Althea officinalis (marshmallow)
Althea officinalis, commonly called marshmallow, belongs to Malvaceae (mallow) family. Indigenous to Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa, this plant grows especially well in swamps and marshes. Its roots are used both internally and externally for inflammatory conditions. Internally, marshmallow root's demulcent property contributes to its ability to soothe mucous membranes, including irritation with the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary tract. Externally, its roots are used for burns and ulcers, among other skin conditions involving inflammation. Its roots contain mucilage, pectin, polysaccharides, flavonoids, coumarin. The Ancient Egyptians are credited with making marshmallows by combining boiled root pulp with honey, creating a therapeutic sweet treat. Unfortunately, nowadays marshmallows contain no actual marshmallow root, but rather corn syrup, gelatin, artificial flavors.
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