Not to be confused with the white, fluffy, sugary "dessert treat", Organic Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis) is a perennial herb native throughout the damp areas of Europe and western Asia. It is now naturalized to the north Atlantic coast of the United States and used as an ornamental for its pointed foliage and pinkish purple flowers. The Greek name Althaea means "to heal" supporting the plants known healing capabilities of many health ailments.
Marshmallow root has been used since ancient times as a food and a medicine. It was used to treat a variety of health ailments and conditions. It was used for healing bruises and burns and to help soothe muscle aches, sprains, and inflammation. It was also believed to have immune boosting properties. During the Middle Ages, the sap of the plant was commonly used in tea form to help soothe colds and sore throats. In modern times, it is still used for those many conditions as well as additional ones. Its highest medicinal acclaim is as a demulcent. A demulcent is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane. This soothing effect can help inflamed and irritated tissues of the digestive tract, and urinary and respiratory organs.
Topically it offers many benefits to the skin. Its demulcent properties soothe irritated, inflamed or injured tissues. Its emollient effects soften, smooth and plump the skin reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, evens out redness, heals abrasions, cuts and nicks. Its vulnerary (plant used to heal wounds) and anti-inflammatory properties are highly used in the healing and treatment of wounds.
Hot and dry conditions such as rosacea, sensitive skin, dry skin, dry psoriasis or eczema, cracked or damaged skin, aging skin or sore nipples from breast feeding, can all benefit from this amazing herb!!