What is Marshmallow Root and What is it Used For?

marshmallow root uses
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Such a beautiful plant, with such strong healing powers. Marshmallow root is one of my favorite of all herbs and plants.

marshmallow root uses

The genus name Althaea comes from the Greek altho, 11 associated with healing”, making marshmallow root highly regarded in ancient times.

Despite being a demulcent herb, marshmallow is a polycrest herb.

Benefits of Marshmallow Root

In English, that just means that marshmallow root is an amazing, powerful plant. You can create an infused tea with it, and use it for mouth wash (great for canker sores and sore throats); it treats heartburn and can soothe inflammation from stomach ulcers. Some people use marshmallow root as a treatment for bruises, burns, cuts, and scrapes.

From learningherbs.com:

“Marshmallow roots are high in polysaccharides and starches. By using a cold infusion you extract mainly the mucilaginous polysaccharides. If you simmer the root you also extract the starches in the plant (which is okay; the cold infusion is considered to be a purer extract of the mucilage.)”

Marshmallow root has a long history (dating back thousands of years) as an herbal remedy for cough, sore throat and other respiratory problems such as bronchitis and whooping cough, also known as pertussis. It is safe to use in children as well as adults, and even helps with coughs associated with asthma.

marshmallow root benefits

From allnatural.net:

“Traditionally, marshmallow root has been used on bruises, muscle aches, sprains, burns, and inflammations. A tea of the leaves has been used to soothe sore throat and as an expectorant in bronchitis and whooping cough. Like many members of the mallow family, its tea is considered soothing to an upset stomach.”

We have only used it for a few things (sore throats and colds), but it is so great for coughs! My youngest daughter, Sapphire, has severe asthma. She has been coughing a lot at night and nothing has been helping for more than an hour at a time. The marshmallow root infused tea is helping her sleep through the night!

Many times, marshmallow root is recommended for urinary tract infections, as well as kidney stones. While I was chatting with the herbalist at the nutrition store last week, she said it really helps break up kidney stones and even helps with bladder infections!

Risks or Side Effects

Marshmallow root is safe for everyone to use, but of course you need to do your own research before trying it out. Marshmallow root can inhibit the absorption of other drugs, so before combining your prescriptions with marshmallow root, speak to your herbalist or physician.

Where to get it

You can purchase marshmallow root in extract or dried/herb form, as well as capsule form. We have been using the capsules for Saff's cough lately, just because it's more convenient than the tea, and it is working just as well. If you have a health food store near you, ask them if they have any marshmallow root available so you can purchase it locally.

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Laurie Bennett

Laurie Bennett

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I share delicious, Weight Watchers - Friendly recipes and chat regularly about online business & blogging!!


  1. I’m so glad to hear that you finally found something to soothe Saff’s coughing :). This stuff sounds amazing! (although I still want a S’more lol!)

  2. Interesting…..my son was diagnosed with “possibly” having ulcerative colitus as only 13 years old…and while they are not definitive in their answers, his stomach is suffering so I may have to check this out…thanks!

    1. Use Royal Jelly…they diagnosed my daughter with the same thing and gave her medicine that promised to have a lot of side effects..I refused to give it to her and searched for something that would CURE her(not pacify the problem) and IT(royal jelly) along with a few other things indeed did cure her. She’s in college now and eats WHATEVER she wants with absolutely NO ill effects. I would encourage you to read about Royal Jelly, Manuka Honey…you’ll be happy you did. If you do decide to try it please let me know how things turn out for you. Hope this helps. Take care…

  3. This sounds amazing. I’m glad you found something that will help with Saff’s cough. I am going to look into pick some up ASAP!

  4. I will have to add this to my arsenal. I love homeopathic medicines – for lack of a better way to state it. Because we eat so much fruit the acidic nature of it makes my mouth sore on occasion. I usually just back off those fruits for a while (I know I shouldn’t eat a lot of those but I love them). The infused water may help me and the mouthwash. I’m going to be getting some of this soon.

  5. I recently purchased marshmallow root drops from a local herbal store. When I got home I noticed it said organic alcohol. I’m not sure if this is ok to give to my 3 year old who also suffers from a asthma cough at night and throughout the day. I’ve been researching and I see there is a alcohol free marshmallow root. Should I return this and find the alcohol free. I’m not really seeing anything online about the organic alcohol for children

  6. Hi Ella,
    I make homeopathic medicines and I give them to my children, but if your child has a stomach ulcer then any alcohol will cause belching. If you notice that, discontinue using mother tinctures until the ulcer is cured. If I am supposed to give five drops, I prefer to put One. My son has had a migraine for the fourth day and our homeopath says 5 drops 3 x per day of Damiana and because this is a chronic problem, I will, but my son is 14.

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