Did you know that marshmallows are good for you? Well, not technically the marshmallows we have become accustomed to these days, but marshmallow root, the original source of the candies we have come to know.
In this article, we look at the many benefits of marshmallow root and how using it can benefit your health too.
What Is Marshmallow?
Marshmallow is not the candy that you know and love. Rather, it is the name of the plant, with the root resembling a brown husky fiber. It is known binomially as Althaea officinalis, though there are a few different varieties of the actual marshmallow family.
In addition to the root, the flowers and leaves of the plant are also edible. The plant was originally native to parts of Europe, North Africa and West Asia, although today it is also cultivated in other parts of the world.
It is important to know that initially marshmallow candy was actually made from the mucilage like compound obtained from the roots, although today most commercially made marshmallow is simply a mixture of gelatin and sugar.
10 Amazing Benefits & Uses Of Marshmallows
1. Relieves Cough
Marshmallow root is very effective at suppressing cough of a dry and irritating nature, being frequently added to natural cough remedies.
It is believed that the mucilage forming property of the root coats the throat and esophagus, easing discomfort and irritation as it passes by. There are even preparations made which combine marshmallow root with soothing herbs such as chamomile that are very effective for nocturnal coughs, and may even help confer some degree of resistance to frequent respiratory tract infections in children.
2. Helps Promote Healing Of Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers are extremely common and a source of tremendous pain if left untreated. The majority of people rely on antacid products that merely neutralize some amount of acid, but never really achieve healing of ulcers.
Extracts made of marshmallow root or flower could actually help promote healing of these ulcers, as the mucilage coats the wall of the stomach and buffers effect of acid erosion on it. If you rely on prescription or NSAID painkillers to manage other comorbidities, it may be worth a discussion which your physician to see if using a product containing marshmallow might be suitable for you.
3. Promotes Wound Healing
Topical products made from marshmallow can also help speed up the healing of wounds, by protecting damaged areas from bacterial infection. In addition to forming a safe coating over the site of injury, marshmallow also possesses antibacterial properties this allows skin to rapidly heal without threat of further complications arising.
4. Natural Diuretic
Marshmallow has been used for years to help promote diuresis, or the excretion of urine. It is believed that kidney stones are more likely to develop in people that retain a full bladder for long periods of time. On the other hand, there are also people with medical conditions that make it difficult to regularly get rid of excess fluid.
In such cases, use of marshmallow may be helpful for its diuretic properties. By frequently flushing liquid from the kidneys, the likelihood of sedimentation occurring is reduced. Removal of excess fluid from the body can also contribute to management of blood pressure, as blood volume is intricately tied into blood pressure.
5. Natural Analgesic
Marshmallow flowers can sometimes be used for local pain relief, being applied to the site of injury. This makes marshmallow exceptionally good at helping to treat wounds, as its ability to speed up healing and also reduce pain and very useful traits.
The flowers may also be ingested for enhanced healing actions.
6. Promotes Bowel Regularity
The flowers are or seeds from the marshmallow plant are very effective as mild natural laxatives, helping to stimulate bowel movements in people that are otherwise resistant to regularity. The ability of its mucilage to hold water also helps, making it very useful for people that grapple with chronic constipation.
7. May Support Heart Health
Use of marshmallow flowers can actually help support the health of your heart via numerous mechanisms, including reducing the likelihood of clots forming, decreasing the impact of inflammation along blood vessel walls and also positively impacting HDL cholesterol levels – a good indicator of overall heart health. Preliminary studies conducted on animals have yielded favorable results, but of course until more human studies are done it will not be definitively announced that it helps to support heart health.
Nevertheless, people have used it for centuries with no ill effects on the heart, so you too can benefit from this.
8. Supports Skin Health
The use of marshmallow root can benefit your skin in many ways, ranging from its excellent moisturizing properties that help hydrate and keep moisture within skin cells, to the more recently discovered ability to filter dangerous UVB rays damage skin cells and accelerated aging.
While not technically sunscreen, it can help support the health of your skin if you frequently spend excessive amounts of time outdoors.
9. May Help Manage Or Treat Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome tends to affect the digestive tract, when semi digested food material or even waste products are able to seep through the lining of intestinal cells where they may cause complications in other parts of the abdomen. Marshmallow root can help support the structural integrity of the protective lining along the digestive tract, reducing the likelihood of material leaking out.
Its potent anti-inflammatory properties are also useful in management of irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, which are also associated with a higher than normal likelihood of leaky gut syndrome developing.
10. Beneficial to Hair
You may have seen hair care products containing marshmallow root as an ingredient, but are unsure exactly what it does. As it turns out, the mucilage found in marshmallow it functions as an effective detangler, and also conditions hair to enhance its moisture content and overall condition.
In addition to applying it locally to the hair, consuming it also helps to fortify these benefits.
As you can see, the original marshmallow was much more than mere sweet candy treat. It is chock-full of benefits that you can take advantage of by adding to your diet today. We implore you to get your hands on some issues see the benefits for yourself.