Marshmallow is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is a hairy plant that grows in height up to 1-2 meters. It has a woody, tap-shaped root and a non-branched stem. The leaves are also relatively hairy and pedicellate. It bears large five-petaled flowers that are pale purple or pale pink in color. It also bears a round and flat fruit and is often grown in populated areas such as in gardens, hedges, and roadsides. Although experts’ advice that it be consumed fresh, it is also dried and used in various medicinal preparations because of its mucilaginous properties.

Nutritional Information and Properties  

The marshmallow plant contains active ingredients like ammonia, uronic acid, betaine, tannin, asparagines pectin, saccharides, and resinous properties. These ingredients make it an effective natural remedy for the treatment of problems like tonsillitis, laryngitis, dry skin, leucorrhea and various other health problems. Marshmallow contains mucilaginous properties that give it its emollient effects. Some of the main vitamins and minerals in this plant include vitamin A, vitamin B complex, iodine, iron, calcium, sodium, and pantothenic acid. These vital components give marshmallow its anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, demulcent, and other soothing properties.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • Marshmallow has very powerful expectorant properties that make it a good treatment for coughs, chest congestion, bronchitis, pleurisy, whooping cough, and other problems with the upper respiratory tract. The leaves of marshmallow are used to make tea for curing these problems. It helps reduce inflammation in the mucus membranes and thins the mucus for easy expulsion from the body. Marshmallow also relieves irritation and dryness in the throat and chest caused by persistent coughs and colds.
  • Marshmallow contains effective carminative properties, which make it a good remedy for digestive problems. You can combine marshmallow with pepsin to ease and reduce digestive problems like stomach pain, abdominal infections, intestinal inflammation, flatulence, and bloating. Marshmallow not only helps in cleansing the intestinal tract but also soothes peptic ulcers. Furthermore, it enhances digestion and regulates metabolism in the intestines.
  • Marshmallow extracts are used to treat urinary tract infections such as cystitis. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties are helpful in soothing aggravated tissues in the urinary tract. Furthermore, its antispasmodic properties help in reducing muscular cramps in the urinary tract.
  • The anti-irritant properties of marshmallow are well known for treating various skin problems. You can prepare poultices from its roots and leaves and apply them externally over boils and ulcers to reduce inflammation and irritation. It is also a good remedy for cuts, bruises, burns, and other wounds. Its emollient properties make it an effective treatment for dry flaky skin, dandruff, eczema, and several other skin disorders. It is commonly used in a number of anti-aging cosmetic products.
  • Marshmallow helps in boosting overall immunity and helps you stay healthy. It is good for maintaining good kidney and liver functioning. It also helps in detoxifying the body by effectively eliminating harmful toxins and other waste materials. Experts generally use the marshmallow root for increasing immunity.
  • Marshmallow is also a great treatment for problems like yeast infections, leucorrhea, gonorrhea, mastitis, piles, excess vaginal discharge, obesity, and catarrh.

Other Uses

  • Although uncommon, herbalists believe that marshmallow roots can be used for teething in babies.
  • The leaves and tops of the marshmallow plants are sometimes used in salads, and cooking.