Marshmallow is a plant. The leaves and the root are used to make medicine. Don’t confuse marshmallow with the mallow (Malva sylvestris) flower and leaf.
Magnesium is an element your body needs to function normally. Magnesium oxide may be used for different reasons. Some people use it as an antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion. Magnesium oxide also may be used as a laxative for short-term, rapid emptying of the bowel (before surgery, for example). It should not be used repeatedly. Magnesium oxide also is used as a dietary supplement when the amount of magnesium in the diet is not enough. Magnesium oxide is available without a prescription.
Marshmallow root contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that becomes slippery when wet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, mucilage coats both the respiratory and digestive tract, helping soothe irritation and ulcers that may be present. It helps with sore throat and has been used traditionally to treat catarrh and bronchitis. It can also be applied topically to soothe irritation in the skin caused by rashes or skin infections, as well as allergic reactions such as hives.
For a strong tea of the root, make a decoction by adding one-fourth cup of chopped dry root to a medium pot of boiling water. Simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes, and then drain out the root. Drink throughout the day. For external applications, soak a cotton rag in the tea to make a compress that can be applied topically to affected areas of the skin.
The mucilage in marshmallow root can promote bowel movements and loosen stools. This mild laxative property of the herb is used in folk medicine to treat pain associated with constipation, as well as the discomfort that accompanies diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
To achieve the laxative effects of marshmallow root, drink a strong decoction followed by two or three glasses of water to help the herb pass through the digestive tract quickly. You can also use the tea of marshmallow for an enema if the problem persists.
Marshmallow root is a safe herb and can be used for extended periods of times without any harmful side effects.
Herbalist David Hoffmann writes in his book “The New Holistic Herbal,” that marshmallow root works as an anti-inflammatory agent for both external and internal ailments. Internally, it helps inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, treating disorders such as inflammation of the mouth, gastritis and colitis. For external uses, it treats boils, sunburns and ulcers, as well as varicose veins.
Herbs2000.com explains that you can make a marshmallow root tea by adding 2 teaspoons of dry root to a cup of boiling water, and let it steep for five minutes. Drink slowly as often as needed to achieve desired results.
Marshmallow is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. In some people, it might cause low blood sugar levels.
Marshmallow is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied directly to the skin.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of marshmallow during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: There is a concern that marshmallow might interfere with blood sugar control. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar carefully to avoid dangerously low blood sugar.
Surgery: Marshmallow might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop taking marshmallow at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Lithium interacts with MARSHMALLOW
Marshamallow might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking marshmallow might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with MARSHMALLOW
Marshmallow might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking marshmallow along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
- Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
- Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with MARSHMALLOW
Marshmallow contains a type of soft fiber called mucilage. Mucilage can decrease how much medicine the body absorbs. Taking marshmallow at the same time you take medications by mouth can decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction take marshmallow at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.
Altea, Alteia, Althaea officinalis, Althaea taurinensis, Althaeae Folium, Althaeae Radi, Althea, Althée, Guimauve, Guimauve Officinale, Gulkhairo, Herba Malvae, Mallards, Malvavisco, Marsh Maillo, Mauve Blanche, Mortification Root, Racine de Guimauve, Sweet Weed, Wymote
Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-774-marshmallow.aspx?activeingredientid=774&activeingredientname=marshmallow