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By Kim Balas

Originally, the marshmallow plant was a native of specific regions of Europe and Asia but now can be found in areas of the United States as well and has been used for healing for over 2500 years. The scientific name for marshmallow is Althaea officinalis. Althos in Greek means to heal, and the plant was called "the official healer." The Romans and the
Egyptians ate the root as a vegetable, the poor in Syria use the marshmallow root for food and in the Bible, it was the food of choice in times of famine. Marshmallow grows in damp, wet areas including meadows and marshes. By just looking at where a plant grows gives us a good idea of the plant’s signature and properties: “wet and damp”. The leaves of the marshmallow plant as well as the root are used as medicine.

Marshmallow leaves are of a slightly different chemical makeup than the root. They contain flavonoids including kaempferol, quercetin, and diosmetin glucosides; additionally, the leaves contain the coumarin scopoletin and phenolic acids including syringic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid, and vanillic acid. The root and the leaf of the plant both contain a substance known as a mucilate. This mucusy substance does not dissolve in water. When wet it swells and becomes very slippery. Marshmallow increases the production of the body’s mucosal fluids. This soothing action is very helpful with any condition that is irritated or chapped and works to sooth inflamed tissues. The root and leaves of the plant are used medicinally. Marshmallow has been used for many to relieve coughs and sore throats, as well as for chapped skin and minor wounds. One of the most famous uses of this herb was used in a “drawing paste”. When applied to a splinter, thorn or bee sting, it would draw out the offender and speed healing. If the skin is red, has a splinter/sting or irritated, you can apply crushed marshmallow to it and increase healing

Marshmallow helps to lessen heartburn and intestinal conditions, such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation. This slimy herb helps to coat and protect irritated mucous membranes in the mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal tract. British health authorities consider marshmallow root preparations safe and effective for soothing ulcers along the digestive tract.

Marshmallow is also believed to have an ability to fight infection and boost the immune system. Recent research shows that marshmallow increases white blood cells and used for the treatment of colds, hoarseness, diarrhea and dysentary. It has also been used for
reduction of high blood sugar levels in the body. According to studies in mice, marshmallow lowered blood sugar levels. More studies are needed to conclude that it does lower blood sugar levels in humans.
Marshmallow can be used as a suppository for hemorrhoids, made into a tea and gargled for dry mouth and throat irritations, used externally as a poultice to heal minor skin irritations, for dry cough, and taken orally combined with blessed thistle for nursing mothers. Marshmallow is very helpful in times of burning urination, inflamed kidneys and kidney stones. Marshmallow reduces inflammation and pain and when taking 2 capsules every hour with copious amounts of water helps to ease the passing of kidney stones.

Below is a list of conditions that marshmallow is helpful for:
• Asthma
• Abscesses
• Antidote to poisons
• Arthritis
• Bee stings
• Boils
• Burns
• Common cold/sore throat
• Cough
• Crohn's disease
• Cystisis
• Dermatitis
• Diarrhea
• Gastritis
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
• Indigestion
• Laxative
• Peptic ulcer
• Sore Throat
• Sprains
• Tooth Ache
• Urinary tract infections
• Ulcerative colitis
• Vomiting
• Whitening agent (teeth)
• Wound healing



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