Althaea officinalis, Marshmallow, Αλθαία νερομολόχα η δενδρομολόχα.
The Althaea officinalis is a herb native of Europe, preferring salty damp meadows and marshes. It thrives close to the sea and on the banks of tidal rivers. Originally from Africa, it was extensively used as a medicinal plant by the Egyptians.
Althaea officinalis when boiled in milk or water will relieve symptoms of whooping-cough, bronchitis, coughs and sore throat. It is well known for its antitussive, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and mucilaginous properties. These traits are drawn from the polysaccharides and flavonoids contained in the roots and leaves on this herb.
Owing to its anti-inflammatory and mucous-membrane-soothing properties, it is also used for treating a number of digestive problems such as Chron’s disease, stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, indigestion, and acute heartburn. It is also known to cure urinary infection and dysentery.
Recently, the extract of the Althaea officinalis has also been used successfully in treating dermatitis, eczema and a number of other inflammatory skin problems.
The herb is normally taken as syrup or tincture if the remedy sought is for the sore throat; as tea for digestive problems and capsules for Chron’s disease. For skin problems and other mild inflammatory conditions, it is added as extract in ointments and creams.