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Althaea officinalis or Malalow is one of the most commonly used herbs because of its availability, you can find it just about anywhere. Marshmallows were once made from mallow root before the jet puffed variety came about. Here is a recipe I plan on trying this summer to make our own marshmallows!

The whole plant is edible. Flowers make a bright addition to salads, the leaves and seeds are edible, and the root can be added to casseroles and stews. The most commonly used part of the plant for medicinal purposes is the root.

Mallow has soothing, softening, and calming properties. It reduces inflammation and swelling. It has a high mucilage content making it an excellent emollient when used externally. When used internally it is soothing, relaxing, and has protective properties that make it useful for healing inflamed or irritated mucous membranes. The root is used to treat all inflammatory conditions of the GI tract. The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory making them wonderful to use for dry lungs or burning or irritated urinary tract.

It is also good at stimulating the immune system. This must have been herbal wisdom passed down through the ages. Pliny the Elder (an ancient Roman naturalist) said: “Whosoever shall take a spoonful of the Mallow shall that day be free from disease that may come to him.”

Marsh Mallow is used to treat sore throat, bronchitis, whooping cough, allergies, and dry lung. It is also used to treat diarrhea, indigestion, peptic ulcers, mouth ulcers, colitis, enteritis, chrones disease, irritable bowl syndrome(IBS), and Gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). Topically it is used to treat cuts, scrapes, wounds, eczema, psoriasis, pink eye, boils, and bodily abscesses.

There is also some herbal folklore that marshmallow root tea rubbed on an infants gums can help with teething pain. Some European cultures give infants marshmallow root to chew on to ease teething pain.


Potential Side Effects of Marshmallow Root

Althea has little to no known levels of toxicity and is commonly considered to be completely safe. Marshmallow liquid preparations may include the use of sugar and/or alcohol. Exercise caution when using these preparations if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence or liver disease. As is usually the case, no studies have been done about safety while breastfeeding or pregnant. The books I have indicate that it is safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding but use caution and do your own research. I personally used Marshmallow throughout my pregnancy and while breast feeding with no ill effects. Marshmallow folk lore says it can be used to increase breast milk production and is being studied in laboratories for this use but these have not been published yet.


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Disclaimer General Health disclosure affiliate links

How do you use Marshmallow root? Have you tried home made marshmallows?


As always this is not intended as medical advice. This is an educational series. I encourage you to go out and do your own research on this wonderful herb and take your health and wellness into your own hands. Be sure to let your medical care provider know the herbs or supplements you are taking before beginning a new course of treatment.


This blog may contain affiliate links which, when used, will generate income for me. I only recommend companies I use, trust and love working with and would not recommend anything I have not already tried. The revenue from affiliate links helps me be able to support this blog.



This was shared on: Frugal Days Sustainable WaysWildcrafting WednesdayHealthy 2 Day

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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2 Responses to Marshmallow root: An Herbal primer

  1. I will have to try that gut healing tea. I am trying to figure out a bunch of recipes for the gut. My knowledge of herbs is fairly non-exsistant, so I enjoy reading about it.

    Yes, I have made homemade marshmallows. I LOVE them, but I have only used gelatin. I should look into using Marshmallow root.

    Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday! Hope to see you again tomorrow.

  2. stacy says:

    Found your really useful site when I was looking to see if mallow was safe during breastfeeding. Your site is very much up my wavelength, the type of life I have tried to lead and the sorts of information I find fascinating. I have bookmarked you and look forward to checking back soon for more interesting facts.

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