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Health Benefits of Marshmallow Root
When I first heard of Marshmallow Root a few years ago I was like- wait what?! Marshmallow plant?! Sign me up! In reality, this incredible plant has nothing to do directly with the fluffy white dessert food that many of us know and love. Although the fluffy candy did get its name because of how gooey marshmallow root itself is! But most people don’t even know about the health benefits of marshmallow root so I knew I needed to write more about it.
Marshmallow root has had documented use since around 300BC in ancient Greece, Egypt, Middle East, and Rome. It truly has a long, amazing history of use! These days, it isn’t an herb we hear a lot about so I really wanted to put it in the spotlight finally. It deserves some more attention!
Marshmallow root has been a big staple in my own home since we’ve started healing from mold illness. Since I dealt with lung, throat, and gut symptoms it has been a HUGE helper for me to work on healing these symptoms.
Marshmallow root qualities:
- Demulcent, Diuretic, Anti-inflammatory, Expectorant, Emollient
- Moistening and Cooling
- Ways to enjoy: cold infusions, tincture, powder, or syrup
Marshmallow Root For Gut Healing
Since marshmallow is a Demulcent herb, this helps with healing issues that need soothing and calming. This is why marshmallow root can help immensely with healing leaky gut. It is amazing for healing and sealing the gut lining, soothing inflammation in the entire GI tract, and it can help with those that have colon issues (constipation or diarrhea). Marshmallow root also helps to feed beneficial bacteria in the gut- something most of us need these days!
Marshmallow Root and DRY Symptoms
Do you have a chronic cough? Sore throat that won’t quit? Dry mouth? Dry skin? All of these are signs that you need moistening herbs like marshmallow root. For acute issues, a tea would be perfect to help but if these are chronic you can go for daily use of powder or tincture.
Marshmallow Root for Inflammation Healing
In herbology, all herbs have different characteristics based on what symptoms they can help with. And all people have different constitutions that call for specific herbs. Marshmallow root is helpful for people that fall into the “hot” or “dry” categories since it is a moistening and cooling herb. Hot types tend to have issues with inflammation, pain, swelling, heart symptoms, and immune system deficiencies. Dry types are usually due to a chronic state of dehydration, which creates toxicity as waste cannot be eliminated from the body.
Because of this, marshmallow root is very helpful for those with chronic inflammation, chronic joint/muscle pain, autoimmune issues, bloating, urinary tract issues, and IBS. This herb will give much needed soothing to the tissues in the body that need that support so symptoms can start to be relieved, and then healing can start to take place.
How to Use Marshmallow Root
When I first learned about marshmallow root I started to recommend it in powder form. Some sources say that this is the best way to utilize it- however, many of my clients didn’t like the taste and found it inconvenient to use. So now I usually recommend tincture form. The cool thing about the tincture is that it is very sticky! So you can see right away that it’s a very demulcent herb that will help with soothing and healing.
Go with what makes sense to you! If you like smoothies, then using the powder might work out better for you. I personally use tincture form and find it to be the best for us. It has helped us with gut motility, reducing our chronic coughs, and healing our lungs and throats.
You can also make a cold infusion with marshmallow root if tincture isn’t a good option for you: fill a Mason jar ¼ of the way with dried marshmallow root and fill the rest with cool water (not hot). Let it sit for at least 4 hours and then strain. You can see how gooey it is when making it this way- that is what makes it amazing for healing gut inflammation. Dosing really depends on what you need- I do 2 Tablespoons of this twice a day when I need it.
As with all new herbs and supplements, go low and slow when you are introducing them so you know how you will react to them.
Sources and References:
- The Herbal Academy Herbal Classes and the Herbarium
- Hoffman, David. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press