Medicinal Herbs used in Wildcrafted Herbal Products' Therapeutic Creams and Compounds

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Medicinal Herb: Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis)

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Marsh Mallow is a native of most countries of Europe, from Denmark southward. It is cultivated in the USA. It grows in salt marshes, in damp meadows, by the sides of ditches, by the sea and on the banks of tidal rivers. Tough-rooted herbaceous perennial, 4 ft. Velvety stems and leaves; white or pink flowers in leaf axils in late summer. Found in damp, often saline places.




Biological Name:
Althaea officinalis

Family: Malvaceae

Other Names:
Marshmallow, althea, sweet weed, mallards, guimauve, mortification plant, schloss tea, wymote

Parts Used:
Root and leaf

Active Compounds: 
In the root:
Mucilage, l8-35%; consisting of a number of polysaccharides; one is composed of L-rhamnose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic acid and D-glucuronic acid in the ratio 3:2:3:3, another a highly branched L-arabifurranan, another a trisaccharide structural unit and one with a high proportion of uronic acid units.
Miscellaneous; about 35% pectin, l-2% asparagine, tannins.

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

Valuable and handsome herb with a long tradition of use in medicine and cosmetics, and as a vegetable and confection. Cultivated by the Romans.

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:
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 gastro-intestina 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.

Other indications include:
  • Considered an immune system stimulant.
  • Demulcent and expectorant.
  • Used for coughs, inflammations, sore throats, irritations of the mouth and mucous membranes, external and internal ulcers, muscular stiffness, asthma, diarrhea, and cystitis.
  • Used for gastritis, esophagitis, hiatus hernia, enteritis (including large bowel), indigestion, dyspepsia, ulcerations (as adjunct to other therapies), colic, and acid dyspepsia.
  • Used to reduce colic following kidney stones.
  • As a poultice for a healing balm for cuts, swellings and light burns.
  • The original "marshmallow" which was sucked for sore throats: Soak powdered dry root and some sugar in water until it becomes like jelly.


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 over night.

No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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