Common Names: Althaea
Latin Name: Althaea officinalis
Plant Family: Malvaceae
Parts Used: Leaf, flower, root
Habitat: Native to Europe; prefers marshy fields and tidal zones
Uses: Useful whenever a soothing effect is needed. Excellent for stomach ailments—counters excess stomach acid, aids in IBS and colitis, and can have a mild laxative effect. Brings relief to respiratory problems, and can be used externally to soothe inflamed skin. Teething babies may find relief from chewing on a peeled root.
Actions & Constituents: High mucilage content combats inflammation; flavonoids can help prevent inflammatory diseases and cancer.
How to Prepare: Can be made into a tea; also helpful as a syrup for children.
Marshmallow root was once a key ingredient of actual marshmallows.