Latin name: Althaea officinalis
Other names: common marshmallow, marshmallow root
What is Marshmallow?
Marshmallow is a species of plant native to Africa and is used in a variety of cultures for its medicinal and ornamental qualities, as well as several other practical functions. Marshmallow has a history of being used as a food and remedy by the ancient Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Syrians. In Syria, the roots are used as a replacement for other foods during famine, are made into tea, and also act as a toothbrush for teething children. Powdered marshmallow root is used to bind ingredients when making pills for medicinal use and the plant is also used to thicken soups.
What are the health benefits of Marshmallow?
Marshmallow is used for a wide range of both internal and external applications. When used internally, marshmallow is used as an expectorant and a diuretic, and therefore treats conditions related to the respiratory and digestive systems. It is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, stomach and mouth inflammation, gastritis, enteritis, colitis, urethritis, kidney stones, and ulcers. It is also used to treat bronchitis and suppress coughing. When applied externally, marshmallow is used to treat numerous conditions of the skin including varicose veins, boils, ulcers, poison ivy, and poison oak. It is also applied externally for muscle aches, use as a vaginal douche, and as an eyewash for tear ducts.
Where can I find Marshmallow?
Marshmallow can be found online and in herbal specialty shops.
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