The botanical name gets
origin from the Greek word "altho," which means "to cure." Althaea
officinalis is perennial herbaceous plant of the mallow family (Malvaceae),
originally indigenous to Asia spread to Europe, Africa; and America as a
medicinal plant. Marsh Mallow is a native of most countries of Europe,
from Denmark southward. The plant is usually found in marshy areas,
chiefly near the sea (salty soil). Its fleshy, erect stems reach a
height of three to four feet. The grayish, velvety leaves and the
pinkish flowers are distinguished from other mallows. The part used
medicinally is the root. The roots are thick, long and tapering, very
tough and pliant, whitish yellow outside, white and fibrous within. The
whole plant, especially the root, is filled with mild mucilage.
Mucilage, made up of large carbohydrate (sugar) molecules, is thought to
be the active constituent in marshmallow.
Marsh mallow is a very
useful household medicinal herb. Itís soothing demulcent properties make
it very effective in treating inflammations and irritations of the mucous
membranes such as the alimentary canal, the urinary and the respiratory
organs .The root counters excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration and
gastritis. It has a long history of use in cough, sore throat, asthma,
bronchitis, Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and
ulcerative colitis, Stomach ulcers, Wound healing and Weight loss aid as
marshmallow swells with fluid and gives a sense of fullness.