Althaea officinalis L. (Malvaceae), commonly called marshmallow, marsh mallow, or sweetweed. In French, it is Guimauve offcinale; in German, Eibisch or Weisse Malve.
Remedies are made from the dried peeled roots, usually collected in Autumn, when the plant is at least two years old.
The Romans raised this herb to eat, but the Greeks used it as a medication. Emperor Charlemagne believed in its restoring properties and promoted its use in Europe during the Ninth Century. During the Middle Ages it was used (unsuccessfully) to help support symptoms of bacterial infections.
Traditional Support Uses
Demulcent and emollient.
Commission E Recommendations
Extracts of the leaves can be used to help support irritation of the mouth and throat. Extracts of the root can be used to help support mild stomach upset.
The main constituent of the herb is mucilage. Mucilage is a type of material produced by plants for storing energy. Technically, mucilage is a type of sugar. Pectins and starches also fall into this class. When the roots are soaked in water they swell and form a soothing gel, which may explain the popularity of ointments made with this product. When the gel passes through the gastrointestinal tract it has the effect of calming the intestines (although very large amounts can produce exactly the opposite effect). For that reason, European physicians still prescribe this herb to help support gastroenteritis, ulcer issues, and even colitis. The practice makes sense, but like so many of the other supportives endorsed by Commission E, the practice has not been validated in clinical trials.
The recommended dosage is 6 grams of root or equal preparations. As a syrup, a single dose is 10 grams.
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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 sugar 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.
None of the components, either of the leaves or roots, should interfere with standard workplace urine drug screening tests.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."