Marshmallow was an inspiration for today’s famous candy, but it is actually a plant that’s been used for at least 2000 years for it’s potent medicinal benefits:
Marshmallow has been used for coughs and irritated throats for thousands of years, with the oldest known recorded use dating back to the 9th Century BC!
Pharmaceutical cough medicines such as Benylin, Robitussin, and Vicks – work by affecting a signal in the brain which tells the coughing reflex to turn off. While this can help in the short-term, these medicines are not suitable for long-term use – people with chronic issues such as bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema. This is because coughing is actually a protective mechanism in the body – your body is trying to expel something that shouldn’t be in there.
Marshmallow works differently because its effects are much more local. It contains high levels of mucilage, which is essentially a soothing, cooling goo that coats and protects the mucous membranes. It reduces inflammation in sore and irritated throats.
It is a great remedy for both dry, hacking coughs and wet, productive ones and the overall respiratory health. Additionally, Marshmallow is a great plant medicine for children because it is effective, soothing, and gentle.
Marshmallow can also make the healing actions of other herbs stronger. Combining it with other herbs is an excellent idea, and for beating a cold or the flu try adding more anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herbs such as echinacea, licorice or oregano. When combined, these target the underlying cause of the sickness (including bacteria) and coat the throat to ease discomfort.
As several reports suggest, marshmallow works wonders for the lungs.
According to the studies, the antioxidants in the Marshmallow might help prevent cancerous tumor growth, especially in the lungs. Also, the high amounts of vitamin C clear out mucus anywhere in the body, and the high levels of vitamin A are important for fighting cancer and keeping the overall health of the body. Marshmallow also contains asparagine, a valuable amino acid essential for our health, so adding Marshmallow to the diet is a great preventative for cancer and various illnesses and could be a valuable addition to a cancer-fighting treatment.
Digestive uses for Marshmallow include lowering or preventing heartburn, stomach ulcer symptoms, diarrhea and constipation. The jelly substance coats the inside of the stomach and prevents acid from causing discomfort and “burning”, while at the same time healing the leaky gut syndrome.
Marshmallow also helps people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Skin health and healing
By helping soothe the nerves of the skin, marshmallow soothes the irritation and it’s even well-tolerated by those with allergies and hypersensitive skin.
For many years, it has provided relief from itching, swelling, redness and chaffing.
Marshmallow can be used topically on the skin to treat a number of problems: insect bites, wounds, burns, scrapes, dry/chapped skin and peeling, eczema and dermatitis. The roots and stem of the marshmallow plant secrete mucilage, which softens skin, lowers swelling and kills bacteria. That’s exactly why it’s often added to skin-care products and ointments for clearing issues like bites, infections and wounds.
If you feel symptoms of tonsillitis, bronchitis, a urinary tract or respiratory infection coming on, take marshmallow at the first sign of discomfort like swelling, burning and tenderness. It helps speed up the healing process and naturally kills bacteria that can cause various ailments.
Once ingested, it helps increase the flow of urine, which improves the body’s ability to draw bacteria out of the urinary tract. This is the reason it’s also recommended for treating kidney stone symptoms.
Inflammation is one of the root causes of heart disease, and since marshmallow fights inflammation, it can improve heart health. In some studies, it also elevated levels of good cholesterol.
Reduces Water Retention
Marshmallow has diuretic effects and acts similar to “water pills” that are intended to lower fluid retention, edema and bloated stomach. If your diet or hormone levels (such as experiencing PMS or menopause) cause you to retain water and feel uncomfortable, marshmallow can help increase urination and balance fluids.