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Althea officinalis

Althea officinalis           Common name: Marshmallow

Family: Malvaceae

Parts used: Leaves & root

Constituents: Root: mucilage polysaccharides (18-35%), pectin, asparagine (2%), tannins, flavonoids, coumarins, calcium oxalates

Medicinal actions:  Demulcent, emollient, vulnerary, expectorant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive, alterative, nutritive, mild laxative, diuretic, anti-lithic.

Medicinal use: Demulcent to the gastrointestinal system, the respiratory system and the urinary system. Can be used in gastritis, peptic ulcer, interstitial cystitis, lower UTI symptom relief, pharyngitis & dry cough.

Pharmacology:

  • Polysaccharides in root are hypoglycemic, anti-tussive, anti-microbial, soothing & protective to mucous membranes (mouth, throat, GIT, and by reflex action the urinary and respiratory tract). Also stimulate phagocytosis and have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects.

Pharmacy: Infusion:  2-4 g/cup cold water (avoid boiling), infuse overnight; 1 cup TID. Tincture: (1:5, 25%), 1-4 ml TID. Dried herb: 2-5g QD. Gargle, Poultice, Syrup.

Toxicity:  A very safe herb.

Interactions: None known. Theoretically may delay the absorption of oral drugs if taken simultaneously. 

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