Marshmallow Root | respiratory relief

I fell in love with Marshmallow during my herbal apprenticeship and it has stayed near and dear to my herbal regimen during the summer months for nearly 12 years. With its cool and sweet properties, it’s balancing for the pitta dosha. All three doshas; vata, pitta, and Kapha can use this herb to support many health ailments. During my studies, I actually made edible marshmallows from the herbal root – much different and surprisingly better than the sweet candy we find in the stores! I also enjoy using this herb in my honey-throat lozenges.

Marshmallow’s highest medicinal acclaim is as a demulcent. It contains large amounts of high-quality mucilage (to aid in water storage, membrane thickener, and food reserve) and is perhaps the best nutritive tonic herb (internally) and softening emollient (externally) in western herbalism. It is rejuvenating for Pitta, the lungs and the kidneys, and tonifies vata. It allays inflammation, soothes the skin and mucous membranes, and simultaneously cleanses and rebuilds the rasa dhata or the water element in the body. It promotes the healing of chronic sores and necrotic tissue.  Internally it has a soothing effect on inflamed and irritated tissues of the alimentary canal (from mouth to the colon) and urinary and respiratory organs. It works very well for urinary problems, eases the passage of kidney stones, and is used in combination with other diuretic herbs for kidney treatments which assist in the release of gravel and stones.

Marshmallow is good for treating the membranes, it makes a good antidote for respiratory challenges such as dry cough, whooping cough, laryngitis, and bronchitis. It relieves the swelling and irritation of the mucous membranes and calms the respiratory system. As a lung tonic, it combines well with licorice and elecampane root. For allaying a cough it works well with thyme, basil, and oregano – add cinnamon for an anti-viral component!

This herb has been used for years as a wound healer and can be used externally as a poultice for skin eruptions and infections. It is used externally for varicose veins, skin abscesses, and dermatitis. I have used this with slippery elm as a great paste for skin irritations, swelling, and inflammation.

This is always an herb I use with new mothers and can be helpful for mastitis (inflammation of the mammary, and breast gland) and to increase a mother’s milk flow. This can also provide nourishment during PMS and menopause. As a rejuvenative it can be decocted in milk and a small amount of ginger. It’s high in calcium and vitamin A.

Recipes

Marshmallow Treats

Make your children a naturally sweet treat without all the chemicals, coloring, and preservatives that make our children hyperactive. My herbal studies were back in 2008 and we didn’t take pictures of our food like we do today, so I don’t have an image of these treats. However, this post inspired me to make them again. Picture coming this week!

Honey Throat Lozenges

This is a great formula for sore throats, coughs, and throat dryness. It’s also a great way to give herbs to children, in small quantities.

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