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The marshmallow plant can be found growing in damp, wet areas including meadows and marshes. While native to regions of Europe, the marshmallow plant now grows in the United States as well. The root and leaves of the plant are used medicinally.
For many years marshmallow plants have been used to relieve coughs and sore throats, as well as for chapped skin and minor wounds.
Both the root and the leaf of the marshmallow plant contain a substance known as mucilate, a mucusy substance that does not dissolve in water. It is this substance that causes marshmallow to swell up and become slippery when wet. This attribute of the marshmallow plant gives it the ability to soothe irritation of the mouth, throat and stomach, as well as to relieve coughing.
Marshmallow is also believed to have a limited ability to fight infection and boost the immune system.
While the effectiveness of marshmallow has not been substantiated by human pharmalogical studies, it has been used in connection with:
Dosage and Administration
- Common cold/sore throat
- CrohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD)
- Pap smear (abnormal)
- Peptic ulcer
- Ulcerative colitis
A recommended dose of marshmallow is 1 1/-4 teaspoons (6 grams) of the root per day. Marshmallow can be prepared as a tea to be taken 5 times a day. Herbal extracts in capsule and tablet form providing 5-6 grams of marshmallow per day can also be used, or it may be taken as a tincture-1-3 teaspoons (5-15 ml) three times daily.