When thinking of the benefits and uses of marshmallow root, the first one that comes to mind for most of you will probably be treating sore throats and dry coughs. So, is marshmallow root really good for sore throats? In fact, it has been used medicinally for this purpose for more than 2,000 years. So, you could almost say it is from the traditional healing system. However, it is important to note that few scientific studies have been done on the soothing effects of this herb.
Throat problems are usually not life threatening, but they can be painful and annoying. This is because swallowing food and liquids tends to increase the pain. Many things, for example pharyngitis or tonsillitis, can cause a sore throat. The good news is that this burning or stinging sensation may go away on its own even without medical treatment, especially when it is caused by a minor illness. Or, some non-prescription remedies can help soothe colds and throat pain fast too. Besides, you can also try some natural remedies, such as marshmallow root, licorice root, slippery elm, salt water, peppermint, fenugreek, chamomile tea, and so on.
As one of the best herbs for sore throat, marshmallow root can help ease soreness and scratchiness quickly. After all, it has a long history of being used as an herbal remedy for this ailment. The reason why this herb helps soothes throat pain is mainly because it contains a gummy substance called mucilage, which will become slippery when wet. That’s to say, it can coat membranes and soothe them during inflammation. For that same reason, it can form a protective coating on the throat to reduce irritation and provide temporary pain relief.
From the perspective of active ingredients, the soothing effect of marshmallow root comes from flavonoids, asparagine, pectin, tannins, coumarin, quercetin, and other compounds. Because of the presence of these active ingredients, this herb is able to inhibit oxidation, destroy viruses, inhibit the growth of bacteria, and so on. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the above-mentioned active ingredients could reduce swelling and pain of the mucous membranes. It forms, as the researchers explain, a bioadhesive layer on the cell surface to guard and soothe mucous membranes.
As a matter of fact, you can find marshmallow extract in today’s many throat lozenges and cough syrups. When used as sore throat remedy, marshmallows are often combined with other herbs and essential oils to strengthen the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The most commonly essential oils used along include frankincense, cypress, oregano, myrrh, Echinacea, and so on. As an added bonus, the combination like that can help address the underlying causes of the condition while easing symptoms or discomfort fast.
As mentioned above, marshmallows have many great health benefits and therapeutic uses. Besides of soothing sore throats, it is worth mentioning that it still heals skin troubles, reduces water retention, speeds up the healing of urinary problems, improves digestive problems like Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), supports heart health, and so on.
Today, the special compounds found in marshmallows have been successfully isolated. So, this herb now can be available in the forms of tinctures, teas, and supplements. As for where to buy marshmallow root, in most cases you can find it from your local health food store. If you can’t find it at any of your local retail stores, you can buy it online too.