Performance and specifications
1. Treats Coughs and Colds
For anyone suffering from a sore throat, cough or cold, marshmallow root can be taken orally to reduce pain, swelling and congestion. Its antitussiveproperties and mucilage abilities allow it to decrease irritation of the throat, reduce swelling in the lymph nodes, speed up healing time and reduce aggravating dry coughing. This is exactly the reason that marshmallow extract is added to many cough syrups and throat lozenges — it’s one of the most effective natural cough remedies. (1)
It also seems to help stop the urge to cough and facilitates with the process of producing more saliva, allowing it help reduce symptoms of dry mouth. It can safely be used by people with chronically low levels of salivary flow and chronic coughs. (2, 3)
Marshmallow is especially effective at beating a cold or the flu when combined with other anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herbs and essential oils for sore throat, such as slippery elm and echinacea or lemon, myrrh, oregano, cypress, and frankincense essential oils. When combined, these target the underlying cause of the sickness (including bacteria) and coat the throat to ease discomfort.
2. Fights Bacterial Infections
If you feel symptoms of tonsillitis, bronchitis, a urinary tract or respiratory infection coming on, take marshmallow root at the first sign of discomfort like swelling, burning and tenderness. It helps speed up the healing process and naturally kills bacteria that can cause various ailments. (4)
Once ingested, it helps increase the secretion of urine, which improves the body’s ability to draw bacteria out of the urinary tract. This is the reason it’s also recommended for treating kidney stone symptoms.
3. Repairs the Gut Lining, Preventing Leaky Gut Syndrome
Research suggests that marshmallow is an effective way to help treat certain digestive disorders, including leaky gut syndrome, which develops when particles leak outside tiny openings in the gut lining, allowing them to enter the bloodstream where they can trigger autoimmune reactions.
Marshmallow helps restore integrity of the gut lining by forming a protective layer around small junctions. In addition, it seems to be beneficial for people suffering from other forms of inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. (5)
4. Reduces Digestive Complaints
Digestive uses for marshmallow root include lowering or preventing heartburn, stomach ulcer symptoms, diarrhea and constipation. It coats the inside of the stomach and prevents acid from causing discomfort and “burning.” (6)
For most forms of indigestion, tea tends to work the best and is usually soothing to the stomach while not causing any side effects. For even more stomach-soothing effects, you can mix marshmallow with other digestive aids, such as peppermint essential oil or steeped/raw ginger root.
5. Heals Skin Troubles
By helping soothe the nerve-sense system of the skin, marshmallow has anti-irritant properties and is even well-tolerated by those with allergies and hypersensitive skin. For many years, it’s provided relief from itching, swelling, redness and chaffing.
Marshmallow can be used topically on the skin to treat a number of problems: insect bites, wounds, burns, scrapes, dry/chapped skin and peeling. The roots and stem of the marshmallow plant secrete mucilage, which softens skin, lowers swelling and kills bacteria. That’s exactly why it’s often added to skin-care products and ointments for clearing issues like bugs, infections and wounds.
Some evidence shows its anti-inflammatory effects are also beneficial for treating eczemaand dermatitis. Polysaccharides in marshmallow roots are a type of absorbent fiber that combines with liquid to form a soft and slippery base that acts like a skin buffer, moisturizer and protective layer for ultra-sensitive skin. (7)
You’ll find marshmallow in many lip balms, hair conditioners, salves and after-sun products. If you can’t find a natural ointment made with marshmallow extracts, try creating your own homemade moisturizer for dry skin by adding several drops to a coconut or jojoba oil-based cream. Used along with natural skin-savers like tea tree oil and aloe vera, marshmallow has an even bigger impact.
6. Lowers Inflammation and Supports Heart Health
A 2011 study examined the effects of marshmallow root supplementation on blood lipid profiles and liver function over a one-month period. Researchers found that marshmallow had anti-inflammatory effects that worked against both acute and chronic inflammation, which is one of the root causes of heart disease.
Plus marshmallow also showed anti-ulcer activity, anti-lipidemic abilities and resulted in an increase in HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind). When given a dosage of 50 milligrams marshmallow per kilogram of body weight, the subjects experienced significant increases in serum HDL cholesterol level with no side effects and adverse effects on liver enzymes. (8)
7. Reduces Water Retention
Marshmallow seems to have diuretic effects and acts similar to “water pills” that are intended to lower fluid retention, edemaand bloated stomach. If your diet or hormone levels (such as experiencing PMS or menopause) cause you to retain water and feel uncomfortable, marshmallow can help increase urination and balance fluids