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Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis)


All our herbs come from certified organic sources or trusted wildcrafters.

ENGLISH COMMON NAME:  Standard: Marshmallow Root
Also known as; althea, althaea

LATIN NAME: Althaea officinalis
Plant Family: Malvaceae

PART(S) USED: Dried root.

OVERVIEW: Marshmallow is an herbaceous perennial that can be found growing alongside marshes, seas, riverbanks, and other equally damp areas. Known throughout the ancient Egyptian, Arab, Greek, and Roman cultures, this herb has been used continually for at least 2000 years. In traditional folk practices it was given to soothe and moisten mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts, and also as an external poultice. This plant has been used in beverages, desserts, candies, cosmetic creams, and was the "root" of the original marshmallow confectionery.

PREPARATIONS: Keep dry. Store in an airtight container in a dry cupboard away from light. The dried root can be made into a cold infusion or a decoction, which enables the extraction of mucilage.

PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS: When applied topically, marshmallow root has the potential to cause skin irritation. Talk to your doctor if you're taking other medications before starting marshmallow root, as it's been found to interact with lithium and diabetes drugs. It can also coat the stomach and interfere with absorption of other medications.

Should be taken with at least 250 mL (8 oz) of liquid. Orally administered drugs should be taken 1 hour before use or several hours after, as marshmallow may slow the absorption.

We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have allergies, or are on any medications. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition.

This information is for educational purposes only, has not been evaluated by Health Canada, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Reference Health Canada: