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What to know about Marshmallow leaf ?

                  Flower and Leaf of Marshmallow with Stem.

In afro-asian countries and in europe, Marshmallow leaf as medicine has been in use since prehistoric times. Citations about marshmallow leaf (Althaea officinalis) as medicine are present in epics of Hellas, created over around 3000 years ago. Plant of European origin, marshmallow in asian marshlands and along american seashore, grows in abundance. Genus name of Marshmallow 'Althaea' meaning "to heal" is derived from Hellenic word 'altho'. Use of Marshmallow by herbalists spread from Hellas to Asian countries, where medicinal qualities of marshmallow in arab epics and ayurveda were recognized and embedded. Use of marshmallow leaf as medicine is supported by it's traditional usage, as laboratory research & clinical trials using A. officinalis (marshmallow) have not been performed for any specific health problem. Reference to use of Marshmallow plant leaf and marshmallow plant root as poultice for inflammation of skin, is found in epics of arab herbalists. Marshmallow leaf was extensively used in arab medicine by herbalists. Sterile alcohol  marshmallow tincture as anti-inflammatory may be used as medicine for skin problems.

In Rome, general belief about Marshmallow leaf as panacea gets reference in pliny's encyclopedia of 'Natural History' written about 2000 years ago. During famines, use of plant of Marshmallow in afro-asian countries as food was practiced. Marshmallow leaf as emollient,soothing agent, demulcent, diuretic & for curing external wounds has been used by herbalists. Herbalists keep marshmallow root below leaf for it's coating properties,but hold 'root' above marshmallow leaf for more antimicrobial and antiallergic effects.

      Are mallow leaf and Marsh mallow leaf the same thing?

          People often confuse "mallow" leaf and marsh mallow leaf, but Marshmallow leaf and mallow leaf (Malva sylvestris) are different leaf.

      What are the active constituents of Marshmallow Leaf ?

          Mucilage (arabinogalactans and galacturonorhamnan), antioxidant flavonoids 8-hydroxyluteolin and 8-b-gentiobioside, kaempferol, quercetin, and diosmetin glucosides, tannins, and volatile oil are found in leaf of marshmallow. Additionally,coumarin scopoletin and phenolic acids including syringic acid, caffeic acid,vanillic acid and salicylic acid are present in leaves of marshmallow plant.

      Which part of Marshmallow Leaf to use?

          Dried Leaf. Ability of Marshmallow leaf to swell on mixing with water determines the quality. Deep-green leaf of marshmallow with swelling index of more than 12 are considered High in quality.

      What are the common preparations of Marshmallow Leaf ? 

          Use of  marshmallow leaf as tea and as infusion is common. Marshmallow leafs are also used as tincture (marshmallow tincture ), fluid extract, Cold macerations and as capsules. Use of marshmallow for poultice in treating skin conditions is favored by herbalists.  Tea of Marshmallow leaf beside marshmallow root tea is a popular preparation.

       What's the daily Dosage of Marshmallow Leaf ?

            Maximum Dose of marshmallow leaf = 5 grams/day

  • Loose leaf / leaf powder: one to two ml of Marshmallow extract,  two to three times a day (equivalent to 5grams of marshmallow leaf daily ).
  • Infusion: One to two grams of leaves in 150 ml water, two to three times daily.
  • Cold maceration: Soak one to two grams of leaf for 1 hour in 150 ml of cold water. stir, strain and warm before drinking, 2-3 times/day.
  • Capsules: Three 400mg capsules of marshmallow at most 3 times a day.
  • Marshmallow Tincture 1:2 (25-50%) = Herb:Water (Alcohol%) - 1ml of tincture in water 2-3 times/day.

             Strength of Tincture may vary, so manufacturer's instructions should be followed whenever available.

       What's the role of Marshmallow Leaf in well-being?

             Here are some facts to know about marshmallow leaf:

  • Coating properties of Marshmallow leaves for reducing irritation are used by herbalists as poultice to treat inflamed areas.
  • Herbalists use Marshmallow  leaf for perianal inflammation caused by severe diarrhea(when taken orally).
  • Use of Althaea officinalis marshmallow leaf for pain relief and to enhance healing process is recommended by herbalists.
  • Marshmallow (Althaea) leaves for cough and sore throat is a useful remedy. Calming effect of Marshmallow leaf on body can be experienced by smoking and drinking.
  • Marshmallow leaves as supplement for respiratory ailments are recommended  because it may help the body expel excess fluid and mucus.(helps in expelling Phlegm from Respiratory Tract).
  • Althaea (Marshmallow) leaf for bladder infection is used in traditional medicine .
  • Marshmallow leaf (Althea Officinalis) for medicine and leaf salad which has been used to help to relieve digestive disorders in european and asian counteries, is favored by herbalists.
  • Use of Marshmallow Leaf in kidney problems and fluid retention is practiced traditionally.

       Are there any side-effects of Marshmallow Leaf ?

           Use of Marshmallow for thousands of years by herbalists suggests lack of serious side-effects of marshmallow leaf.However, Safety of Marshmallow leaves during pregnancy or lactation isn't proven due to lack of clinical trials. There are no drug interactions,but it's recommended to take Marshmallow leaf at around 1-2 hours before medicine as mucilage of Marshmallow by interfering with the absorption of drug reduces drug's effect.

          Caution : One shouldn't confuse confectionery marshmallow with leaf of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) as until mid-1800's, candy makers used leaves of Althaea officinalis in marshmallow candies.

      Where to Buy Marshmallow Leaf from Online?

For Everyone of those who are new to marshmallow leaf, let us help you choose some marshmallow leaf preparations based on your preferences and health needs. It's recommended to buy marshmallow leaf from online merchants listed below: (Many are Buying marshmallow leaf online as wholesale Marshmallow Leaf and in retail)

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Disclaimer: The Contents of this site are for information and education purpose only. The information herein found should NOT be used as a substitute for seeking the attention of health practitioners in diagnosing, treating, curing or preventing ailments and diseases.Always Consult your health practitioner, If you are ill or have any health concerns and before using any type of herb or herbal products. All efforts have been made to make this information as accurate as possible, however any of the statements made regarding the ingredients, products  and general information has NOT been evaluated by FDA and should NOT be seen as health claims. Any of these products are only hosted on our site. We don't sell any of these products and for any query related to these products kindly contact the related merchant. we will not be responsible for any defect or problem related to the product. We try our best to keep products from quality merchants. However, Its in your Best interest to check the authenticity of merchant and quality of the product in addition to its pricing before buying any such products.

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Last Update of Marshmallow Leaf  on 9 July, 2011 at 7:15 UTC.

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