Sweet, soft, fluffy, delicious are all excellent descriptions of this useful herb. Therapeutic properties include: anti-inflammatory, antitussive, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, galactogogue, hypoglycemic, immunomodulatory, laxative, nutritive, and vulnerary. Let's delve a little deeper into some of these properties.
Demulcent is, perhaps, Marshmallow's best known property. Demulcent means that it can soften the mucous membranes and skin and relieve swelling and irritation by leaving a protective, moistening film. This alone makes a cold infusion of Marshmallow beneficial for stomachache, heartburn, reflux, sore throat, dry mouth and throat, dry cough, dry skin conditions, minor wounds, and minor burns. Marshmallow is so good for the skin, it's even used in skin care products!
As an expectorant, antitussive, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory herb, it can soothe pleurisy and dry, hot lung issues. (Cold, boggy lung conditions would call for some different herbs.) It has a phagocytosis property which means Marshmallow will stimulate the phagocyte immune cells to gobble up pathogens and dead cells. This is important when you're sick, since your immune cells are waging war against harmful pathogens, and both sides end up with lots of dead cells.
Mothers can use a Marshmallow compress to reduce pain and swelling of the breast for breastfeeding and to relieve mastitis. This herb's galactogogue property may also help increase milk supply.
UTIs and bladder infections don't stand a chance with Marshmallow. Hmmm, I just had an idea. I may have to try making (separately), cranberry tea and cold infusion of Marshmallow, then mix them together. It seems to me that this blend would be powerful against a UTI. Diuretic properties of the herb may then help get you going more easily.
Marshmallow is generally safe, but does have a couple of precautions. Because it coats the mucous membranes, it can affect absorption of medications. The recommendation, if you take medications, is to leave at least 1 hour between taking your medicine and ingesting Marshmallow preparations. (My take on that is 1 hour before and 1 hour after.)
Marshmallow may interact with Lithium. It may interact with diabetes medications because it can lower blood sugar.
Always consult with your doctor before using any herb.
To learn more about this sweet, fun herb, check out its Datasheet in the membership section of this website.
The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.