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Marshmallow Root For Ulcers, Coughs, Others

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Marshmallow root, or Althaea officinalis, is a flowering plant that has played a role in herbal medicine for centuries.

Many people use marshmallow root for various ailments, including coughs, skin irritation, and digestive problems, such as ulcers. It comes in the forms of a powder, capsule, tea, and cough syrup.

Some of the reported benefits of marshmallow root are:

Protecting against ulcers.

The marshmallow plant may reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.

A study found that marshmallow flower extract could help protect the gut from gastric ulcers.

Researchers tested the effects of the extract on rats, using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to induce ulcers in the rodents. Rats that received marshmallow root were less likely to develop stomach ulcers than rats who did not get the extract.

Based on these results, the authors suggest that the mucilage and flavonoids in the marshmallow plant may cover and protect the mucous lining of the stomach, which may reduce the risk of certain ulcers, including NSAID-associated ulcers.

Relieving coughs

Some natural and herbal cough syrups and cough drops contain marshmallow root. The mucilage may have a soothing effect on the esophagus by coating it.The results of several small studies have suggested that herbal cough remedies that contain marshmallow root can have this effect. One study found that marshmallow root lozenges or syrup helped treat a dry cough.

Another study found that children who took an herbal mixture that contained marshmallow and other herbs, including chamomile and common mallow, had a less severe cough and fewer nighttime awakenings than those who received a placebo instead. This study did not, however, look at the effects of marshmallow root alone, so other herbs in the mixture could have been responsible for the medicinal effects.

Improving dry mouth

Chronic dry mouth, which the medical community calls xerostomia, can cause an increase in cavities, gum disease, and dental infections. Dry mouth usually means that a person has too little saliva in their mouth.

Antihistamines, blood pressure medications, neurological problems, and autoimmune diseases are among its many causes.

The authors of one study concluded that people who have hyposalivation, or low levels of saliva, may benefit from using marshmallow root. The herbal remedy helped with dry mouth symptoms, although it was not more effective than the other two treatments in the study, which were both over-the-counter dry mouth treatments.

To treat dry mouth, people can use marshmallow root lozenges. It is important to allow the lozenge to dissolve slowly in the mouth and to avoid chewing it.

Alternatively, people can make an herbal tea using either marshmallow root tea bags or the dried herb in a tea strainer and drink two to three cups daily.

Due to its low risk of side effects and long history of medicinal use, marshmallow root is a good natural option for treating minor ailments. As with any herbal remedy, ask a doctor before using it, and do not use herbs in place of a doctor’s recommended treatment.

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