you're reading...

Althea officinalis  

Althea officinalis

Common name: Marshmallow

Family: Malvaceae

Parts used: Leaves & root



  • Mucilage & Polysaccharides (pectin)
  • Tannins
  • Flavonoids
  • Coumarins
  • Calcium oxalate
  • Amino acids (Asparagine)


Medicinal actions:

  • Alterative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Demulcent & Emollient
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant (soothing)
  • Immunomodulator
  • Nutritive
  • Vulnerary




Medicinal use:

  • As a demulcent and diuretic in diseases involving mucous membrane irritation and catarrh such as acute dysentery, diarrhea, kidney, bladder, and respiratory inflammation. Also applied topically in the form of poultice for painful and inflammatory tumors, swellings, bruises, burns, scalds, or infections.


  • Mucilage & Polysaccharides are hypoglycemic, anti-tussive, anti-microbial, soothing & protective to mucous membranes (mouth, throat, GIT, and by reflex action the urinary and respiratory tract). Will also stimulate phagocytosis and have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects. As a form of soluble fiber has gentle bulking laxative effects and draws out toxins from the bowels.


  • Best taken as cold Infusion: 2-4 g/cup water, infuse overnight; 1 cup TID.
  • Tincture: (1:2, 25%), 3-6 ml QD.
  • Dried herb: 2-5 g QD.
  • Topically as poultice or compress.
  • As food (syrup, porridge or gruel).


  • A very safe herb and food. May cause some stomach upset in some individuals. 


  • No known contraindications.


  • Theoretically may delay the absorption of oral drugs if taken simultaneously. Take at least 2 hours away from other medications.



  • Find a complete list of references for this monograph as well as images and a review of its evidence based applications in Dr. Marciano’s Herbal Textbook.


Comments are closed.

NPLEX II Herbal Review Course

Are you writing NPLEX II this summer?

Join me for an (as fun as possible!) day of herbal learning, meant to save you study time and build your confidence in answering exam-like questions about botanical medicine for your upcoming NPLEX II exam.

Wednesday July 7th 10am – 2pm PST


A place for all things herbal medicine

Created and maintained with love by Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND



This site is created and maintained as a free resource for herb lovers around the world. Donations are accepted with gratitude :)


Get my new book here!

The Botanical Medicine Manual is the best multidisciplinary, integrated guide available for students, clinicians & instructors. This book gives top quality content that you will refer to often in class, for board exams & in practice. Topics include, study tips, Botanical Actions, Constituents, Pharmacy, Monographs, Nutrition, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Fiber and much more evidence informed medicine. Cost is $39.95