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Benefits of Marshmallow Root

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 6/26/2011

Have you considered using marshmallow root? If so, read on to learn more about the benefits of marshmallow root, as well as other essential information.

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    Marshmallow root, botanically referred to as althaea officinalis, is native to Europe. This herbs' leaves and root are the parts that are used medicinally. There are several purported benefits of marshmallow root. All patients should consult their physician before use to ensure safety and proper dosing.

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    Marshmallow Root Properties

    benefits of marshmallow root This herb has a variety of different properties. These include astringent, nutritive, diuretic, vulnerary, lithotriptic, laxative, emollient, galactogogue, demulcent, tonic, and mucilant.

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    Respiratory Ailments

    There are a variety of respiratory benefits of marshmallow root. It can be beneficial for these ailments because it contains mucilage in large amounts. The respiratory ailments that this herb may be beneficial for include whooping cough, cough, bronchitis, sore throat, and other respiratory ailments.

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    Gastrointestinal Ailments

    Marshmallow root is said to be effective in alleviating inflammation, as well as being generally soothing. Because of these it can be beneficial in helping to treat indigestion and diarrhea. It may also be effective in helping to treat chronic gastrointestinal ailments, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Inflammatory ailments that occur within the digestive tract may also benefit from this herbs' anti-inflammatory properties. These include peptic ulcers, colitis, hiatus hernias, enteritis, and mouth ulcers.

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    External Ailments

    The soothing and anti-inflammatory properties in marshmallow root can be beneficial in helping to treat a variety of skin injuries and conditions. Wounds and injuries, such as scrapes, cuts, and razor burn may be soothed by applying marshmallow root topically. Bodily abscesses, such as boils, may also experience more rapid healing by applying this herb topically. Skin conditions that may benefit include psoriasis and eczema. When applying topically, you will need to make it into a cream, ointment, or paste. Making a paste is easiest, and just as effective as a cream or an ointment. To make a paste, simply crush up some of this herb, mix with water, and stir until it becomes a paste. The amount of this herb used to make a paste will vary among individuals and why it is being used so it should be dosed by a professional.

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    Weight Loss

    This herb is said to be effective in promoting weight loss. It is said that marshmallow root, when mixed with water, will swell. This will cause the stomach to feel full. When using this herb for weight loss, it should be dosed properly by a professional and then consumed with a full glass of water approximately 30 minutes prior to eating meals.

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    Benefits for Infants

    When using this herb with infants you must always consult the child's pediatrician first. When infants are teething, it can be very uncomfortable and their gums can become irritated. Creating a mouthwash can help to alleviate this. Adults may also benefit from using this as a mouthwash for mouth irritations. This root can also be chewed on after being freshly peeled to help soothe an infants' gums when they are teething.

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    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.

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    Resources

    Chinese Herbs. (2010). Marshmallow Root: The Root of Healing. Retrieved on March 25, 2010 from Chinese Herbs: http://www.chinese-herbs.org/marshmallow-root/

    The Herbal Resource. (2006). Marshmallow Root: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects. Retrieved on March 25, 2010 from The Herbal Resource: http://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/marshmallow-root.html

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    Image Credits

    Marshmallow Flower: H. Zell – Wikimedia Commons

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