Marshmallow root benefit

Marshmallow root benefit | HealthSoul

How Marshmallow root benefits were found?

Different parts of Marshmallow including roots, leaves, and flowers are globally recognized as traditional medicinal herbal ingredients due to their multiple therapeutic practices. In traditional practice, the concoction of the Marshmallow parts has used to treat different diseases. Late-nineteenth-century, commercial marshmallows have been used in the confectionery industry and gradually people discover the different applications of marshmallows in food and health purposes. The old recipes of Marshmallow have rediscovered and researchers have started investigating the health benefits of these herbal ingredients. [1]

There are some traditional uses of Marshmallow include reliving respiratory symptoms, such as cough relieve, sore throat, bronchitis, and asthma. It also used to treat gum problems, oral irritation, abdominal distress, skin wounds, and vaginal irritation. The demulcent property of marshmallow helps to relieve minor inflammation, pain, and irritation that occurs on mucous membranes by forming a soothing film on the affected part.

  • Marshmallow is traditionally used to treat pain and inflammatory condition in the oral cavity, throat, digestive tract and respiratory system.
  • The roots of Marshmallow, specifically used to solve digestive disorders, skin problems, while the leaves of the plant used to treat lungs and urinary tract disorders.
  • Herbal research results reported that the root extract of Marshmallow has broad antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive properties along with other health benefits. [1]

What are the phytochemicals present in Marshmallow root?

This herb contains different phytochemicals including mucilage, flavonoids, peptins, monosaccharides, disaccharides, starch, asparagines, coumarins, anti-oxidants, scopoletin, tannin, and many amino acids. [2]

Phytochemical present in Marshmallow roots

What is the Mode of action of Marshmallow root health benefits?

  • The mucilage present in Marshmallow plants is mainly responsible for soothing, coating and healing properties.
  • The free radical scavenging property of this plant provides potent antioxidant property.
  • It also inhibits platelets adhesion and exerts antithrombotic effect without providing any side effect.
  • Marshmallow suppress inflammatory condition by inhibiting the synthesis and release of different inflammatory mediators such as cytokinins, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor.
  • Marshmallow enhances phagocytic and macrophage activities. marshmallow root extract can modulate the number of T lymphocytes and acts as an immunomodulator. [2]

What are the different forms of Marshmallow root?

The Marshmallow root obtained from Althaea officinalis L. plant first dried and then cut into tiny pieces. Then the collected roots are macerated and prepare a Marshmallow root syrup. Then they formulate dry and liquid extracts. There are different types of solvents like water, ethanol are used in the extraction process. The plant components are dissolved to form liquid extract, whereas evaporation of the solvent form dry extract.

There are different herbal dosage forms are formulated by using these marshmallow root preparations like herbal tea, solid and liquid dosage forms. Some of these formulations are for oral intake, whereas others may apply topically.

Marshmallow root preparations also combined with other herbal ingredients to form herbal medicines. [3]

Marshmallow root decoction formulation can be prepared by taking one tablespoon of dried marshmallow root into a cup of cold water and keep aside for one hour. Then gently boil the mixture and then simmer the flame. Then cover the container and continue heating for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat and drink the preparation two to three times a day after meal. Add honey to relief bronchitis. [1]

Different form of Marshmallow roots

Marshmallow root uses

Oral irritation

Sore throat, throat irritation, coughing, dry cough are different symptoms associated with irritation in the oral cavity. Marshmallow root extract is recommended to treat these symptoms and relief overall oral irritation. Marshmallow root medicines usually recommended to relief throat or oral cavity irritation along with dry cough for adults, adolescents, and children over the age of 3 years. But in case of symptoms continue for more than 1 week, then consult with a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause and treat accordingly. [3]

Cough relieving

Polysaccharide fraction of A. officinalis mimics the intensity and frequency of cough by aqueous extract of its root. The anti-tussive activity is more effective than prenoxdiazine.

There are two clinical trial evidence supported the oral irritation and associated dry cough can minimize by using marshmallow root extract. In the first clinical trial, almost 900 children with throat and mouth irritation along with dry cough were included. This study result confirmed the cough reducing the effect of marshmallow root syrup. But in this study this effect was not compared with any other treatment. In another placebo-controlled trial, 63 adults with dry cough was included. The study result confirm the cough reducing effect of marshmallow root drops in comparison with placebo. [3]

Gastrointestinal discomfort

Marshmallow root extract relief mild stomach and intestinal disorders. It also has gastric ulcer inhibiting action. It is necessary to mention that Marshmallow root medicines usually recommended to adults and after 12 years of age of adolescents. However, marshmallow root containing formulation made up of ethanol extract is only recommended for adults due to lack of safety data. But in case of stomach and gut discomfort continue over 2 weeks time period, then consultation with a qualified physician is required. [3]

Infection prevention

Marshmallow has broad anti-microbial properties effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, viruses, harmful yeast, mycobacterial growth due its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-yeast, and anti-mycobacterial properties. Thus, intake of Marshmallow preparation may give protection against infection.

Ethanolic extract of Marshmallow inhibits the viral infection caused by adenovirus, measles virus, poliovirus 1, coxsackie B2 virus, influenza virus A2, Herpes virus type 1, and Semlicki-Forest virus. [4]

The anti-bacterial property of Marshmallow is effective against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Diplococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus viridans. [4] The broad-spectrum anti-microbial property of Marshmallow can treat infection of aquatic animals. A research study conducted to check the efficacy of Marshmallow against Aeromonas hydrophila. The test result reported that Marshmallow extract may consider as alternative controls for Aeromonas disease in aquaculture.  [2]

Skin benefit

Fungal infection is often common on the skin tissue. Marshmallow root extract acts against Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis and prevents fungal infections. Thus it maintains the skin health by preventing fungal infection. [4]

Tuberculosis Prevention

Intake of Marshmallow root extract may provide prevention against tuberculosis by inactivating Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth due to its strong antimicrobial property. [4]

Blood sugar lowering effect

Polysaccharide present in Marshmallow root extract has a blood-glucose-lowering effect. [4]

Cardiac health

Aqueous Marshmallow extract can lower hyperlipidemic conditions, antithrombotic property and anti-inflammatory actions, which help to maintain cardiac health. [2]

Anticancer effect

The marshmallow root extract has a cytotoxic effect and the presence of pectin leads to anti-metastasis activity.[4]

Marshmallow root Side effects

There is no side effect within the therapeutic dosage limit. Oral intake of  Marshmallow formulation does not cause any known health risks during pregnancy and lactation. [4]

Marshmallow root side effects

What precaution should I follow with Marshmallow root treatment?

The demulcent property of Marshmallow root can create a coating on the mucus membrane of the gastrointestinal tract, which can interfere with the absorption of food, drugs, and other herbal preparations. Therefore, it is important to keep a sufficient gap between the intake of marshmallow preparation and other herbs or medications. [1]


  1. Marshmallow Benefits.
  2. Therapeutic effects of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.) extract on plasma biochemical parameters of common carp infected with Aeromonas hydrophila. 
  3. Marshmallow root.
  4. Pharmacological activity of Althaea officinalis L.