Marshmallow root is a European plant primarily grown in Poland, according to a scientist from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland . This plant is popular in herbal medicine, and people use it for a variety of reasons. Researchers have conducted studies with marshmallow root to determine its effectiveness, and the results have been encouraging.
Marshmallow Root for Cough
People use marshmallow root as a cough suppressant, and the research has evaluated its effectiveness for this purpose. In a study with guinea pigs, researchers affiliated with the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Comenius University tested the effects of marshmallow root extract on cough. They found that the marshmallow root suppressed cough similarly to the common cough medicine codeine . This study was published in a 2009 edition of the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, and it suggests that marshmallow root is useful as a natural cough medicine.
Marshmallow Root as an Antibiotic
In addition to its cough suppressant effect, marshmallow root may be effective as an antibiotic. A 2007 study in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology studied the impact of marshmallow root extracts on 52 different types of bacteria. The authors of the study, who were from the Erzurum Regional Hygiene Institute and Ataturk University in Turkey, found that certain marshmallow root extracts had a strong antibacterial effect against several types of bacteria . Marshmallow root could, therefore, be effective against bacterial infections.
Marshmallow Root and Respiratory Infections
Because of its antibacterial effects, marshmallow root could be especially effective against respiratory infections. A 2015 study in the Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science assessed the effects of extracts and essential oil from marshmallow root on bacteria and a fungus linked to respiratory infections. Titled “Antimicrobial Efficacy of Althaea Officinalis Linn. Seed Extracts and Essential Oil Against Respiratory Tract Pathogens,” the study found that marshmallow root essential oil was especially efficacious against Streptococcus and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria . Individuals suffering from respiratory infections might find that they heal faster with a marshmallow root supplement, based upon the results of this study.
Wound Healing with Marshmallow Root
Extracts of marshmallow root could be useful for treating wounds. Researchers from the University of Arak and the Ilam University of Medical Sciences conducted a study with marshmallow root for publication in a 2015 edition of the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. They discovered that when rats were treated with a marshmallow root extract, their wounds healed more quickly when compared to rats in a control group . Marshmallow root can be applied to wounds to speed the healing process.
Marshmallow Root for Pain Relief
In addition to its ability to heal wounds, marshmallow root seems to provide a pain-relieving effect. In 2015, researchers affiliated with the Hamadan University of Medical Sciences and the Islamic Azad University conducted a study with marshmallow root, and their results were published in Avicenna Journal of Neuro Psych Physiology. Rats in the study were treated with either marshmallow root extract, morphine, or a combination of naloxone and marshmallow root extract; there was also a control group. Study results indicated that marshmallow root extract was significantly more effective than the placebo was for reducing pain sensitivity . Per the results of this research, marshmallow root could be effective as a natural pain reliever and could be used instead of costly, potentially dangerous, prescription pain medications.
Marshmallow Root for Ulcers
In addition to its numerous other benefits, marshmallow root could help fight against ulcers. A 2015 study in the UK Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biosciences found that marshmallow root extract had a protective effect against gastric ulcers in mice . Scientists associated with Nahda University, Beni-Sueif University, and Umm Al-Qura University in Egypt led this study.
Marshmallow Root for Digestive and Gut Health ??Similar to its ability to prevent stomach ulcers, marshmallow root has also been implicated in gut and digestive health. In a report titled, “Identification of Medicinal Plants of Urmia for Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders,” researchers affiliated with Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, and Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences in Iran explained that studies have shown that marshmallow root contains fiber and antioxidants, and it has anti-inflammatory effects . These characteristics can promote healthy digestion and prevent the development of inflammation and irritation in the gut and digestive tract.
According to the research, marshmallow root can help fight against specific medical conditions, such as gastric ulcers, in addition to providing more general antibiotic, cough suppressant, wound healing, and pain relieving effects. Marshmallow root’s pain relieving properties make it useful for headaches and muscle aches and pains; it could also perhaps be used to treat back pain. In cases of illnesses, a marshmallow root supplement can be taken to help treat cough or even to help fight against the illness. Based on the research, taking a marshmallow root supplement at the onset of illness likely would be helpful and harmless, given its antibiotic effects. Finally, individuals suffering from cuts, scrapes, or burns can apply marshmallow root to provide relief and facilitate wound healing.
Those who wish to benefit from the numerous positive effects of marshmallow root can find it available as a pill or a liquid extract; it is sometimes also sold as an essential oil. Whatever the reason for taking marshmallow root, most people can find some benefit associated with this supplement.