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11 Amazing Health Benefit of Marshmallow Roots: & Its Side Effects

Marshmallow root is known to be highly beneficial for human health. Marshmallow is actually a flowering plant which has been playing a crucial role in herbal medicine since ages. However, along with its excellent health benefits, marshmallow root is also known to have some side effects. If you are someone who is willing to know about the health benefits and side effects of marshmallow root then you are at the right place. Read below to discover more about the marshmallow root.

An Overview On Marshmallow Roots:

Marshmallow root or the Althaea officinalis is a herb that is native to Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia. It has got tremendous healing powers and is known to be in use for treating various health conditions. There are a lot of people who use marshmallow root for treating various health conditions, such as cough, digestive issues, ulcers, and skin irritation. Marshmallow root comes in form of a powder, tea, capsules and also in form of a cough syrup.

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Marshmallow Roots:

  1. Marshmallow Roots Might Work As A Diuretic:

    Marshmallow root is known for its potential power to act as a diuretic. Diuretics are known to help your body in flushing out excess of fluid, which in turn helps in cleansing your kidneys and your bladder. There are other research which suggests that the marshmallow extract can support your overall urinary health. According to a study of 2016, it has been suggested that the soothing effect of marshmallow can help in relieving internal irritation and also inflammation in the urinary tract.(1)

    Research from the year 2015 has also suggested that the antibacterial effect of marshmallow roots might be useful for treating UTI or the Urinary tract infections.(2) You can prepare marshmallow root tea by adding one cup of boiling water to 2 tsp of dried roots of marshmallow. Drinking a few cups of the tea throughout the day would help you greatly.

  2. It Might Help In Treating Cold And Cough:

    One of the most known health benefits of marshmallow root is that it might help in treating cold and coughs. It has high mucilaginous content in it and that might make it an essential remedy to treat cold and cough.

    One small study conducted in the year 2005 has found that an herbal cough syrup that contained marshmallow root was quite effective in getting relief from coughs due to cold, bronchitis or other respiratory tract disease with the mucus formation.(3) This cough syrup contained some more active ingredients like dry ivy leaf extract, thyme and aniseed.

    It was found that all 62 participants started experiencing an 86-90% of improvement in their cold and cough symptoms within 12 days of taking the syrup. However, it is important to have further studies so as to validate these findings.

    Marshmallow roots appear to act like an enzyme so as to loosen mucous and also to inhibit bacteria. You can take 10 ml of marshmallow root cough syrup every day. You can also prepare a tea and drink few cups of it all throughout the day.

  3. Marshmallow Roots Protect Ulcers:

    According to a study of 2015, it is found that marshmallow flower extract can help in protecting your gut from gastric ulcers.(4) Researchers have tested the effects of these flower extracts on rats, using NSAIDs so as to induce ulcers in the rodents. Rats that have received marshmallow root were found to be less likely to develop stomach ulcers than the rats that did not get the extract.

    Based on these results, it was suggested by authors that the mucilage and flavonoids present in marshmallow might cover and also protect the mucous lining of our stomach, which might reduce the risk of getting specific ulcers, including NSAIDs-Associated ulcers.

  4. It Acts As A Pain Reliever:

    As per a study from the year 2014, it has been cited that marshmallow root can act as an analgesic for relieving pain.(5) This might make these roots a wonderful choice for soothing conditions that result in pain and irritation, like an abrasion or sore throat. You need to take 2-5 ml of marshmallow root extract in its liquid form, thrice every day.

  5. Marshmallow Roots Protects Your Throat From Acid Reflux:

    When we talk about the health benefits of marshmallow roots, how could we not list about its benefits in protecting your throat from acid reflux? When there occurs gastric reflux, your stomach acids flows back up to your throat, which can lead to damage in the esophagus. The demulcent effect of marshmallow whereby, the mucilage coats the esophagus of a person can protect it from the damaging stomach acids. You can use the powdered form of the marshmallow roots as it is more effective than the tincture or the tea.

  6. It Helps In Digestion:

    Marshmallow roots are also known to have potential health benefits in improving the digestive conditions, such as constipation, intestinal colic, and heartburn. Research from 2011 has found that marshmallow flower extract has been showing potential health benefits in treating gastric ulcers in case of rats.(6) However, more research is essential to expand these findings. You can take 2ml to 5 ml of liquid marshmallow extract thrice every day.

  7. Marshmallow Roots Acts As An Antioxidant:

    Marshmallow roots have got antioxidant properties in them and this property might help protect our body from any damage caused by free radicals. Research from 2011 has found that these root extracts are quite comparable to standard antioxidants.(7) Although it demonstrated quite strong total antioxidant activity, it is important to have further research on it so as to have an elaborate on such findings. You must take 2-5 ml of liquid marshmallow root extract, at least thrice every day.

  8. Marshmallow Roots Help To Repair Gut Lining:

    These roots might also help to soothe irritation and inflammation in your digestive tract. An in vitro study conducted in the year 2010 has shown that aqueous extracts and polysaccharides obtained from marshmallow roots can be used in treating irritated mucous membranes.(8) Research suggests that the mucilage content in the root creates a protective layer of tissue on the digestive tract’s lining. These roots might even stimulate the cells supporting tissue regeneration. It is necessary to have further research on these findings so as to have more explanation on the same.

    To help repair gut lining using marshmallow roots, you need to take 2 ml to 5 ml of liquid marshmallow extract thrice every day. You can even take the marshmallow root extract as soon as you start experiencing the first signs of any discomfort.

  9. Heart Health Benefits Of Marshmallow Roots:

    One of the most important health benefits of marshmallow roots is the heart health benefit that it offers. Scientists are investigating on the benefits of marshmallow in treating several heart issues.

    An animal study of 2011 has examined the effects of liquid marshmallow flower extract and found it is beneficial in treating conditions like lipemia, inflammation, and platelet aggregation.(9) These conditions are at times associated with cardiovascular diseases. Researchers have found that consuming the marshmallow flower extract for at least a month could have a positive effect on the HDL cholesterol levels, thus promoting your heart health. However, more research is required to expand these findings.

    For getting the benefits you can take 2 ml to 5 ml of liquid marshmallow extract thrice a day.

  10. Hair Health Benefits Of Marshmallow:

    The mucilage present in marshmallow roots might also be used to benefit your hair health. This mucilage binds with your hair proteins and makes the strands appear quite thicker. This mucilage might even be used as a hair conditioner and hair detangler.

  11. Skin Health Benefits of Marshmallow:

    Marshmallow Might Help With Wound Healing: Marshmallow roots have got excellent antibacterial activity and this make it quite effective in healing of wound. The results that came from an animal study of 2015 suggest that marshmallow roots extract has got enough potential in treating gram-positive bacteria.(10, 11) These bacteria are known to be responsible for more than 50% of the infections that occur and also that they include the antibiotic-resistant “Super bugs”.

    When these extracts were topically applied to rat wounds, it increased the wound healing significantly in comparison to the antibiotic controls. Marshmallow roots are thought to speed up the time of healing and also to reduce inflammation. However, further research on this is still essential so as to confirm these findings. You can apply an ointment or a cream containing marshmallow root extract on your affected area at least thrice every day for few days to see desired results.

    It Might Help In Relieving Skin Irritation: Marshmallow roots are known to have anti-inflammatory effects and they might help in relieving the irritation of skin that is caused by furunculosis, dermatitis and eczema. As per a review from the year 2013, it has been found that using an ointment that contains 20% of marshmallow root extract, has reduced skin irritation.(12) Researchers have suggested that this herb stimulates specific cells that have got anti-inflammatory activity.

    When used alone, this marshmallow root extract was slightly less effective as compared to an ointment having an anti-inflammatory synthetic drug. However, an ointment with both ingredients had higher and more effective anti-inflammatory activity than the ointments that contain only one ingredient. It must also be mentioned that more research on this is required to confirm the benefit. You can apply an ointment with 20% of marshmallow root extract on your affected area at least thrice every day to see the best results.

  12. It Might Provide Overall Benefit To Your Skin Health:

    Marshmallow roots are also known to provide an overall benefit to your skin health. These extracts might be used for enhancing your skin appearance, especially if your skin has been exposed to more of Ultraviolet rays. In simpler words it can be said that anyone who is even been out in the hot sunlight, might be benefited from application of topical marshmallow roots.

    Although lab research from the year 2016 supports the use of these extracts in UV skin care formulations, researchers require learning more about the marshmallow root extract’s chemical makeup and their practical applications.(13) You need to apply a cream, oil, or an ointment that contains marshmallow root extract in the morning and also in the evening. You can even apply them more often after being exposed to the sun.

Side Effects, Special Precautions and Warnings Of Marshmallow Roots:

In general marshmallow roots are well tolerated. However, in few cases this root extract can result in dizziness and upset stomach. So, you should start with a low dose at first and gradually increase the dose so as to reduce any risk of side effects.

  • You must also know that marshmallow roots must be taken only for 4 weeks at a time and ensure that you take an entire week break before resuming its use.
  • Marshmallow root extracts when applied topically might result in skin irritation. This is the reason why you should always do a patch test before applying it on the affected sides.
  • You should always maintain special precautions and keep it as a warning before using marshmallow roots. Below are some of them.
  • Avoid using marshmallow roots if you are pregnant or if you are a breast-feeding mother.
  • You must be made aware that marshmallow might increase your risk of bleeding and thus you should avoid it if you suffer from bleeding disorders.
  • It could also be a concern if you have diabetes and use marshmallow roots as t might interfere with blood sugar control.

Marshmallow root extract might also affect you negatively if you have are going to have surgery. It might affect blood sugar levels and slow down blood clotting. There is also a concern that it could interfere with the blood sugar control and also increase your risk of bleeding while and also after the surgery. So, stop taking marshmallow at least 2 weeks before your scheduled date of surgery

Take Away:

So, from all the above explanation we get to know about the exclusive health benefits and also the potential side effects of marshmallow roots. Though, it might be generally safe to use, you must always talk to your doctor before taking marshmallow root and you also need to know that this herbal remedy is does not replace any treatment plan approved by your doctor.

You should also note that in case you are experiencing any side effects due to marshmallow root extracts, you should consult with your doctor immediately.


Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 15, 2022

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