This soothing herbal brew is traditionally used for everything from coughs and sore throats to digestive issues and wound healing. Find out more of the health benefits of marshmallow root tea.
Indigenous to western Europe and northern Africa, marshmallow is a flowering perennial with pretty pale pink flowers. It favours wet environments, which is how it gets the marsh part of its name, and was originally used in making marshmallow candies – although modern recipes no longer include this ingredient, substituting gelatine instead.
Also known by its official name, Althaea afficinalis, marshmallow is much more than the inspiration for a sweet treat. Its use in traditional medicine goes back millennia and it is one of the best-known herbal remedies for coughs and sore throats.
The Ancient Greeks used marshmallow to heal wounds and ease the pain of a sore throat. The Egyptians boiled it with honey to make a sweet offering to the gods, while early Arabian physicians made it into a poultice to ease inflammation and chest complaints.
In Ayurveda, marshmallow is used to treat coughs, sore throats, bronchitis, and runny noses. Meanwhile, the root of the marshmallow is prized in modern Western herbalism and is used as a remedy for several complaints, including coughs, sore throats, digestive issues, and skin irritation.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the benefits of marshmallow root tea in more detail and show you how you can use this soothing herb in your own home.
1. Soothes Coughs
Probably the best-known benefit of marshmallow root tea is as a traditional remedy for coughs. The root of the plant is high in mucilage – a gel-like substance found in many plants that coats irritated tissues and helps to soothe a dry, tickly cough.
Marshmallow root tea also acts as an antitussive, meaning it suppresses the urge to cough. These two properties make it an effective natural cough syrup.
2. Eases a Sore Throat
Marshmallow’s high mucilage content also has benefits when you have a sore throat. This gentle, soothing substance coats the irritated tissues of your throat, easing the scratchy pain of coughing and swallowing.
This herb also has analgesic properties – meaning it acts as a natural painkiller.
3. Protects the Digestive System
Another benefit of marshmallow root tea is its ability to form a protective layer on the lining of the digestive tract. This protects your digestive system against irritation and inflammation and allows the lining of the gut to heal from any existing damage.
As a result, marshmallow root is often used as a herbal treatment for inflammatory digestive conditions like IBS, colitis, heartburn, and indigestion.
4. Supports Skin Health
Internally, marshmallow root helps to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation. And it plays the same role for the outside of our bodies too, supporting our overall skin health and helping with wound healing.
Marshmallow has antibacterial properties that can help to prevent infection. It has also shown potential for treating irritation associated with skin issues such as eczema.
5. Calms a Urinary Tract Infection
Back inside our bodies, marshmallow’s soothing properties can also come in handy when you have a UTI. This herb acts as a natural diuretic, helping to keep fluid moving through your system properly.
Marshmallow’s antibacterial and painkilling abilities are also useful for treating UTIs and easing the pain associated with them.
How Often Can You Drink Marshmallow Root Tea?
Whether you are struggling with a tickly cough or simply want to protect your digestive tract, marshmallow root tea is a great option to try.
Most people tolerate this herbal tea well and there are rarely any side effects. Very occasionally, marshmallow root may cause dizziness or an upset stomach, but this is more likely with stronger doses, such as a tincture.
As a result, you can drink two to three cups of marshmallow root tea daily for up to four weeks.
Of course, you should check with your doctor first if you are taking any medication or have any underlying health problems.
How to Take Marshmallow Root Tea for Coughs and Sore Throats
If you are most interested in drinking marshmallow root tea to soothe a cough or a sore throat, we recommend our NutraThroat tea.
This soothing blend combines marshmallow root with other herbs that are good for coughs and sore throats, such as eucalyptus, liquorice, slippery elm, and ginger.
Simply boil 200 ml of fresh water and pour over your tea bag. Allow it to infuse for at least 4-5 minutes, making sure to squeeze all the goodness out of the tea bag before you remove it.
Enjoy 2-3 cups a day.