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What is Marshmallow Root?


Many people think of marshmallow when they are roasting them over a fire or enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. However, this is not the history of marshmallow that has been around for thousands of years. Used as a medicinal herb for centuries, marshmallow root has properties that allow it to be one of the more popular choices in alternative medicine.

Well known for the soothing effects produced by one of the properties, both the root and the leaf of the marshmallow plant contain a substance known as mucilage. A substance that will not dissolve in water with the root being used to a greater extent than the leaves, producing a slimy coat that soothes inflamed tissue, particularly in cases where respiratory distress may a be a factor.

Benefits:
Marshmallow is know to remedy coughs and coat the mucus membranes and expel fluids that build up often with respiratory infections. The root is also believed to strengthen mucus membranes as well as the respiratory system.

Marshmallow also acts a detoxifying agent and rids the body of impurities, helping the body cleanse itself. Marshmallow has also been documented to relieve urinary tract infections, external skin wounds such as cuts and abrasions and indigestion. Marshmallow is often used in compounding pills and is used as a filler and is a natural source of amino acids and beta-carotene. Marshmallow also contains significant amounts of calcium, iron, iodine, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, zinc and sodium.

Remedy:
The root when peeled, rather than the outer bark, is considered of better quality and the entire root being a better choice than the foliage, dried or fresh. Since the properties in marshmallow do not dissolve in water, marshmallow is used in almost any remedy where a soothing effect is desired. Sore throats are one source of inflammation that marshmallow helps when mixed with tea or a herbal tonic. Marshmallow root can be used for gastrointestinal disorders as well as disorders of the kidneys and bladder.

Habitat:
The Marshmallow grows naturally in the wet soils found in Western Europe and in Russia with parts of the United States being home to the root as well. Marshmallow has also been used for skin problems such as burns, inflammations, bruises and muscle aches. Known only for soothing properties, there is no indication that marshmallow helps with inflammations that cause itching or rashes.

History:
Marshmallow has been used for thousands of years and is well known in the homeopathic community for the healing properties the herb provides, making it one of the more popular choices when an avenue for alternative medicines is sought. As the information age progresses, more and more people are seeking out different alternatives to synthetic drugs and marshmallow is at the top of the list for most.

Synthetic drugs have only been around for a few hundred years. In comparison, natural remedies have been used over centuries with undisputed results. So the next time you are enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, consider the long history of the other marshmallow and the soothing properties it provides.

Other Usage & Benefits:
Marshmallow Root can be used as a Demulcent, Emollient, and alleviates local irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa and associated dry cough and mild inflammation of the gastric mucosa. It inhibits mucociliary activity, and stimulates phagocytosis.

Through reflex action, it sooths inflammation and irritation of the urinary and respiratory organs, exerting its relaxing effect on the passages allows them to heal, and is indicated for coughs, bronchitis, whooping-cough, etc.

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