Marshmallow grows in salt marshes, damp meadows, by the side of ditches, by the sea, on the banks of tidal rivers and is also known as althea, which is derived from the Greek word ‘althe’ meaning to heal. During the reign of Charlemagne in the 9th century, Marshmallow was cultivated as a vegetable, the Romans considered it a delicacy and the plant was used to sustain many people throughout Europe during times of famine.
Recently, because it has similar mucilage properties (ability to create mucus) to those of slippery elm, Marshmallow root is being used as a substitute binding agent and in some herbal remedies as many elm trees are becoming endangered due to Dutch Elm Disease.
Due to its excellent ability to soothe and coat the body’s internal wall lining the traditional therapeutic uses of Marshmallow root have included easing inflammation of the intestines, the urinary and the respiratory systems. The mucus coating protects internal structures from local irritation and in the case of the gastrointestinal track from excess stomach acid.
Marshmallow has a general calming effect on the body and can help ease dryness and irritation in the chest and throat caused by a persistent cough. Marshmallow has also been used to relieve kidney problems, infections of the urinary tract and when applied externally can assist the healing of boils and abscesses.
Marshmallow contains high levels of Vitamin A, calcium, zinc as well as iron, sodium, iodine, B-complex and large carbohydrate molecules that make up the mucilage which coats the body’s internal wall lining.
Country Park’s Marshmallow root power and shaved root is easily added to hard feed and is useful for horses that have or may have stomach ulcers, a continual dry cough and for older horses that have poor digestion.
References: www.viable-herbal.com, www.purplesage.org.uk, www.dropinbucket.com, www.hygain.com.au