Natren Probiotics

Understanding the Benefits of Marshmallow Root

Biological Description of Marshmallow Root 
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Marshmallow plant or Althaea officinalis is an upright perennial from family Malvaceae. The genus name of the plant - Althaea - comes from Greek word that means ‘associated with healing’. The name is given because of the special qualities of the Mallows to soften and heal. More names of the Marshmallow: March Mallow root, White Mallow root, Althea and Cheeses. Some others are Sweet Weed, Mallards, Mauls, Mortification plant, Mortification Koot, Guimauve (French), Schloss Tea (german), and Wymote.

The plant has a fleshy taproot.  It is a perennial, thick and long, whitish-yellow outside, white and fibrous within. The stem is downy, generally die down in the autumn until the spring comes and it puts out branches again. Velvety leaves are roundish, irregularly toothed at the margin, and thick. They are soft on both sides, as have covering of stellate hairs. Marshmallow flowers are smaller than common Mallow flowers are, of a pale pink color (also paler than the Common Mallow). They are in bloom during August and September. The whole plant abounds with a mild mucilage (especially the root).

The root as well as the leaves contain mucilage – a mucus-like substance that does not dissolve in water (mostly composed of galacturonic acid, glucuronic acid, galactose, arabinose and rhamnose). The root contains 25 – 30 percent of this substance (the leaves – only 16%). Thanks to this substance the plant can swell up and become slippery when wet. It gives the root an ability to soothe irritated tissue, particularly mucous membranes, and to loosen a cough or even pass a stone.

Other active compound in the root are different polysaccharides, L-rhamnose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic acid and D-glucuronic, as well as highly branched L-arabifurranan and trisaccharide.

Marshmallow root has the following properties:

  • It is astringent – has a binding effect
  • Diuretic – it increases the secretion and flow of urine
  • Lithotriptic - dissolves urinary calculi (stones)
  • Emollient - soothes inflamed tissue, softens and protects the skin
  • Demulcent - soothes damaged or inflamed surfaces
  • Mucilant – the herb protects mucous membranes and inflamed tissues
  • Tonic – it nourishes and refresh the entire body
  • Galactogogue – Marshmallow promotes the flow of milk in breastfeeding mothers
  • Laxative – it stimulates bowel movements
  • Vulnerary – gives additional help in healing of wounds by protecting against infection and stimulating cell growth
  • Nutritive – assists in the process of assimilating food and nourishes the body
Health Benefits
Its abundance of mucilage makes Marshmallow an excellent demulcent and emollient – these properties make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. Decoctions of the plant (especially of the root) are excellent in painful complaints of the urinary organs, exerting a relaxing effect upon the passages. 

The decoctions are also effective in curing bruises, sprains or any ache in the muscles, burns and inflammations. Good for any localized irritations, abscesses, different injuries. Marshmallow helps to minimize skin inflammatory processes, thus improving wound healing processes.

Marshmallow mildly stimulates the immune system at cellular level.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of I'm Holistic, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experiences of I'm Holistic. I'm Holistic encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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