Latin Name: Althaea officinalis
The listings of research below represents a compilation of scientific articles found on the species, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. Research found is catalogued by therapeutic action. This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use.
- Al-Snafi, A. E. (2013). The pharmaceutical importance of Althaea officinalis and Althaea rosea: A review. Int J Pharm Tech Res, 5(3), 1387-1385.
- Shah, S. A., Akhtar, N., Akram, M., Shah, P. A., Saeed, T., Ahmed, K., & Asif, H. M. (2011). Pharmacological activity of Althaea officinalis L. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 5(24), 5662-5666.
- Natural Standard (2015). Marshmallow Monograph. www.naturalstandard.com
- ACHS (2017). Course Material: Herb502: Marshmallow Monograph. www.achs.edu
- May interact with diabetic medications, diuretics like lithium, and drugs taken orally because of its mucilage effect (Natural Standard, 2015).
- Discontinue use up to two weeks before surgery; it may affect blood glucose levels (Natural Standard, 2015)
- In a double blind study, A. officinalis reduced the cough of those taking and having side effects from enzyme inhibitor drugs to treat hypertension. Rouhi, H., & Ganji, F. (2007). Effect of Althaea officinalis on cough associated with ACE inhibitors. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 6(3), 256-258.
- In an open trial of 62 patients, a cough syrup made from ivy leaves, thyme herb, aniseed and marshmallow root was effective. From: Büechi, S., Vögelin, R., von Eiff, M. M., Ramos, M., & Melzer, J. (2005). Open trial to assess aspects of safety and efficacy of a combined herbal cough syrup with ivy and thyme. Complementary Medicine Research, 12(6), 328-332.
- In a double blind study, patients with face lesions from leishmaniasis showed improvement with a topical treatment of marshmallow and hollyhock. From: Zerehsaz, F., Salmanpour, R., Handjani, F., Ardehali, S., Panjehshahin, M. R., Tabei, S. Z., & Tabatabaee, H. R. (1999). A double‐blind randomized clinical trial of a topical herbal extract (Z‐HE) vs. systemic meglumine antimoniate for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. International journal of dermatology, 38(8), 610-612.
EPITHELIAL CELLS / MOCOUS MEMBRANES
- In vitro, marshmallow extracts stimulated epithelial cells to support the traditional use for treatment of irritated mucous membranes. From: Deters, A., Zippel, J., Hellenbrand, N., Pappai, D., Possemeyer, C., & Hensel, A. (2010). Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from Marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): Cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 127(1), 62-69.
- Lozenges containing marshmallow root showed an effect in treating irritated oropharyngeal mucosa associated with a dry irritable cough. Benbassat, N., Kostova, B., Nikolova, I., & Rachev, D. (2013). Development and evaluation of novel lozenges containing marshmallow root extract. Pak J Pharm Sci, 26, 1103-1107.
ANTIMICROBIAL / ANTIBACTERIAL
- Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) and Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) had bactericide and bacteriostatic effects against tested bacteria. From: Zarei, B., Saifi, T., Fazeli, A., Khodadadi, E., & Namavar, A. (2013). Evaluation of Antibacterial effects of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) On four strains of bacteria. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences, 5(14), 1571.
- Meadowsweet, okra, eyebright, marshmallow, and plantain were reviewed as botanicals for acid reflux. From: Olivier, R. (2014). Specific botanicals as an aid for acid reflux. Published on the web on Jan, 9.
- In mice, plants of the Malvaceae family as well as Plantago asiatica showed strong hypoglycemic activity. From: Tomoda, M., Shimizu, N., Oshima, Y., Takahashi, M., Murakami, M., & Hikino, H. (1987). Hypoglycemic activity of twenty plant mucilages and three modified products. Planta medica, 53(01), 8-12.
- Throat coat, a tea including licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow, reduced throat pain in patients. From: Brinckmann, J., Sigwart, H., & van Houten Taylor, L. (2003). Safety and efficacy of a traditional herbal medicine (Throat Coat®) in symptomatic temporary relief of pain in patients with acute pharyngitis: A multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 9(2), 285-298.
- Marshmallow, beet, chicory, watermelon, coriander, licorice, fummitory, henna, chamomile, peppermint, water lilly, great plantain, purslain, pomogranate, willow, violet, and jujube have been used in Persian medicine to help reduce fever in children. From: Hadian, F., Varshochi, M., Zargaran, A., Besharat, M., & Mousavi Bazaz, M. (2019). Medicinal Herbs Useful in Pediatric Fever from the Perspective of Persian Medicine. International Journal of Pediatrics, 7(9), 10087-10098.
By: Kathy Sadowski
Last Updated: 9/30/19