The Shepherd's Purse

Please Note:   Personal health matters should be discussed with an appropriate health care practitioner. The sole responsibility for the application of the information contained herein remains with the reader and user of this information.

Althea   althea officinalis
Marshmallow Root

See Cautions below in RED

Contains:   mucilage polysaccharides composed of galacturonorhamnans, arabinans, glucans, and arabinogalactans; carbohydrates (2535% starch, 11% pectin); the flavonoid glycosides kaempferol and quercetin; caffeic, chlorogenic, ferulic, and syringic phenolic acids; tannins; sugars (10% sucrose); amines (up to 2% asparagine); fat (1.7%); calcium oxalate; coumarins; and sterols

Parts Used:  Root muciligenous, flower expectorant

Actions:     Alleviates local irritation. Internally as demulcent and topically as emollient and vulnerary The mucilage from marshmallow root coats the mucosa, protecting them from local irritations

Use as:     Flowers: Syrup made from infused tea as cough expectorant

                Leaves: Infusion used for bronchial and urinary disorders

                Root:  Decoction for inflammations such as esophagitis and cystitus, use
                25g root to 1 liter water, and boild down to about 750 ml.  This may
                need further dilution.

                Tincture:  Use for inflammations of the mucous membranes of the
                digestive and urinary systems.

                Poultice:  Use the root or a paste of the powdered root mixed with water
                for skin inflammations and ulcers.

                Ointment:  For wounds, skin ulceration, or to help draw splinters, melt
                50 g lanolin, 50 g beeswax, and 300 g soft paraffin together, then heat
                100 g powdered marshmallow root in these liquid fats for an hour over a
                 waterbath.  When cool, stir in 100 g powdered slippery elm bark.

Important Information

Prepare for cough tea and cough syrup medicines and as antitussive and demulcent preparations

Prepare a poultice with the leaves to suppress inflammation. Useful in gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining.

Internal use of marshmallow root for irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa and associated dry cough, and for mild inflammation of the gastric mucosa

Internally for gastroenteritis, peptic and duodenal ulceration, common and ulcerative colitis, and enteritis. Topically: as a mouthwash or gargle for inflammation of the mouth and pharynx; as a poultice or ointment/cream in furunculosis, eczema and dermatitis Use for dry cough and irritations of the oral, pharyngeal, or gastric mucosa.

Use for soothing of irritation from mucosal inflammations in the mouth and pharynx, upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract.

Used in cosmetics for weather damaged skin.

Marshmallow is a perennial herb native throughout damp areas of Europe and western Asia, naturalized in North America in salt marshes from Massachusetts to Virginia


If using the leaf, be aware contains coumarin a blood thinner.

If using the tincture for digestive or urinary disorders, mix with a little hot water to reduce alcohol content.

If you take other drugs, stagger their administration times with marshmaollow's becuase the herb may slow drug absorption.

Don't take this if you take insulin because it amy make your blood sugar drop to low.

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