<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Marshmallow

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(Althaea officinalis)
Common names: Althaea or Althea, Mortification Root, Sweet Weed, Wymote.


© 2003 Karen Shelton    
Parts Used: Leaves, root, flowers. Methods Used: Water extraction.
Spiritual Uses: None identified to date.

Physical Uses: The name 'Althea' comes from the Greek word 'to heal.'

Traditional herbalism mixes Marshmallow with honey and uses it as a poultice for burns, wounds, and other skin irritations.

The root was infused with water for a soothing gargle and the peeled root, boiled and mixed with honey and fruit juice, is still used as a pleasant cough syrup.

Infusions of the root in milk and honey have been used to treat croup.

Marshmallow Tea is used to treat bronchitis, coughs, sore throats, asthma and insomnia.

A calming drink, it aids with digestion and other gastrointestinal disorders.

A soothing eyewash, it is also used to treat ulcers and colitis. The fresh leaves were infused and then the leaves could be applied as an eye poultice or compress.

A poultice of the root can be used to draw the infection from a festering wound.

A treatment for diabetes (Diabetes Tea) was made with White Pine Bark, Marshmallow, Poplar Bark and Uva Ursi leaves.

The tea has been used as a hair rinse for itchy, flaky scalps. A traditional remedy for psoriasis is Psoriasis Soap.



A traditional treatment for psoriasis was made as follows:

  1. Chop a root and bruise the pieces.
  2. Boil the root in at least a quart of water.
  3. Maintain a simmering boil.
  4. Skim off the starchy material that will float to the surface of the water.
  5. Continue to boil the root until no more starch is produced.
  6. Use the starch as a gentle soap on the scab patches.


  1. Mix equal amounts of
    1. White Pine (Pinus strobus) Bark (or resin),
    2. Marshmallow,
    3. Poplar Bark (Populus tremoloides), and
    4. Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi). Store in a tightly covered container.
  2. Boil 1 pint of water.
  3. Add 1 teaspoonful of the mixture. Stir briefly and cover.
  4. Allow to steep for hour.
  5. Strain out and discard the herbs.
  6. Dosage: Administer in small doses throughout the day.
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