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Medicinal Uses of Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow)

Updated on April 12, 2011

Perennial grass, lots of thick hair that gives it a velvety, up to 1.5 m high, with three-lobed leaves with crenate margin, large pinkish flowers about 3 cm collected in pedunculate inflorescences. It grows in damp, marshy, native to Europe, is naturalized in the United States from Massachusetts to Virginia, but is also found elsewhere in confined areas. The favorite part is made from the roots scraped, collected in autumn, but there are also marketing the whole dried root and dried leaves.It is a herbal plant



It contains starch, pectin, mucilage, sugars, fats, tannins, oxalate and asparagine calcio.Il mucilage content is generally around 25-35%, but that of homogeneous polysaccharides of mucilage is much lower. There was a significant variation in slime content depending on the season (6.2 to 11.6%), with higher values ​​in winter '. A homogeneous purified mucilage, mucilage of known or high, was composed of L-rhamnose: D-galactose: D-galacturonic acid: D-glucuronic acid in molar ratios 3:2:3:3, with a molecular weight of about 34,000 (as ammonium salt). It was studied the sequence of sugar units and the configuration of ties interglicosidici. Have recently been identified in the roots scopoletin, quercetin, canferolo, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acids.



The drugs and extracts.




In Germany the fruits and roots are the subject of an official monograph. The root as it is, with a daily dose of 4.5 g and galenic preparations are prescribed for internal use in the event of loss of appetite and digestive disorders, including light gatrointestinali spasms and flatulence. The crude drug made from the fruits and its preparations are not suitable for the task diuretic and diaphoretic, because their efficacy and safety are not sufficiently substantiated.


The extracts of marshmallow root are considered capable of softening, soothing on the mucous membranes with anti-toxic effects. These properties are attributed mainly to the mucilage. The mucilage of marshmallow O showed strong hypoglycemic activity. The crude drug made from the roots may delay the absorption of other drugs taken simultaneously.


Medicines, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Mostly as an emollient in many pharmaceutical preparations, especially in cough medicine. In Europe, preparations of leaves and roots are used in the case of oral or pharyngeal mucous membrane irritation associated with irritating dry cough, roots are also used in case of a slight inflammation of the mucous membrane gastrica.6 '7 The roots are used as such or formulations with dose of 6 g per diem and the leaves, however, in daily doses of 5 g or equivalent formulations.

Food. Used in small amounts in alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, in desserts, candies, baked goods, gelatins and puddings. The extracts of the roots are used in confectionery. The levels of use in the United States are very low, generally less than 0.002% (20 ppm).

Traditional medicine. In Europe, more than 2,000 years, has both indoor and outdoor use as a salve as a remedy for cough, sore throat and intestinal problems, and in liniments for chapped hands and chilblains.


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    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      thank you for your nice comment

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Another useful plant, I shall soon become an expert herbalist reading your hubs!