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MARSHMALLOW

Other Names:

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 Gui...
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MARSHMALLOW Overview
MARSHMALLOW Uses
MARSHMALLOW Side Effects
MARSHMALLOW Interactions
MARSHMALLOW Dosing
MARSHMALLOW Overview Information

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.

Marshmallow leaf and root are used for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract. They are also used for dry cough, inflammation of the lining of the stomach, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, constipation, urinary tract inflammation, and stones in the urinary tract.

People sometimes apply marshmallow leaf and root directly to the skin for pockets of infection (abscesses) and skin ulcers; and as a poultice for skin inflammation or burns, and for other wounds.

Marshmallow leaf is used topically as a poultice for insect bites.

Marshmallow root is applied to the skin as an ingredient in ointments for chapped skin as well as for pain and swelling of the feet and hands due to exposure to the cold (chilblains).

In foods, marshmallow leaf and root are used as a flavoring agent.

How does it work?

Marshmallow forms a protective layer on the skin and lining of the digestive tract. It also contains chemicals that might decrease cough and help heal wounds.

MARSHMALLOW Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Cough caused by ACE inhibitors. Medications used for high blood pressure called ACE inhibitors can sometimes cause coughing as a side effect. Early research suggests that taking marshmallow root by mouth for 4 weeks can reduce cough caused by ACE inhibitors. Some examples of ACE-inhibitors include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril).
  • Skin infection caused by parasites (Leishmania lesions). Early research suggests that applying a combination of marshmallow and hollyhock extracts to affected skin for 5 days can help improve Leishmania lesions.
  • Sores.
  • Skin inflammation.
  • Burns.
  • Wounds.
  • Insect bites.
  • Chapped skin.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Irritation of the mouth and throat.
  • Dry cough.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of marshmallow for these uses.


MARSHMALLOW Side Effects & Safety

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.

MARSHMALLOW Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • 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.


MARSHMALLOW Dosing

The appropriate dose of marshmallow for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for marshmallow. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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