Marshmallow is a plant. The leaves and the root are used to make medicine. Don’t confuse marshmallow with the mallow (Malva sylvestris) flower and leaf.
Marshmallow leaf and root are commonly used by mouth to treat stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, swelling of the stomach lining, and pain and swelling of the mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract. But there is limited scientific evidence to support these and other uses.
In foods, marshmallow leaf and root are used as a flavoring agent. How does it work?
Marshmallow forms a protective layer on the skin and lining of the digestive tract. It also contains chemicals that might decrease cough and help heal wounds by decreasing inflammation and fighting certain "bugs".(microbes).
Cough caused by ACE inhibitors. Medications used for high blood pressure called ACE inhibitors can sometimes cause coughing as a side effect. Early research suggests that taking marshmallow root by mouth for 4 weeks can reduce cough caused by ACE inhibitors. Some examples of ACE-inhibitors include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril).
Breast pain and swelling cause by breast feeding. Early research suggests that applying a compress containing marshmallow to the breast along with standard techniques can improve pain and swelling caused by breast feeding. Standard techniques include breast massage and use of warm and cold compresses before and after breast feeding.
Skin infection caused by parasites (Leishmania lesions). Early research suggests that applying a combination of marshmallow and Althaea rosa extracts to affected skin for 5 days can help improve Leishmania lesions.
Sores.v Skin inflammation.
Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
Irritation of the mouth and throat.
Side Effects & Safety
Marshmallow is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. In some people, it might cause low blood sugar levels.
Marshmallow is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied directly to the skin.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of marshmallow during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: Taking marshmallow might increase your risk of bleeding. Diabetes: There is a concern that marshmallow might interfere with blood sugar control. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar carefully to avoid dangerously low blood sugar.
Surgery: Marshmallow might affect blood sugar levels and slows blood clotting. There is a concern that it could interfere with blood sugar control and increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgical procedures. Stop taking marshmallow at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.