Marshmallow: Herb of the Week

In honor of Clara, the awesome editor of our new book, this week marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is our herb of the week! She was pregnant during the writing and editing phase, and just went on maternity leave. We couldn’t have done this without her, but the coolest thing for us was how enthusiastic she was about what we were writing!

She shared this photo and said: “Your heartburn remedies were GAMECHANGERS for me. Totally helped me get thru this pregnancy without having to pop too many Tums! I also put together a couple of remedies to help me after the baby comes – both of which I also sent to my best friend, who was appreciative. I am now a COMPLETE CONVERT to the power of herbal allies and love them to death!!”

Recovery from Reflux

Whether you’re pregnant or just stressed, try marshmallow root the next time you have heartburn. It soothes the mucous membranes of the esophagus without impacting your body’s ability to make stomach acid – which, it turns out, you need to digest your food.

For this effect, it’s important to make a cold infusion, which is super simple: just put a couple tablespoons of roots in a jar, and fill it up with room temperature water. Just let it sit there and 4-6 hours later, presto! You’ve got a thick, soothing solution that will feel great.

If you’re prone to frequent heartburn, just make some marshmallow infusion every day. You can drink it anytime: it’s hydrating and soothing in so many ways – or just have it when you feel symptoms.

Settled, Smooth, and Sustainable

That soothing action of a marshmallow root cold infusion isn’t limited to the esophagus – this is also excellent medicine for ulcers and intestinal irritation as well! For that matter, if your mouth is sore and irritated from braces brackets and wires (speaking from experience here!), marshmallow will fix that right up too.

So if any of that sounds familiar, get yourself some marshmallow root. You might have learned to turn to slippery elm in these circumstances, but slippery elm is at risk due to dutch elm disease, whereas marshmallow can be organically cultivated – it’s a much more sustainable source of soothing action! Even “family herbalists” need to be thoughtful about sustainability.

Inner Waters

Baby marshmallow leaves are happy about the rain we’ve had recently.

Speaking of water, did you know that marshmallow is really potent kidney medicine? It has not only a soothing and softening effect due to its demulcency, but it’s surprisingly antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary (promoting healing) as well! Marshmallow infusions can be fantastic for kidney stones and gravel, and UTIs too.

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PS: We have a full video + text herbal monograph on marshmallow (and 86 other herbs) in our Materia Medica course, which you can take stand-alone or as a component of our Herbalism 101 program.

Herbalism 101 Online Video Program

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