Marshmallow Root Herb Profile

Herb Profile- Marshmallow Root Uses and Benefits

Marshmallow Root is an herb that has been around for centuries. In fact, it was mentioned in Homer’s Iliad (written 2800 years ago). It was used in ancient Greek and Indian cultures for its healing properties.

Benefits of Marshmallow Root

Mountain Rose Herbs details some of the many  uses:

Marshmallow root has long been used as a food, particularly during times of famine when it is more abundant than other vegetables. Medicinally, it has been approved by the German Commission E in supporting inflammation of the gastric mucosa, and for irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. When combined with other herbs, it is additionally used for mild respiratory symptoms, including cough. The root is traditionally used to support a healthy digestive system, but this application has not been clinically studied.

It is a demulcent herb, meaning that it is cooling, soothing and slippery. It is often used to sooth digestion, skin or hair. It is unique in that when making a tea with Marshmallow Root, you will want to brew it with cold water to preserve the mucilaginous properties. This explains:

Marshmallow works as a mucilage, producing a thick sticky substance that coats membranes. Marshmallow extract contains flavanoids, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. The flavanoids are able to reduce inflammation while the mucilage holds them in place and prevents further damage. The extracts also induce phagocytosis, which is the process in which certain cells engulf bacteria, dead cell tissues or other solid particles. This helps speed up the healing process. The mucilage remains unaltered until it reaches the colon, which is why marshmallow works well on most inflammatory digestive disorders.

Marshmallow root has not been specifically studies in pregnancy and nursing so consult a doctor or midwife before using this or any other product if you are pregnant, nursing or have a medical condition.

Uses of Marshmallow Root

Some ways that we use it:

  • As a soothing tea during colds, flu or sore throats.
  • For digestive problems like heartburn, stomach illness or occasional digestive troubles. I usually mix with peppermint leaf or ginger to make a soothing tea.
  • On skin– It makes a great addition to lotions, salves and tinctures for the skin. Also good for eczema and soothing sunburn.
  • In hair– I use the dried root in my homemade detangling hair spray (great for kids).
  • Urinary problems– I’ve used Marshmallow Root tea at the first sign of urinary or bladder infection to help speed healing.
  • Homemade Marshmallows– We use a tea made from the dried root in our homemade marshmallow recipe. It is option but adds extra flavor and a health boost.

Where to Get Marshmallow Root

Soothing Marshmallow Tea Recipe:

The easiest way to try Marshmallow root is in a cooling and soothing tea. This one is my favorite:

Herb Profile- Marshmallow Root Uses and Benefits

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Marshmallow Root Tea Recipe

A simple and cooling Marshmallow Root tea to improve digestion

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Marshmallow Root
  • 1 teaspoon Peppermint Leaf (optional- for taste)
  • 1 cup warm (not boiling) water

Instructions

  1. Combine the herbs and water in a pint size mason jar and put on the lid.
  2. Shake gently and put in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  3. Strain and drink cool.

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Ever used marshmallow root? What did you use it for? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Hi Katie. I am so thankful for you sharing all your knowledge with all of us viewers. You’ve helped me make a lot of changes along the way. I started growing marshmallow last year but I’m unsure on how to harvest the roots without killing the plant. Can you help with that? Thank you.

    • Hi Katie,

      Can you use Marshmallow Root tincture in place of dried in your Probiotic Marshmallow Recipe and if so how much would you use.

      Thanks,

  2. I am curious how you use marshmallow root for bladder infections. Do you make a tea and drink it? If so how much?

    Tx, I love your Blog by the way. Lots of great info.

  3. I am curious, why is it called Marshmallow root? It existed before our modern puffy candy called marshmallow was invented, so maybe we named the candy after the root if they taste similar?

    • We named the candy after the root since it was originally used in making marshmallows before the days of high fructose corn syrup

      • is marshmallow is an cotton plant

    • Also, if you add hot water to it and let it sit, it gets a gel consistency to it, especially when increasing the amount of marshmallow root/decreasing the amount of water. Would probably work with warm water too.

  4. Hi Katie wat home remedy do u have for dandruff problem and for healthy hair growth

    • I’m not Katie (So I hope its ok I answered the question) but after reading your question I just wanted to say for 2 years all I wash my hair with is bi carbonate of soda mixed with water ..we call it in Australia bi-carb..its amazing ..I have long very thick hair just use about a teaspoon mixed in about half a cup of water and just use like you would shampoo..in my 53 years of life best thing I’ve ever used to wash my hair ..its so silky soft and healthy..and no dandruff either its brilliant and super cheap and no toxic chemicals either..
      Kind regards Sherrie from Simpleliving …

  5. Thank you for that info. I bought the marshmallow extract in liquid form. Does that work the same way for respiratory and digestive issues?

  6. Is the extract just as effective for heartburn as the tea? I also noticed on your link for tea bags, they suggest brewing in hot water. Please clarify between hot and cold. Thank you

    • You can brew hot or cold and both will be effective but cold brewing will have more noticeable short term effects. I find the leaf/tea more effective than the extract but both help

  7. Hi Katie! I wanted to mention that I have a great experience with marshmallow root tea! I had to have my tonsils removed a month ago and I got some herbal tea that had marshmallow root in it to drink post-op. My recovery was phenomenal and I shocked my doctors and nurses because I had minimal pain and I healed very quickly compared to the normal recovery of patients post tonsillectomy! I drank that tea constantly and I know it helped my recovery!

    • Hello Alyssa,
      I’m in my 60th decade and am considering tonsillectomy. I’m encouraged by your report that drinking marshmallow tea helped speed your recovery. Did you drink the marshmallow tea warmed/heated or cold or at room temperature? Do you have any other tips for recovery? I wonder your age..i.e. decade of life when you had this surgery? Thank you.

      • 60th decade! Wow thats pretty impressive. There’s not that many who live to be 600!

        • A decade is 10 years Fiona

          • That’s what Fiona said….

          • 60th makes her 600

  8. Thank you, Katie, for all the great work you do! Marshmallow is indeed a great herb for heartburn, but peppermint should not be used in cases of heartburn. Peppermint is very useful for upset stomachs due to other issues, but peppermint loosens the esophageal sphincter and allows stomach acid to reflux up into the esophagus, exacerbating heartburn. If someone is dealing with reflux, it is imperative to avoid peppermint or anything with peppermint oil in it.

    • Oo! Thanks for that info about peppermint and heartburn. I’ve been using peppermint and ginger more or less interchangeably for any stomach disturbance, and noticed that *both* can make heartburn worse under the right circumstances, but I’m glad to know peppermint actually has that loosening effect on the sphincter.

  9. Hi Katie,

    Can you share how we can use the marshmallow root for eczema/dry skin. My 3 year old has mild eczema and I want to wean her off of Cetaphil, which is the only cream that worked on her. I tried organic, unrefined coconut oil and Shea butter separately but they did not work at all.

    I have just begun to going natural at home and your website is so wonderful for beginners like me.

    Keep up the good work.

    • I brew a strong tea and mix with my sea salt spray to spray on skin. I also just posted an eczema bar recipe that is really helpful

      • Hello Katie,

        Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this. My daughter has severe eczema and going to the dermatologist for the last 5 years has not happened. Could you please elaborate on what the measuring mix is for this?

        Thank you,
        Mai

        • I also had this bad. I shut down all processed foods and started drinking kefir milk and it changed my life

      • I’m making an organic colloidal oatmeal bath soak. How much marshmallow root tea would you recommend I use to blend with the oatmeal. Assuming you can blend it with the oatmeal. This is for a 3 year old.

        Thanks

  10. My midwife told me you can take Marshmallow Root to increase the fat in your breastmilk (not the volume) for those mamas who need a little more oomph. Just wanted to pass that along 🙂

  11. I’ve just planted some marshmallow. Can’t wait till it matures so I can try using it. Thanks for your post.

  12. I heard that Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Root are beneficial for healing the gut. What do you know about Slippery Elm that you can share with us? Thanks for a GREAT blog!

  13. There are no ingredients showing in the tea recipe…is that because it is just the marshmallow root herb + water? Or is it an error? Love your website. Thanks.

      • Thanks!

  14. I feel like I discoverer gold in my back yard. I ordered organic marshmallow root for the detangle spray but didn’t realize it was so valuable internally. Thank you.

  15. I used to use this for UTI’s…does this also work for yeast infections? Is it safe during pregnancy? Thanks!

  16. I noticed that a few of you also purchased a Marshmallow plant but don’t know how to properly harvest the root. Well I guess I’m joining the club! I just bought a plant and it fairly large by I don’t know how to harvest the root properly without killing the plant. Katie, could you please help us out with this? Thanks!

  17. I ordered from MRH. I steeped the Marshmallow Root in cool water for about 4 to 5 hours, then heated in a microwave. I know that’s a no no but, I like hot tea. Is this ok? Or is there a better way?

  18. Can i make a tea from capsules and use it for the marshmallows and would it b boiled or cold fusion

  19. I like drinking it warm. I think it’s more effective in treating sore throat than a cold marshmallow root tea.

  20. Hi great post and comments. Do you know if this will help with stomach / peptic ulcers? If so what’s the best treatment… Tea or tablets?

  21. I saw on the Doctors that the root is useful for puffiness under the eyes. If so, how should it be made and safe application ?

  22. My 3 year old has had a dry cough at night for 3 weeks I have tried lots of things herbal & non herbal. I was recommended Marshmallow yesterday. I have purchased the capsules but just wondering how I can give it to him. Should I make a tea with it?

  23. I’m also interested in trying this for my daughter. She’s had a cough for months now and we can’t get rid of it. Anyone know anything about this or osha root? And is the taste tolerable for children?

    • McKenzie: And those who have a cough. I had a chronic cough for 10+ years, specialist, drug etc nothing helped. I was told about Marshmallow root. It didn’t seem to work at first but I figured well I bought the darn thing I might as well finish it instead of wasting it. Well after two weeks into it my cough was down 50%. I am on my second bottle and my cough has been down 90%. I don’t know if this would be a cure but it has helped me soo very much. If you have a cough I would suggest buying a bottle. I wouldn’t know who has the best ingredient but I just bought it from my local health food store. Call around and try it or online.

  24. Years ago I suffered from bladder infections. I was told about marshmallow root. This probably goes against what is suggested here, but I simmered the root for 10 minutes, then strained and chilled it. I drank a cup four times a day. After about two weeks, I passed a stone with no pain. It just scared me because I was bleeding. The flavor is similar to weak chamomile.

  25. Hi Katie- Thank you so much for your ever helpful blog! My mother in law who lives in Eastern Europe (where they often use herbal remedies) recommended Marshmallow Root tea for my baby’s bronchial/mucus problem. I was unable to find the tea at my local health food store, so I picked up the capsules. Any idea how to prepare the powder form? Each capsule contains 480mg of Marshmallow Root. Thank you in advance for all you share and do!!

    • You could probably just take the capsules. You could also dump in water and let sit for a few minutes and it should make the water somewhat smooth/gelled to use as a drink.

  26. Hi,
    Im new at this forum.
    I just purchased Marshmallow Root grounded into powder.
    I heard it can be used on sore throat
    my kid is 7 and I wonder if this would help and if she is not too young to drink it
    Could you please provide a recipe for a sore throat with this herb?

    thank you kindly

  27. Hi there,

    Ive been on the mend from chron”s disease and someone mentioned marshmellow tea to me. Ive fone the reaserch and it apears that tea containing both powder and the leaf is most benificial. My question is, ” Is there a tea i can buy that contains both the powder and the leaf or do i buy them both seperate? If the latter how much powder to leaf ratio?

  28. Hi,
    Thank you for the marshmallow root tea information. I have been taking the MR capsules for ulcerative colitis. It has been amazing. But now I am pregnant and found an herbalist that told me to try the tea as it might not be as harsh. Thank you for this information!

    Do you know where to find the actual root by any chance?

  29. Question 1, can I make kombucha with marshmallow root tea or can I mix marshmallow root tea with other liquid drink like kombucha and still get same benifets?

    • It needs the tannins from tea, but I’ve heard of cases of using a 1/2 herbal tea to 1/2 regular tea blend.

      • So your saying to brew the teas together instead of mixing finished product

  30. Hi! I have read several posts re: Interstitial Cystiti, and the wonderful benefits Marshmallow Root provide. Any advise on pill or tea form?
    Thank You Very Much!!
    Shelley L.

    • I have Interstitial Cystitis also and have recently heard about marshmallow root. I just purchased the liquid marshmallow, Do you know if it will help my damaged bladder wall, or if the ground up root in a tea would work better?

  31. Is it ok to take marshmallow infusion (for cold and cough), if I have taken Advil / Tylenol for fever? Wanted to know if herbal remedies react with Allopathy medication in an undesirable way.

  32. Hello Katie!

    Love all things wellnessmama – thank you for your work!
    Can I give marshmallow tea to my 9 month old? She has a persistent cough and thought this might help her.

    Thank you!

  33. Hi! Thank you for all of this amazing info! I’m really wanting to make a copycat Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie Latte lotion. I have everything other than the marshmallow scent. I’m wondering if the fine Marshmallow Root powder will work. Does it smell like marshmallows at all? I’m thinking an extract otherwise.
    Thanks!

  34. So Im not quite understanding, is this better to take with cold or hot water?(to combat diarrhea and heal gut)
    I have the same question for slippery elm too, is it better with cold or hot water for results?(specifically combatting diarrhea)

  35. I have food allergies which seem to give me stomach discomfort on a regular basis. I also have autoimmune such as arthritis and most likely leaky gut. Marshmallow root sounds like a great addition to my tea cabinet. If it helps stomach issues, overtime do you think consistent use will heal my gut so that eating certain foods won’t be a problem?

  36. I have had terrible heartburn during the last trimester of my pregnancy and the tea was recommended to me. I know herbs during pregnancy can be tricky. Would this be ok to take? If so, how much?

  37. Adding to the comment about using it for UTI’s, I got it as one of two or three herbs from a local homeopathic pharmacy to use to get rid of interstitial cystitis, and it worked. One of the others was slippery elm. After about 6 months, I only had a rare flare-up for another year or two, and took the herbs again for a few days to clear it up.

  38. Hi, i bought some marshmallow root capsules with the intention of adding them to a healing salve i am making, however i really dont jnow how much to add. Would you be willing to give me a suggestion for this. Maybe gow many capsules per ounce of other ingredients. Thank you.

  39. Dose it work with actual marshnellow root and not that powered form which may be made from other substances?

  40. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with Mallow root this summer and wanted to share here in case it helps other readers save some money! There are many different varieties and all will produce the mucilaginous substance we can use in remedies as well as making real marshmallows. Not only that, but no matter where you live in the USA, the plant is a common weed and you can probably find it growing right in your backyard!

    I first because intrigued with the plant after learning that the root contains natural rennet and can be used in cheese making. I was determined to find this so called weed and experiment with a frugal cheese recipe. I found something similar in my backyard called Creeping Charlie but apparently it was not what I needed. My mom happened to grow it from seed and dug up a root for me to use. After seeing the plant in person, I was better able to identify it and found it growing wild at my community garden and outside of a gas station (of all places)! I’ve since spotted it growing all over the place (I live in Ohio).

    I’ve successfully used it in cheese making and just wanted to share that Common Mallow is easier to find than the article states and for those who can’t always afford to order all the great herbs Katie writes about, a little foraging might pay off!