Althaea leaf, Althaea officinalis L. var robusta, Althaea radix, althaea root, Althaeae folium, althaeae radi, althea, althea leaf, althea root, Althea Rose of Sharon, altheia, apothekerstockmalve (German), bismalva (Italian), buonvischio (Italian), cheeses, Eibischwurzel (German), Guimauve (French), gul hatem (Turkish), Herba Malvae, hitmi (Turkish), kitmi (Turkish), Mallards, Malvaceae (family), malvacioni (Italian), malvavisco (Spanish), malve, mortification root, mucilage, Racine De Guimauve, sweet weed, witte malve, wymote.
Note: Not to be confused with mallow leaf and mallow flower. Not to be confused with confectionery marshmallows; although confectionery marshmallows were once made from the Althaea officinalis plant, they now contain mostly sugar.
Both marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) leaf and root are used in commercial preparations. Herbal formulations are made from either the dried root or leaf (unpeeled or peeled). The actual mucilaginous content of the commercial product may vary according to the time of collection.
There is a lack of available clinical trials assessing marshmallow alone for any specific health condition. Medicinal uses of marshmallow are supported mostly by traditional use and laboratory research. Limited human evidence is available studying the effects of marshmallow-containing combination products in skin conditions.
Although clinically unproven, marshmallow may interfere with the absorption of medications taken by mouth. Therefore, ingestion of marshmallow several hours before or after other agents may be warranted.
Althaea extract has been used to make pills. Marshmallow has also been used as an aid to X-ray exams of the esophagus.
Inflammatory skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis):
Marshmallow extracts have traditionally been used on the skin to treat inflammation. Several laboratory experiments, mostly in the 1960s, reported marshmallow to have anti-inflammatory activity but limited human study is available. Safety, dosing, and effectiveness compared to other anti-inflammatory agents have not been examined.