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Post  Admin on Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:11 am

The botanical names for Marshmallow is Althaea officinalis L.

Marshmallow originally grew in salty soils but now thrives in moist, uncultivated ground. It is found in southern and western Europe, western Asia, and the northeastern region of North America. Its fleshy, upright stems reach a height of 3 - 4 feet. The pale yellow roots are tapered, long, and thick, with a tough yet flexible exterior. The short stemmed leaves are round, with irregularly toothed margins and 3 - 5 lobes. A soft and velvety down covers the leaves and stem. The flowers have five reddish white petals. The whole plant, especially the root, is filled with mild mucilage.

The parts of the Marshmallow herb used, are: Primarily root, the leaves and flowers to a lesser extent

The nutritional value of Marshmallow herb is as follows:
calcium, iron, iodine, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and zinc.

Health Benefits of Marshmallow herb

Marshmallow is most commonly used to treat sore throats and dry coughs. The Marshmallow plant, especially the leaves and roots, contains polysaccharides that have antitussive, mucilaginous, and antibacterial properties. Because of this, marshmallow has a soothing effect on inflamed membranes in the mouth and throat when ingested orally, specifically a sore throat. The antitussive properties help reduce dry coughing and prevent further irritation.

More recently, marshmallow has been used to treat certain digestive disorders, including heartburn, indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers and Chron's disease. The mechanism by which it soothes sore throats applies to gastrointestinal mucosa as well and regular consumption of marshmallow can help with the pain of ulcerative colitis and Chron's, and prevent stomach ulcers from perforation. Marshmallow extract is sometimes add to creams and used to treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and contact dermatitis. Additional uses are currently being investigated. Marshmallow may be a helpful aid to radiologic esophageal examination. There is tentative evidence that marshmallow may also help with respiratory disorders such as asthma. Researchers may soon test marshmallow as a natural alternative to blood sugar management in diabetes.

Mechanism of Action

Marshmallow works as a mucilage, producing a thick sticky substance that coats membranes. Marshmallow extract contains flavanoids, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. The flavanoids are able to reduce inflammation while the mucilage holds them in place and prevents further damage. The extracts also induce phagocytosis, which is the process in which certain cells engulf bacteria, dead cell tissues or other solid particles. This helps speed up the healing process. The mucilage remains unaltered until it reaches the colon, which is why marshmallow works well on most inflammatory digestive disorders.

Pre-made teas can be purchased or tea can be made by using two to five teaspoons of either powdered root or dried leaves and and boiling them in five ounces of water. Tea containing both powdered root and dry leaves appears to be most


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