Marshmallow is also known by the names Althea, Mallards, Sweet Weed, Hock Herb, Wymote, and Schloss Tea. The genus name Althea is from the Greek word "althe" and means "to mend." Marshmallow was originally an ingredient in the candy we now know as Marshmallow. Marshmallow Root powder can be been used as a binding agent to hold other herbs together in making pills, and has been commonly substituted for Slippery Elm in herbal supportives as many Elm trees are becoming endangered due to health issues.
During times of famine, Marshmallow has nourished many people. During the reign of Charlemagne in the 9th century, Marshmallow was promoted as a cultivated vegetable. Marshmallow is a native of most countries of Europe, from Denmark southward, and is found in the western U.S. It grows in salt marshes, in damp meadows, by the sides of ditches, by the sea, and on the banks of tidal rivers. Served as a vegetable, the plant was considered a delicacy among the Romans. In France, the young tops and leaves are eaten uncooked in salads.
Marshmallow has been utilized for thousands of years not only as a food during times of famine, but for its restoring properties as an herbal supportive. Primary chemical constituents of Marshmallow include mucilage, polysaccharides, flavonoids (quercetin, kaaempferol), asparagine, tannins, lecithin, and pectin. The great demulcent and emollient properties of Marshmallow make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. Recently, Marshmallow can be been used as an expectorant to help support a variety of upper respiratory problems. Marshmallow contains large amounts of vitamin A, calcium, zinc and significant amounts of iron, sodium, iodine, and B-complex. Like slippery elm, Marshmallow reduces inflammation and has a calming effect on the body. The active constituents in Marshmallow are large carbohydrate (sugar) molecules, which make up the mucilage. This smooth, slippery substance can soothe and protect irritated mucous membranes.
Although Marshmallow has primarily been used to help support the respiratory and digestive tracts, its high mucilage content may also provide some minor support of urinary tract and skin infections. Marshmallow's mucilage content helps soothe inflamed tissues, often caused by coughs and asthma. Marshmallow also regulates dryness and irritation in the chest and throat, usually brought on by colds and persistent coughs.
Marshmallow has been known to help support indigestion, kidney problems, urinary tract health concerns, and even external skin wounds such as boils and abscesses.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 tea bag for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea bags. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
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