Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis)

Traditional Indications

Marshmallow is anti-inflammatory, demulcent, diuretic, emollient and expectorant. Its abundance of mucilage makes marshmallow an excellent demulcent that is indicated for all inflammatory conditions of the GI tract, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, oesophagitis, gastritis, peptic ulceration, colitis etc. Priest & Priest says it is a "soothing demulcent indicated for inflamed and irritated states of mucous membranes. Particularly suitable for inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal system such as gastroenteritis or diarrhoeaā€¯. (1)

Pharmacognosy

Marshmallow has displayed antibacterial against Aeromonas hydrophila (2) Marshmallow has been found to be effective on gram-positive bacteria. (3)

Althaea officinalis contains antioxidant and flavonoids. (4)

Polysaccharides from the roots of Althea officinalis are effective stimulators of cell physiology of epithelial cells which can prove the traditional use of Marshmallow preparations for treatment of irritated mucous membranes within tissue regeneration. (5)

The antitussive action of extracts and polysaccharides of marsh mallow have been demonstrated to be more effective than prenoxdiazine. (6)

 

1. PFAF. Althea officinalis. 2019.
2. Banaee M, Soleimany V, Nematdoost Haghi B. Therapeutic effects of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.) extract on plasma biochemical parameters of common carp infected with Aeromonas hydrophila. Veterinary research forum : an international quarterly journal. 2017;8(2):145-53.
3. Rezaei M, Dadgar Z, Noori-Zadeh A, Mesbah-Namin SA, Pakzad I, Davodian E. Evaluation of the antibacterial activity of the Althaea officinalis L. leaf extract and its wound healing potency in the rat model of excision wound creation. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine. 2015;5(2):105-12.
4. Sadighara P, Gharibi S, Moghadam Jafari A, Jahed Khaniki G, Salari S. The antioxidant and Flavonoids contents of Althaea officinalis L. flowers based on their color. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine. 2012;2(3):113-7.
5. Deters A, Zippel J, Hellenbrand N, Pappai D, Possemeyer C, Hensel A. Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from Marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): Cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro2009. 62-9 p.
6. Nosal'ova G, Strapkova A, Kardosova A, Capek P, Zathurecky L, Bukovska E. [Antitussive action of extracts and polysaccharides of marsh mallow (Althea officinalis L., var. robusta)]. Die Pharmazie. 1992;47(3):224-6.