Health Benefits of Marshmallow Root for the Heart, Coughs, Colds and More
Health Benefits of Marshmallow Root for the Heart, Coughs, Colds and More
Marshmallow root has a history only a few us know. It has been used for centuries to treat infections, aid digestion, and improve skin health. And here’s the key – we are not referring to the sugar puffed cylindrical candy that we drool for. We are talking about the marshmallow root, which is an entirely different deal altogether. Keep reading. You’ll know what we mean.
What Is Marshmallow Root?
Marshmallow is a plant native to Africa and certain parts of Europe that has been used for centuries to prepare herbal treatments. Its history as a folk remedy goes back to the times of ancient Egypt and Greece, close to 3,000 years ago.
It also has gained importance in Ayurvedic medicine as a potential treatment for lung ailments, bacterial infections, digestive issues, and even certain skin ailments. Interesting, right? But how does this root work?
How Is Marshmallow Root Good For You?
Marshmallow is a natural mucilage, which means it acts like soft fiber and swells up when it comes in contact with water. This quality makes the root form a protective coating around membranes. The root contains flavonoid antioxidants, pectin (a type of fiber), amino acids like asparagine, and other compounds like coumarin, phenolic acids, tannins, and quercetin (antiviral and antibacterial substances).
Studies show how all these compounds improve the functioning of the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, thereby averting several serious ailments (1). And the antioxidants in the root prevent oxidative damage in the body, offering another set of wonderful benefits.
Now that you know the background, it is time to get into the details.
What Are The Benefits Of Marshmallow Root?
1. Treats Cough And Cold
The antitussive and mucilage properties of marshmallow root decrease throat irritation and reduce swelling of the lymph nodes. This can help relieve cough and cold and other respiratory ailments, including a sore throat. One study found that a herbal syrup containing marshmallow root relieved respiratory ailments associated with mucus formation (2). Marshmallow tea works wonders in this regard – the herb soothes every tissue it touches.
2. Might Help Combat Lung Cancer
The antioxidants in the root might help prevent cancerous tumor growth, especially in the lungs. Also, the high amounts of vitamin C in the root clear mucus anywhere in the body, with more concentrated effects on the mucus in the lungs.
As several reports suggest, marshmallow root works wonders for the lungs. And hence, this might be a supplementary remedy for cancer. However, we recommend you speak to your doctor.
3. Marshmallow Root Treats Leaky Gut
Given its high mucilage content, it reduces inflammation of the stomach lining and even heals stomach ulcers. It creates a protective lining in the digestive tract, thereby treating leaky gut syndrome.
Marshmallow root also helps individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Did You Know?
In ancient Egypt, marshmallows were reserved for the Pharaohs and other individuals of the royalty.
4. Fights Bacterial Infections
Symptoms of any infection, like swelling, tenderness, or burning, can be treated by taking marshmallow root. The root has been found to kill the bacteria and accelerate the healing process (3).
Ingestion of marshmallow root even increases urine secretion – and this helps flush out the bacteria that cause infections, including infections of the urinary tract and kidney stones (4).
Some sources say that marshmallow root also helps treat interstitial cystitis, a form of bladder disease. Though this disease is not exactly caused by bacterial infection, the soothing properties of marshmallow root (and the tea) might reduce inflammation and treat the condition.
5. Boosts Heart Health
Inflammation is one of the root causes of heart disease, and since marshmallow root fights inflammation, it can improve heart health. In some studies, this root had also elevated levels of good cholesterol (5).
6. Enhances Digestive Health
Marshmallow root can help relieve a host of digestive issues, including heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhea, and even constipation. In fact, it coats the inner lining of the stomach and prevents burning sensations.
It repairs the gut lining and keeps the digestive system functioning optimally (6).
7. Reduces Water Retention
The diuretic effects of marshmallow root play a role here. It helps treat a bloated stomach and even edema.
Did You Know?
Marshmallows protect astronauts’ nasal membranes during high-pressure lift-offs, which is why they are stuffed up their noses.
8. Treats Skin Troubles
Marshmallow root soothes the nerve-sense system of the skin, which, in turn, reduces skin irritation. The root can also be used topically to treat wounds, burns, insect bites, dry or chapped skin, and even peeling skin.
The mucilage properties of the root soften the skin, which is one reason it is an active ingredient in most skin care products.
The anti-inflammatory properties of marshmallow root are also helpful in treating eczema. The polysaccharides in the root moisturize the skin and add a protective layer to ultra-sensitive skin (7).
9. Marshmallow Root Boosts Hair Growth
There is some research that speaks how the mucilage in marshmallow root can benefit your hair. It binds with hair proteins and makes the strands appear thicker. This mucilage can also be used as a hair detangler and conditioner.
Those are the benefits of marshmallow root. Just like the benefits, even its nutritional profile is something most of us don’t know.
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Marshmallow Root?
|Calories 20||Sodium 0 mg|
|Total Fat 0g||potassium 0 mg|
|Saturated 0g||Total crabs 0 g|
|PolyunSaturated 0g||Dietary Fiber 0 g|
|MpnounSaturated 0g||Sugars 0 g|
|Trans 0 g||Protein 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
The best way to consume marshmallow root is in the form of tea. But how do you prepare it?
How To Make Marshmallow Root Tea
The process is simple:
- Fill one-fourth of a jar with marshmallow root.
- Fill the jar with lukewarm water and cover it with a lid.
- You can allow it sit for about 6 hours or even overnight. You will see the water turning light yellow.
- Strain the roots. You will get a thick liquid.
- That’s your marshmallow tea.
Quite simple, right? But what about the dosage? How much of marshmallow root can you consume in a day?
What Is The Dosage Of Marshmallow Root?
For respiratory issues, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of powdered marshmallow root several times a day. You can also have 1 to 2 cups of marshmallow tea.
For digestive issues, take 6 grams of marshmallow root every day. This can be in the form of powder, capsules, or even tea.
If you are using it on your skin, you can purchase an ointment or balm with the root as one of the ingredients. And for shampooing, you can use the tea.
Ensure you take the root at least two hours before or after you take your medications (if any).
The dosage is important. Not following it might lead to side effects.
Side effects. What are they?
What Are The Side Effects Of Marshmallow Root?
- Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
There is not enough information on the safety of marshmallow root during pregnancy or breastfeeding. So, stay safe and avoid its use.
- Diabetes Complications
Some sources say that marshmallow might interfere with your blood sugar levels. Hence, if you are already on diabetes medications, avoid the root to prevent your blood sugar levels from falling to dangerously low levels.
- Issues During Surgery
Since the root might affect blood sugar levels, it can interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. So, stop taking marshmallow root at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery.
We want to say it again – the marshmallow root is the real deal. Start incorporating it into your diet today and reap its benefits.
Tell us how this post has helped you. Please leave a comment in the box below.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Where can you buy marshmallow root?
Can you take slippery elm and marshmallow root together?
There is little information on this. Though you can use both together, we recommend you talk to your doctor before doing so.
How much sugar does marshmallow root contain?
The root contains zero sugar.
1. “Aqueous extracts and…”. US National Library of Medicine.
2. “Open trial to assess aspects…”. Complementary Medicine Research.
3. “Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory…”. US National Library of Medicine.
4. “Evaluation of the antibacterial…”. US National Library of Medicine.
5. “Pharmacological evaluation of…”. Taylor & Francis Online.
6. “Aqueous extrdacts an…”. ScienceDirect.
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