Uses and Preparation of Marshmallow Root
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Janice
Posted on: September 15, 2006

What is the way to prepare the marshmallow root? Is it best if prepared into a tea? Do you suggest chewing the ground root preparation? Should it be topical or internal?

Marshmallow root is soothing, softening and nutritious. It has been used as a remedy in Europe for thousands of years. It is one of the best herbs for supplying mucilage to soothe inflammation and protect any mucous membrane surfaces of the body: stomach, intestine, mouth, nose, eyes, urinary tract, vagina and bronchial tubes. Externally, it is used to draw out infection.

The preparation method for marshmallow root depends on its use.

To draw infection out of a boil, abscess or wound, use the powdered root. Make a thick paste and apply externally.

Cut or powdered marshmallow root adds soothing action to a tea for dry coughs, sore throat, constipation, diarrhea and for all urinary tract infections: infections of the kidneys, bladder or urethra. For kidney stones, a soothing mucilaginous herb is always included to soothe the passage of the stone. To make the tea, combine a cup of cold water to a teaspoon of the cut or powdered root. Allow to stand 8 hours or overnight. Drink 1/2 cup, three times daily. The cold extraction method is best for extracting the mucilage from the root.

An ointment made from marshmallow root soothes itchy skin, including psoriasis and eczema.

A strong tea, made with powdered or cut marshmallow root, is added to the bath to soothe and soften dry, cracked or sunburned skin.

For teething babies, you can give them a long piece of root to suck on.

According to Rosemary Gladstar, in her book "The Family Herbal", marshmallow root was the original of today’s sticky marshmallow that is used in baking and marshmallow roasts. The roots were cooked with honey or sugar, formed into soft balls, and given to children to suck on to soothe a sore throat.

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