Marshmallow tea has long been acknowledged by ancient civilization as a healing remedy. This herb is known to possess diuretic, emollient, demulcent and expectorant properties.
The marshmallow is a perennial aromatic herb that is found throughout damp and wet areas of Europe, Africa and western Asia . The Romans and Egyptians of the old days used the marshmallow plant in their food as vegetables. It is now naturalized to the eastern United States and is used for both ornamental and medicinal purposes.
Also known by its official name of althaea officinalis, the marshmallow can grow up to four feet tall. It has wooly and hairy stems that have no branches. Its leaves are rounded and have three to five lobes, and are thick. The flowers of the marshmallow plant are pointed and are about two inches wide. They are colored either white, red or purple. The root of the marshmallow plant is colored white and contains plenty of mucilage.
Both the leaves and the root of the marshmallow plant are used for medicinal purposes. The active constituents of the leaves are mucilage, tannins, phenolic acid and volatile oils. The ones of the marshmallow roots are mucilage, asparagines, flavonoids, tannins, quercetins and sugars.
To make marshmallow leaf tea, place a handful of leaves in boiling water, let steep for about 7 to 10 minutes, then drink. For marshmallow root tea, place 25 grams of the roots in a liter of water. Boil the mix and let simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Up to 3 cups of marshmallow tea can be taken each day.
The following are a few of the health benefits derived from marshmallow tea:
- Marshmallow tea (made from the leaves) may help in the treatment of urethritis.
- Marshmallow tea (made from the leaves) may aid in flushing out kidney stones.
- Marshmallow tea (made from the roots or leaves) may help relieve sore throat.
- Marshmallow tea (made from the roots or leaves) may help ease inflammations of the mouth and soothe the bronchial tubes.
- Marshmallow tea (made from the roots) may help in treating some digestive disorders such as gastritis, colitis and peptic ulcers.
- Marshmallow tea (made from the roots) may help increase the flow of breast milk.