The Marshmallow plant (Althea officinalis) is a very pretty perennial wild plant found in marshes by the sea. It can easily grow in gardens as well. It is native to Europe. It can grow to be about 1.5 meters tall (4 feet) tall.
The marshmallow has lovely pale pink flowers. They bloom in late summer; around August and September.
The Marshmallow herb has actually given its name to the popular sweets called marshmallows.
The original recipe for marshmallows contained sap from the marshmallow roots.
The marshmallow confections sold today no longer include sap from the roots. The sap has been replaced with gelatin and corn starch.
The name Althea comes from the Greek word altho which means “to cure”.
Marshmallow was highly praised in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
Pliny (23 Ad – 79 AD) suggested that a handful of marshmallow daily could protect the body against any disease.
Marshmallow was also popular in Ancient Egypt. They favored mixing the sap with nuts and honey.
Parts used: Root, leaf and flower
The Edible Marshmallow Plant
The young leaves and flowers can be used in salads. The leaves can also be used in soups or stews.
The roots can be eaten raw. Just remember to clean and peal the roots before eating. They have a somewhat sweet taste.
You can also cook the marshmallow roots or fry them. It actually tastes quite good.
The Marshmallow Plant in Medicinal Herb
A great way to consume marshmallow is to add about one tablespoon of dried marshmallow root or leaves to a cup of cold water. Cover it with a lid. Wait a few hours or preferably until the next day.
Marshmallow is always made using a cold infusion. Do not add hot water to marshmallow root.
Strain the cold infusion the following day and enjoy. You can drink this cold.
You can also heat it some or add honey or whatever to suit your taste bud.
The picture of marshmallow tea is for illustrational purposes. Remember to strain your tea.
Marshmallow is widely known as an excellent remedy for sore throats, dry coughs, laryngitis and bronchitis.
This is good news for anyone who needs to use their voice a lot in their work. Speakers, actors, singers on so on might want to consider drinking marshmallow tea every now and again.
Marshmallow is good for your immune system. This herb will stimulate the production of white blood cells.
The white blood cells are of vital importance and fight infections that may enter the body.
People with dry skin may benefit from drinking marshmallow tea. Marshmallow assists in fighting cellular aging. Some refer to it as the anti-aging herb.
Marshmallow helps stimulate the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.
Externally powered root made into a paste by adding a little water may be used to relieve discomforts from insect bites. Many report good results when adding a dash of flax and lavender oil to the marshmallow paste and applying on sunburns.
Pregnant and breast feeding women should always consult their doctor before taking any herbal products.