When most people hear the word “marshmallow”, they tend to think about the soft and fluffy food on top of hot chocolate or tiny white stuff you roast over campfires. However it is interesting to note that those types of marshmallows are no longer made from marshmallow herbs.
The root of the marshmallow herb is a gift from nature due to its nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is commonly found in the damp areas of northern Europe and western Asia.
Marshmallow root powder is often used in preparing warm infusion, cold macerations, tincture and fluid extract.
15 Amazing Marshmallow Root Benefits and Uses
- Remedy for Dry Coughs and Sore Throat
The root of the marshmallow plant contains polysaccharides that have mucilaginous, antitussive and antibacterial properties. As such, when ingested orally, marshmallow root has a soothing effect on inflamed membranes in the mouth and throat.
The antitussive properties relief dryness in chest, reduce dry coughing and prevent further irritation caused by persistent cough.
- Digestive Problems
Marshmallow root benefits people suffering from certain digestive and intestinal problems like heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, bloating, flatulence and Crohn’s disease.
The same properties that soothe sore throat applies to gastrointestinal mucosa; the slimy herb helps coat and protect irritated mucous membranes in the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract.
Marshmallow root not only cleans the digestive tract, it soothes peptic ulcers, improve digestion and modulate the metabolic process.
- Respiratory System
Due to large amounts of mucilage found in the root, it is a natural herbal remedy for cough and sore throat, as well as respiratory problems like bronchitis and whooping cough.
Owing to it slimy nature; marshmallow root can be a useful aid in radiologic esophageal examination.
There are also studies to show that marshmallow can ease asthma.
- Treat Burns Wound
Anti-irritant properties of the marshmallow root makes it a good herb for treating various skin problems. You can make poultices from the roots and apply them to burn wounds.
- Urinary Problem
Marshmallow root is considered a good diuretic as it can help increase the secretion and flow of urine. This help ease burning sensation when urinating, provide relief to inflamed kidneys and in the passing of kidney stones.
With its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, marshmallow root extracts can be used to treat urinary tract infections, while its antispasmodic properties aid in reducing muscular cramps in the urinary tract.
- Hair Care
Marshmallow root powder acts as a natural moisturiser and it can be used as conditioner for limp and lifeless hair or brittle and dry hair.
- Treat Skin Irritation/Disorder
Anti-irritant properties of the marshmallow root makes it ideal for healing a range of skin problems. Its emollient qualities makes it an effective treatment for dandruff and dry flaky skin. Marshmallow root can also be found in a number of anti-ageing products.
- Treat Eczema
Marshmallow root does not have adverse effect to sensitive skin, therefore it is ideal to treat dry eczema. The extract is sometimes added to creams to treat inflammatory skin conditions and redness.
- Fight Infection (Boost Immune System)
Recent studies showed that marshmallow root increases white blood cells and reduces high blood sugar levels in the body. The root of the marshmallow is said to eliminate toxin, helping the body to cleanse leading to the believe that it has the ability to fight infection and boost the immune system.
Marshmallow root can maintain good kidney and liver function and specialists usually use it to raise the body’s overall resistance to disease.
- Cold Infusion
Marshmallow roots are used by herbalist in the form of tea or cold infusion to treat common ailments for colds and coughs. One can also gargle the tea like a mouthwash to reduce inflammation of gums.
- Weight Loss
Marshmallow root swells when mixed with liquid, this will make the stomach feel fuller resulting in less food intake, helping one lose weight.
- Treat Teething Infants
Another interesting benefit of the marshmallow root is that it helps soothe irritation of teething infants. You can peel the root fresh and give the infant to chew.
- Heal Small Cuts
Tests concluded marshmallow root has anti-inflammatory activity on human tissue indicating it can help treat cuts, scrapes and other wounds.
It can also act as a “drawing paste”. When the paste is applied to a splinter, thorn or bee sting, it will draw out the offender and speed up healing.
- Treat Boils and Abscesses
Marshmallow roots is a vital ingredient used in ointments and creams that are used to treat boils and abscesses. Apply it on the affected areas and the boils and sores will vanish miraculously.
- As a Food
It is known that the Egyptians eat the marshmallow root as vegetables. You can add marshmallow root powder to your food for extra flavour and a health boost.
How to Take Marshmallow Root
For coughs, you can add 2 grams of the root to one cup of cold water, let it sit for 2 hours before gargling. You can also take 1 – 2 teaspoons two to three times daily in its tincture form for sore throats and dry coughs.
For tropical use, shred the roots and mix with warm water to form a thick paste. Apply to irritated areas as needed.
For stomach ulcers and indigestions, you can drink it as a tea. You can get pre-made tea or boil 2 – 5 teaspoons of powdered root with 5 ounces of water.
For Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, capsules can be used at a dosage of 6 grams daily.
Side Effect of Marshmallow Root?
Marshmallow root is an extremely safe herb which almost no negative effects, however it may cause low blood glucose in some people. It is very important for people with low blood glucose to consult their doctor before consuming marshmallow root in any form.
Marshmallow root may influence the absorption of other medication, hence you should only take marshmallow 6 hours before or after medication.
Finally, marshmallow contains asparagines, it is therefore very important and essential for cancer sufferers or cancer-risk people to consult with their doctors before consuming it.