Marshmallow originally grew in salty soils. But now it thrives in moist, uncultivated ground. It is found in southern and western Europe, western Asia, and the northeastern region of North America. Its fleshy, upright stems reach heights of 3 to 4 feet.
The pale yellow roots are tapered, long, and thick, with a tough, yet flexible exterior. The short-stemmed leaves are round, with irregularly toothed margins and 3 to 5 lobes. A soft and velvety down covers the leaves and stem. The flowers have 5 reddish white petals. The whole plant, especially the root, is filled with mild mucilage.
The leaves and roots of marshmallow are the parts used for medicinal purposes.
Dried leaves may be used in infusions, fluid extracts, and tinctures. Marshmallow roots are available dried, peeled, or unpeeled in extracts (dry and fluid), tinctures, capsules, ointments, creams, and cough syrups.
How to Take ItPediatric
There is no data to suggest what dose is appropriate for a child. Ask your child's pediatrician for guidance.Adult
Marshmallow root is available as a tea, liquid tincture, or capsule. Drink several cups of tea daily, drink 1 glass of water containing 30 to 40 drops of tincutre daily, or take capsules containing an equivalent of 6g of powdered root daily in divided doses.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects, and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.
Marshmallow is generally considered safe. It has no reported side effects. It appears to be safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, although you should check with your doctor before taking it.
One study suggests marshmallow may lower blood sugar levels. So people with diabetes should talk to their doctors before taking marshmallow.
Marshmallow coats the lining of the stomach. So it may interfere with the absorption of other drugs or herbs. To avoid any problems, take marshmallow several hours before or after taking other herbs or medications.
- Lithium. Marshmallow may increase the amount of lithium in the body, thereby increasing the risk of side effects.
- Diabetes drugs. Marshmallow may decrease blood sugar. Taking diabetes medications along with marshmallow may result in your blood sugar going too low.
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