Herb of the Day – Marshmallow

The botanical name for marshmallow is “Althaea Officinalis”, and is derived from the Greek “altho” meaning to cure. Marshmallow was widely used in traditional Greek medicine. The root, leaves and flowers of the plant have all been used for more than 2000 years as both food and medicine.

The plant produces a sweet-tasting root that is rich in sugars and eaten in many parts of the world. It is widely used to calm inflamed mucous membranes especially the lungs and digestive system. The leaves also produce a sweet tasting, gummy substance (called mucilage), this is added to water and taken internally to coat the throat or stomach to reduce irritation or applied externally to sore, chapped skin. This combined with slippery elm makes a good drawing ointment for splinters and boils.

Used to treat;

  • bronchitis,
  • irritating coughs,
  • cystitis,
  • skin problems,
  • heartburn,
  • indigestion.

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