in the Malvaceae or Mallow family) -in the past the latin genus was listed as Althea and you will see this spelling still in many herbal books and articles.

Part used: Root usually. Check out this article on how  Marshmallow flower is used as medicine.

Taste/smell: Mucilaginous, nutritious, slightly sweet.

Tendencies: Moistening, cooling.

Dosage: Decoction: 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or 1:2 fresh strength liquid extract: 30-60 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: It is specific for inflammatory conditions.

Use: (a) Antispasmodic, (b) Anti-inflammatory.

Marshmallow is used for soothing mucous membrane irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urinary tract. Its anti-inflammatory activity appears to potentiate the effects of topical steroids. Internally, it is used for acute respiratory tract disorders, inflammation of the mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, bladder, kidney and urethra. Externally, it is used for wounds, burns, ulcers and all inflammatory skin disorders.

It contains polysaccharides, mucilage (25%-35% in root), (6-9% in leaves), starch, pectin, saccharose, flavonoids, phenolic acids and coumarins.

Contraindications: Oral drugs or herbs taken at the same time as marshmallow may have delayed absorption due to its mucilage content.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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