Marshmallow Root C/S Organic 1oz
Marshmallow root is valued for its soothing and protecting mucilage and is used in teas, syrups, poultices, ointments and lozenges.
Botanical name: Althaea officinalis , Althaea officinalis L.
Botanical Family: Malvaceae
Common name: marshmallow
Synonyms: althea, raiz de altea (Spanish)
The Plant: The very appearance of a blooming marshmallow plant is soothing to the soul; the grey-green leaves are softly fuzzy, and the clustered flowers are a gentle pink and white, making the bushy plant seem almost cuddly.
Marshmallows soothing mucilage is contained in the root as well as the leaves and flowers and is readily apparent when chewing the fresh foliage.
The perennial plant is about four feet tall and loves moist, rich soils (thus the name marsh-mallow or a mallow that loves the marsh). It likes full or part sun, is easy to grow, and makes a good addition to an herb garden. (If you do grow it, you can use the fresh flowers to top a salad.) This European and Western Asian native is naturalized in temperate regions of the United States. In some herbals, it’s listed under the name althea.
Both the leaves and the roots of the marshmallow plant are used. The leaves have the highest levels of mucilage when harvested before flowering. The roots are harvested in the fall of their second year, when they’re at their highest mucilage content. They have a dark exterior and are creamy white inside.
Constituents of Note: Marshmallow root contains 10 to 20% mucilage (leaves contain 6 to 10%).
Quality: Marshmallow roots have a faint, starchy aroma and a somewhat sweet, mucilaginous taste.
Peeled roots are white to whitish-grey, and this is the type of root we prefer when it’s available. Unpeeled roots have the outer bark intact, and the marshmallow will appear both white and dark brown. Roots should also be free of dirt.
Regulatory Status: GRAS (Title 21 172.510) as a natural flavoring and Dietary Supplement
Did you know? The confection called marshmallows were originally made from marshmallow root extract, eggs and sugar, beaten to a foam and partially dried. The result, called p¦Ât¨¦ de guimauve, is similar to modern-day marshmallows, which are made by whipping together a sugar syrup and gum arabic or gelatin (to replace the marshmallow root extract).