Benefits of Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow is a pretty versatile herb. It can help promote healing topically and has been known to help prevent coughs. We are going to focus on the root of the plant, although it is worth mentioning that the leaves and flowers are also medicinal and edible. The property that makes marshmallow root so beneficial is the mucilage it produces, which is gelatinous sap-like substance. This is the substance allows it to coat whatever it is applied to, internally or externally.
Marshmallow root has long been a remedy for cough, specifically a dry cough. It is believed that the mucilage coats the throat easing the inflammation. This soothing action will ease the dry cough.
Another common cause of throat irritation is due to exposure to gastric acid. Marshmallow will act as barrier between the acid and the throat, helping to protect the tissue from becoming inflamed and allow time for the tissue to heal if exposure has happened already. Added benefit if, taken via lozenge this will also help treat dry mouth, even if it is chronic.
Another internal issue addressed by marshmallow root is the risk for gastric ulcers. Gastric ulcers can sometimes form from stress, NSAID pain relief usage or a combination of factors. Marshmallow root will also coat the stomach lining which added to the protective barrier inside the stomach. This will help keep ulcers at bay and generally allow the stomach to heal itself.
Similar to aloe vera, marshmallow root can be used to treat topical irritations from sun exposure. (A good method of prevention for needing this remedy is the use of a good sunscreen!) Marshmallow can also be applied externally to areas of eczema. The concept is the same, that marshmallow soothes and provides a protective barrier on the skin.
Additionally, studies show that when marshmallow is applied to a wound the wound healed faster than with no treatment. The study also found preliminary reports that the root may have helped kill bacteria allowing the would to heal faster as well.
*A special note to answer the question that has been on your mind through this entire post. Why does this plant share a name with the fluffy candy we all love? When the marshmallow candy was first manufactured it was common practice to use the mucilage from the root to help make the fluffy candy. Modern marshmallows use a combination of gelatin and sugar.