When most of us think about marshmallows, we imagine sitting around a blazing campfire toasting the treats on the ends of sticks until they’re golden brown and ready for S’mores.
However, marshmallows get their name from the fragrance associated with the marshmallow root, a potent natural form of medicine that’s been around for centuries. Marshmallow root comes in a whole dried root which traditional practitioners crush into a powder for internal use. Some tea brands also offer marshmallow tea.
Supplement manufacturers also produce tinctures, oils, and extracts from the root. These potent extracts assist the body in treating a wide variety of ailments. No clinical studies support the beneficial effects of marshmallow rot consumption on humans. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests that supplementing with marshmallow root has beneficial properties.
The medicinal characteristics of marshmallow root lay in the sap-like oil produced by the plant. This mucilage contains polyphenol antioxidants. Here are eight common uses of marshmallow root to help you improve your health.
1. Fight a Cold
Marshmallow root has high mucilaginous properties that make it an effective remedy for fighting off the effects of colds and the flu. Studies show that herbal cough syrups containing marshmallow root extract were effective at soothing the symptoms of coughing associated with influenza and bronchitis infection in patients of all ages and genders.
The mucilaginous properties of marshmallow extract reduce the production of phlegm and mucus in the lungs while acting as an expectorant to help the respiratory system loosen any blockages and expel them.
Marshmallow root has anti-bacterial properties that limit the spread and growth of bacteria in the mouth, throat, stomach and digestive system. Many commercial brands of throat lozenges include marshmallow extract in their ingredients list.
Drinking marshmallow tea while you’re feeling under the weather is another way of using this medicinal root. Many tea brands offer marshmallows, or if you prefer a home remedy, purchase the marshmallow root fresh, and grate it into your tea to control the concentration in the beverage.