The marshmallow (scientifically known as Althaea officinalis) is a medicinal plant that belongs to the “Malvaceae” family, Malvaceae. They can reach a meter and it is characteristic because its leaves are soft and very hairy, while its Marshmallow are reddish-white.
Although the marshmallow belongs to the same species as the hollyhocks, it tends to be much larger.
With regard to phytotherapy, and thanks mainly to its benefits and properties, its root is commonly used, since it is dried and preserved very well.
It is ideal in the treatment of inflammations and irritations, as it has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
At the time of tooth growth, it was formerly customary to give a piece of its root to children to chew, while its cooking was used to treat inflamed wounds, skin irritations and dermatosis.
This is due to its high mucilage content, which in fact makes it an excellent ally for the respiratory tract, positively helping against bronchial secretions and coughs. Thanks to being a plant rich in mucilage, it has demulcent properties.
In addition to the demulcent property, the marshmallow has other properties such as diuretic, vulnerary, emollient, and expectorant, anticatarrhal. From the marshmallow, both the leaves and the roots are used.
The active principles of marshmallow are the following: mucilage, tannins, pectin, asparagine, malic acid and also traces of essential oil.
As we have said before, both the leaves and the root are used to treat different conditions from this plant. The leaves are used and infusion for cases of bronchitis, colds, soothe irritating coughs, for cases of grit in the kidneys and in cases of urethritis.
The root is used to treat cases of digestive problems, sore throat, inflammation of the digestive tract, and also for skin conditions.
It is also used externally to treat varicose veins, ulcers, boils, abscesses, superficial wounds, superficial burns, and sitz baths for hemorrhoids.
Home remedies with marshmallow
Marshmallow root decoction for gastritis
To prepare this remedy we need a teaspoon of marshmallow root and a cup of mineral water.
In a heater we put the water and the marshmallow root and bring it to a boil. When it boils we keep the boil, lower the heat and let it boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. We strain the preparation and when it is warm we can take it.
We can take a cup of this preparation 3 times a day.
Homemade marshmallow syrup to soothe a cough
To prepare this syrup we have to marinate the marshmallow root. We need it to macerate for a day.
In a liter of mineral water we soak 1 ounce of dried marshmallow root (6 teaspoons of marshmallow root). After time we sneak in. Once strained, we add 150 grams of sugar and boil it.
We let it cool and when it is cold we will put it in a previously sterilized glass bottle. We can take a teaspoon of this syrup 3 times a day.
Marshmallow Infusion for Cough
We will prepare this infusion with a cup of mineral water and a teaspoon of dried leaves or dried herbs of marshmallow.
We boil the water and when it is boiling we add the marshmallow. Remove from the heat and cover the infusion so that it rests for about 10 minutes. Next we strain the infusion and sweeten it to taste. We can take a cup of this infusion 3 times a day.
Marshmallow root infusion for a sore throat
We boil a cup of mineral water and once it starts to boil we add a teaspoon of dried marshmallow root.
We remove from the heat and cover. We let it rest for 10 minutes. We strain the infusion and when it is warm we can take it, if we like it with a sweet touch, we will sweeten to taste. We can take a cup of this infusion 2 or 3 times a day.
Marshmallow compresses for boils or superficial burns
Marshmallow root is also used in poultices or compresses to treat and heal skin problems such as wounds, boils, superficial burns.
We will prepare this remedy with a teaspoon of dried marshmallow root and a cup of mineral water.
We boil everything together for 10 minutes. Let cool, strain the preparation and soak a sterile compress or gauze and apply it on the boil.
For superficial burns
For this preparation, we boil the amount of 2 cups of mineral water.
Remove the water from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of marshmallow leaves to the hot water to marinate for 8 hours. After time we can prepare the marshmallow compresses. We moisten a sterile gauze or compress in a little of this marshmallow preparation.
Marshmallow infusion for hemorrhoids
The marshmallow infusion is also appropriate for cases in which you are predisposed to suffer from hemorrhoids as it acts as a slight laxative, thus facilitating bowel movements, thereby reducing discomfort.
We will prepare this infusion with a teaspoon of chopped marshmallow root and a cup of water.
We put the marshmallow root together with the water in a heater and bring to a boil. We keep boiling with low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the infusion and let it rest for 10 minutes. When it is warm we can take it.
If we want to give it a sweet touch, we will sweeten it to taste, with a teaspoon of honey, brown cane sugar or stevia. Of this infusion for hemorrhoids it is advisable to take a cup twice a day.
Marshmallow Sitz Baths to Relieve Hemorrhoids
To prepare the marshmallow sitz baths, we need one ounce of marshmallow root for every liter of water. One ounce equals 6 teaspoons of marshmallow root.
We cut the marshmallow root into small pieces and let it soak, marinating in the water for about 4 hours. Then we heat the preparation a little and then apply a warm sitz bath.
This bath also admits another form of preparation. We put the pieces of marshmallow root in a deep bowl. Boil the water and once it is boiling we add the marshmallow root on top. We let it warm, we strain it and we do the sitz bath.