Marshmallow ( not to be confused with Marsh Mellows ) is mostly used today by herbalists to relieve sore throat, much like Mullein leaf. It also has inflammation relieving properties to offer. The medicinal applications of Marshmallow has been documented for well over 2,800 years. It has even been mentioned in "Homer's Iliad". Its genus name comes from the Greek word, "altho", meaning "to cure". Not only does the herb get its name from the Greek, but they also were one of the original cultures to use it as medicine.

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Many plants that share the same medicinal properties also share the same phytochemicals. These fascinating chemicals are made by nature. Wild herbs use the suns energy, and the biospheres water and air, to create a ming boggling number of medicinal and psychoactive constituents. Natural remedies are not bogus, or "folk lore". A branch of chemistry called phytochemistry is dedicated to this type of research.

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Marshmallow literally contains loads of different pharmacological constituents. Some of them include: altheahexacosanyl lactone (n-hexacos-2-enyl-1,5-olide), 2β-hydroxycalamene (altheacalamene), altheacoumarin glucoside (5,6-dihydroxycoumarin-5-dodecanoate-6β-D-glucopyranoside), as well as phytoconstituents lauric acid, β-sitosterol and lanosterol. You can learn much more about these by reading into them via academic journals. Google now has a 'scholarly' feature. Enter the checmicals name followed by 'scholarly'.

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The Romans and Chinese also used Marshmallow. Poultices and teas are the most commonly used preparation methods for using it as a natural remedy to soothe mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems. Many claim it's useful for dealing with ulcers. I like to soak a piece of mullein leaf in some Mashmallow tea and then tape it on as a herbal band-aid. I find it works much faster than neo-sporin even.

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Many creative creations have come into existence throughout history using medicinal plants. One such masterpiece was made by the Egyptians. They would take Marshmallow root and cook it into candies! The more you learn about these herbal remedies the more ideas you'll come up with. Over time it becomes apparent that natural ways of doing things in life was an intention designed by a divine intelligence, which crafted all evolutionary life supporting processes in this that we call reality. Embark upon a mission to better understand this way of life.

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We can see that this little known herb has scientific inquiry to back up how it works. It's been used for many things for many centuries. When we take the time to look into each individual chemical constituent though, we can see there are far more potential benefits that Marshmallow has to offer. Typically, herbs that contain mucilage are also used to boost the immune system or assist one in getting over a cold or flu. These are beliefs associated with holistic practitioners. The phytochemistry behind these plants would tend to agree with these herbalist.

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Citations & Other Resources:

Simonetti, Gualtiero (1990). Stanley Schuler, ed. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X.

Rani, S.; Khan, S.A.; Ali, M. (2010). "Phytochemical investigation of the seeds of Althea officinalis L". Natural Product Research. 24 (14): 1358–1364. doi:10.1080/14786411003650777. PMID 20803381

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