Both marshmallow ( Althaea officinalis ) leaf and root are believed to offer benefits on
coughing and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Marshmallow
is generally regarded as safe and marshmallow bolus has been used as an aid to
radiologic examination of the esophagus.
Potential Health Benefits of Marshmallow
Marshmallow ingredients have anti-oxidant activities
Marshmallow extracts show antioxidant activities; their activities accounted for
approximately 69% of the activity of alpha-tocopherol.  It would be interesting to find
out if marshmallow has benefit of cancer prevention properties.
Marshmallow root extracts and tea may have benefits of cough suppression.
Researchers from Lithuania prepared two compositions of cough-relieving herbal tea.
The first formulation consists of marshmallow roots, liquorice roots and lime flowers, the
second -- of marshmallow roots, Iceland moss and lime flowers. They believe
combinations of medicinal herbs can improve the curative action and decrease the
undesirable side effects of the products. 
Researchers found improvement in the symptoms of cough after treatment with a
combined herbal preparation containing dry ivy leaf extract as main active ingredient,
decoction of thyme and aniseed, and mucilage of marshmallow root in a study of 62
patients with a mean age of 50 years. The patients had irritating cough in consequence
of common cold (n = 29), bronchitis (n = 20) or respiratory tract diseases with
formation of viscous mucus (n = 15). The mean daily intake was 10 ml (range 7.5-15) of
syrup, and the mean duration of treatment was 12 days (range 3-23 days).
Marshmallow extracts show anti-microbial activities.
A test-tube study in Italy shows the antibacterial activities of marshmallow. against
many anaerobic and facultative aerobic periodontal bacteria.  Marshmallow extracts
have been suggested for topical medications in periodontal prophylactics.
Side Effects of Marshmallow
Marshmallow may lower blood glucose level and cause allergies. Users, especially with
diabetes, must consult with doctors before taking marshmallow. It may also interact
other blood-sugar-lowering agents such as ginseng, gymnema etc.
This article is for your information only. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions. ALL RIGHTS
RESERVED 2008 ZHION.
 Kardosova A, Machova E. Antioxidant activity of medicinal plant polysaccharides. Fitoterapia. 2006
Jul;77(5):367-73. Epub 2006 May 24.  Buechi S, et al, Open trial to assess aspects of safety and efficacy of
a combined herbal cough syrup with ivy and thyme. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005
Dec;12(6):328-32. Epub 2005 Dec 22.  Puodziuniene G, Janulis V, Milasius A, Budnikas V. Development of
cough-relieving herbal teasMedicina (Kaunas). 2005;41(6):500-5.  Iauk L, et al, Antibacterial activity of
medicinal plant extracts against periodontopathic bacteria. Phytother Res. 2003 Jun;17(6):599-604.
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