Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) was used in ancient Egypt to make a confectionary similar to modern marshmallows and its medicinal properties are reflected in the genus name ‘althaea’ which is derived from the Greek word, ‘to heal’. Marshmallow root contains pectins, starches, sugars, mucilages, phytosterols, tannins and flavonoids with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, demulcent, soothing, antitussive and other pharmacological actions. Marshmallow was traditionally used to soothe irritated mucous membrane and treat sore throats, gastric ulcers and minor respiratory ailments, and it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties support the immune system and help soothe bronchitis, sinus infection, gastric irritation and other inflammatory conditions.
Ali Esmail Al-Snafi* The Pharmaceutical Importance of Althaea officinalis and Althaea rosea : A Review. International Journal of PharmTech Research Vol.5, No.3, pp 1378-1385
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