Herb of the Week: Marshmallow

Used in: Flexibilitea

When most people hear marshmallow, they think of the white fluffy food treat commonly roasted at campfires. Marshmallow, however, is also a type of herb with the scientific (Latin) name of Althaea Officinalis.

This herb has been used for more than 2000 years as both a medicine and a food.

Marshmallow is most commonly used to treat sore throats and dry coughs. More recently, it has been used to treat certain digestive disorders, including heartburn, indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers and Chron’s disease. This slimy herb helps to coat and protect irritated mucous membranes in the mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal tract.

Marshmallow is also good for relieving pain. The plant contains salicylic acid (the natural forerunner of synthetic aspirin), and is recommended for treating muscle pain and tension headaches.

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 is generally considered to be safe. It has no reported side effects. It appears to be safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, although you should check with your health care provider before taking it.

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