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Marshmallow is in the mucilage containing Malvaceae family. It is an herbaceous perennial and grows to a height of 2-5 feet with soft, velvety and irregularly serrated leaves. Its flowers form clusters at leaf axils or panicles. This plant grows in salt marshes, by the sea, along riverbanks and other equally damp areas; hence, its common name “marshmallow”.
The generic name Althaea, was derived from the Greek word “altheo” meaning to heal or cure, suggesting its beneficial properties. The name of the genus Malva, and of the Malvaceae at large, is derived from the Latin “mollis”, or the Greek “malake” meaning soft, most likely related to its softening and beneficial qualities.
Marshmallow is native to northern Africa, western and central Asia, the Caucasus, China, and in much of Europe from Denmark and the UK south to the Mediterranean. It is naturalized in the USA, Europe and Australia in marshy areas.
Althaea officinalis is in the mucilage-heavy Malvaceae family known throughout ancient Egyptian, Arab, Greek, and Roman cultures, this herb has been used continually for at least 2000 years.
Wild marshmallow is considered a threatened plant in Germany and other parts of Europe. Due to its scarcity, there are restrictions on the importation and exportation of wildcrafted plants.
Marshmallow root taste and energetics are sweet, bitter, cooling and moistening.
In traditional folk practices it was used to soothe and moisten mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts.
In Ayurveda, the Root was used to reduce Vata, a dry constitutional type and increase Kapha, a wet constitutional type and was considered to be energetically cold, sweet tasting and moistening.
For the urinary tract inflammation combine Marshmallow root with Cornsilk, Couchgrass, Plantain or Buchu leaf. For inflammation in the digestive sytem combine Marshmallow with Calendula, Slippery elm, Plantain or Meadowsweet.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Marshmallow Root to one cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Cautions & contraindications:
Should be taken with at least 250ml (8 oz) of liquid. Orally administered drugs should be taken 1 hour before use or several hours after, as Marshmallow may slow the absorption.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.