The content of the article
Marshmallow (or rather, the root of a plant, which is more often used in medicine)
in some cases may well replace drugs for the treatment of the
digestive and respiratory organs, serve as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory
agent, and become the basis for medical cosmetics. But for this you need
to know and follow a few simple rules for the procurement and processing of raw materials.
Useful properties of marshmallow
Composition and nutrients
The roots were found to contain a high content of starchy
and mucous substances, sugar, pectin, lecithin, carotene, essential oils,
mineral salts, as well as essential amino acids (betaine, asparagine).
In addition to the indicated substances contained in the roots, the leaves
also contain vitamin C and rubber-like substances. The seeds are rich in fatty
oils: linolenic, linoleic and oleic.
In traditional medicine
Althea officinalis is of great importance in the pharmaceutical
industry. On its basis, drugs are produced for the treatment of diseases
of the respiratory and digestive organs. So marshmallow root has anti-inflammatory
and expectorant properties, relieves swelling of the palate and tonsils,
softens cough and improves sputum discharge. Due to the high
content of mucous substances, marshmallows are prescribed for gastritis,
stomach and duodenal ulcers and colitis.
In folk medicine
In folk medicine, the infusion of marshmallow roots is used as compresses,
lotions and rinsing for skin tumors, lichen and burns. Also
, syrups, infusions, decoctions or alcoholic tinctures are made from it.
Pour boiling water
over dry marshmallow flowers (1 dec. L.) And let it brew for an hour. Then strain and take 2 tbsp. 3 times a
day. This recipe is used for whooping cough and bronchitis.
Influenza and pneumonia can be cured if you drink 50 ml 3 times a
day, an infusion of crushed dry marshmallow leaves in 200 ml of boiling water.
At the first signs of acute respiratory infections or tonsillitis, it is necessary to use an infusion
of marshmallow root and gargle with it. To do this, the crushed dry root
(2 tablespoons) must be poured with boiled water (600 ml), cooled to
30 ° C, and insisted for 8 hours. The ready-made solution is taken
25 ml 4 times a day, and the throat is also caressed at least 3 times
a day. The same infusion can be used as compresses
for prostate adenoma.
Marshmallow roots can be eaten raw in salads and boiled
, as a base for jelly and cereals. Ground marshmallow is added to bakery
Althea infusions have a beneficial effect on the skin, relieving inflammation,
irritation and improving its regenerative properties.
For dry skin, use lotions from the infusion of marshmallow root
(1.5 tablespoons dry root per 200 ml of water). Gauze folded in 3-4
layers should be moistened with a solution and applied to the face for 15-20 minutes.
After removing the gauze, the remnants of the mask should not be washed off. Also, this
infusion can be used to wipe the face after shaving or applying cosmetic
procedures (for example, peeling, vacuum massage).
Marshmallow seeds can be used to restore and heal hair.
To do this, in a water bath, it is necessary to warm up the seeds (1 tablespoon) with
vegetable oil (150 ml) for an hour. The finished mixture is rubbed
into the hair roots 2-3 times a week. The course of treatment is 15-20 times.
You can reapply the oil after 2-3 weeks.
The fibrous structure of the marshmallow stems allows them to be used
for the production of rope and paper, and the pigments obtained from flowers
are used to dye wool. Fruit oil is used in the chemical
industry for the production of paints and varnishes.
Dangerous properties of marshmallow and contraindications
Althea has no contraindications for use. Only individual
intolerance to individual plant components is possible .
The plant has one main stem, the height of which can be
more than 2 meters. Additional
strong stems (more than 10) grow from the trunk of old plants , while a young alei usually has only
one stem. Marshmallow leaves are rounded and, due to the small villi,
have a velvety texture. Flowers are usually white with a pink tinge
and are located along the entire stem, collected in small bunches of 5-7
inflorescences. The flowering period is from early June to late August.
Marshmallow fruits are in the form of a disc, inside of which there are many
seeds. The root of the plant is rather short, but powerful and reaches
2 cm in diameter.
Origin of the name
(lat. Althaéa officinális ) is a perennial medicinal
plant. The herb got its name from the Greek word Althaca, which
means “to heal” or “multi- useful ”. In the Russian and
Ukrainian languages, there are several popular names for marshmallow:
marshmallow, mallow, kalachiki, erysipelas, wild rose, palyanytsya,
dog, patientnik, ruzha psycha and others.
There is a wide variety of types of marshmallow, but
three main types are used for medicinal purposes: marshmallow, Armenian
marshmallow and hemp marshmallow. In nature, the range of the species extends to
almost the entire territory of Europe, Asia, China, North Africa
and North America, as well as in the forest-steppe areas of the Caucasus, the Carpathians
and Altai. For medical purposes, the plant is cultivated in Ukraine
and in the steppe zones ..
Reproduction and care
Marshmallow propagates by seeds or by dividing the rhizome. It is
best to sow seeds in early spring and aged in a cool room for
about 1-2 years. The plant prefers moist, saline light
soils with closely spaced groundwater. In its natural
environment, it can be found in the floodplains of rivers, shrub thickets,
in swamps, lowlands and along the shores of lakes.
Collection and Procurement
For medicinal purposes, marshmallow root is used, which is harvested
from biennial plants. When digging out the root,
25-30% of the root is left for the natural regeneration of the plant. The most favorable
period for harvesting is early spring or late autumn, when the stems are
already completely dry. From one plant, the root is taken no more often than
once every three to four years.
After digging, the marshmallow root should be cut off from the main stem,
cleaned of the earth and rinsed thoroughly. Then it is suspended in a ventilated
room for 1-3 days for drying. After that, it is necessary to
cut the root lengthwise into strips of 30-35 cm. The finished strips are dried in the oven
at a temperature not exceeding 50 ° C. Due to the fact that the dried root
absorbs moisture very quickly, it is stored in dry, well-ventilated
rooms. Sometimes leaves and thin stems are used for collection.
They are harvested before the onset of the flowering period.
Dry marshmallow retains useful properties for 3 years.
The healing properties of marshmallow have been known since ancient times, therefore,
its properties are reflected in many literary works, medicinal
works (Dioscridus, Pilinius, Theophrastus) and myths. The ancient physician Avicenna
dedicated a whole ode to the marshmallow “One of Mena”. There is also a myth about the daughter of
King Festius Alfea (Althea), who was predicted that her eldest
son would die as soon as a log burned out in the hearth. The woman was so frightened that
she snatched the cinder out of the flame and, extinguishing it, hid it securely.
However, a few years later, while hunting, her son accidentally
shot Altea’s brother to death . In desperation, the woman took out a piece of wood and burned
it. The son died instantly. This myth was complex at a time when
people considered brothers and sisters to be closer relatives than
their own children.