Useful properties and uses of marshmallow root and syrup
Botanical description of marshmallow officinalis
Marshmallow is a plant that can be 2 meters high. Young plants have single stems, while older plants have about 10 stems. There is one thick stem, which is the main one, from which thin branches extend, their direction upwards. The leaves of the plant are alternate, soft, if you touch them, they resemble a bike. The leaves located at the bottom of the stem are rounded; these leaves die off at the initial stage of flowering. The middle leaves are also rounded, have a heart-shaped base, may have 3 or 5 lobes, and the upper leaves are whole.
All leaves have irregular denticles. The flowers, collected in bunches, are located on common peduncles, which are very short. The corolla of the plant consists of 5 petals, usually white, but sometimes pink. Marshmallow has a double calyx, the outer sepals are the subachia, which has 8-12 leaves, and the calyx consists of 5 leaves.
Marshmallow fruits are flat, disc-shaped and contain many seeds. Marshmallow bloom begins in June and ends in July, and seeds ripen in early autumn.
Althea officinalis grows in the south of Russia and in its middle zone, as well as in Ukraine, Central Asia and in the south and center of Europe, in the North Caucasus. And in all these areas, marshmallow is used as a medicinal and food plant. Marshmallow can be eaten, its leaves are eaten stewed, boiled, and even raw in a young unripe form (peeled from the cups). Boiled roots are also eaten.
In the floodplains of rivers, in meadows, in lakes, in thickets of bushes, you can see wild marshmallow.
Collecting and harvesting marshmallow
Marshmallow roots have medicinal properties. At the beginning of autumn, the plant roots are prepared. The roots must first be dug out, after which they are washed. If the roots are large, then they are cut along.
Drying marshmallow is allowed in the oven or in the air.
The storage conditions must be observed, since the root of the plant can be infected with various pests: moth, beetle and others. Therefore, it is necessary to store ready-made raw materials of marshmallow in metal or glass containers for no more than three years.
Seeds should be harvested from a plant that is over a year old in the fall. Namely, at that moment when the cups of the plant are already dry, and the seeds will be light gray.
Useful properties of marshmallow
Marshmallow has long been used in folk medicine, it is used in the treatment of various diseases. Root is a medicine related to mucus. It contains active compounds in the same amount as in flax seeds. Getting into the body, plant mucus ends up on the mucous membranes, this thin layer of plant mucus stays on the membranes for a long time, and all this time they prevent the membranes from irritating. As a result, damaged tissues regenerate faster and easier and inflammation stops. Plant mucus is a protector that has a softening effect on inflammatory plaque (for example, plaque on the larynx). The mucus also makes it easier to cough up.
If you take an aqueous extract of marshmallow root inside and a large dose, then it envelops the mucous membrane of the stomach. The higher the acidity of the gastric juice, the more and longer the effect of taking this medicine will last.
Due to its high medicinal properties, the content of mucus, marshmallow is used for diseases of the respiratory system and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Althea water extracts are used for chronic bronchitis, tracheitis, laryngitis, bronchial asthma. Preparations made on the basis of marshmallow are antitussive, therefore they are used for painful cough (laryngitis).
Marshmallow root is often used for gastritis and gastric ulcer.
The chemical composition of marshmallow
Marshmallow root contains many mucous substances. Mucous substances consist of polysaccharides, which decompose at the moment of hydrolysis into galactose, pentose, dextrose and arabinose.
And also the root of marshmallow contains: starch, betaine, carotene, phytosterol and lecithin, sugars, fatty oils and mineral salts.
Marshmallow has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times. Its anti-inflammatory, antitussive properties are well known. It is prescribed for the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract, it is an effective remedy for the treatment of bronchial asthma. The medicinal raw material of marshmallow is rhizome, it is fleshy, light in appearance, short and multi-headed. The stems extend upward from the rhizome, and the roots extend downward. Marshmallow root is fleshy, soft, beige.
In annuals and biennials, the root, as a rule, is one, sometimes two. Over time, the number of roots increases, and the root ages, its upper part becomes lignified, as a result of which it loses its medicinal properties.
Nowadays, the properties of marshmallow are still highly regarded. The syrup prepared on its basis is an effective remedy and is widely used in pediatrics.
Recipe for making marshmallow syrup: you need to take 2 grams of raw materials (coarsely crushed marshmallow root) and pour them into the prepared filter. Prepare a mixture consisting of wine alcohol and water in a ratio of 1:45 g and pour medicinal raw materials with it. The liquid that is glass must be collected and re-filled with raw materials. The filtration procedure is repeated for 60 minutes. The result should be 37 g, to which 63 grams of sugar are added. The resulting mass should be heated over a fire until the sugar is completely dissolved.
To the resulting solution, you can add 2-3 drops of anise oil solution (anise drops), resulting in a highly effective children's medicine for severe cough and bronchitis. Reception scheme: 1–2 teaspoons, 4–5 times a day.
Althea syrup for children
Marshmallow syrup is recommended for children as an effective expectorant. The active ingredient in marshmallow has a thinning effect (secretory) and stimulates the motor functions of the respiratory tract. To prepare baby syrup, cold infusion is mixed with pure fruit or sugar syrups. Reception scheme: 4-5 times a day, 1 teaspoon. Children under 12 years old, the syrup must be diluted in 0.5 cups of water. The duration of treatment is from 10 to 15 days.
Syrup is prescribed for acute respiratory infections of the upper respiratory tract, acute bronchitis, acute tracheitis, tracheobronchitis.
Althea syrup during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a period when it is highly undesirable to get sick. However, no one is safe from viruses and colds, and then the question of proper treatment arises. Althea syrup, according to the instructions, has practically no contraindications. Its active substance is marshmallow root, which has a positive effect on the human body for various diseases of the respiratory tract.
Despite the absence of contraindications, during pregnancy, marshmallow syrup is prescribed only after consulting a doctor. In case of allergic reactions, the drug should be discontinued immediately.
How to take marshmallow syrup
Althea syrup is taken orally, dispensed without a prescription, but treatment is recommended under medical supervision. Allowed for children. Reception scheme: children under the age of 12 years old marshmallow syrup is prescribed 1 teaspoon diluted in 50 g of warm water, it is recommended to take it 4-5 times / day. For adults and children over 12 years of age, the dose of syrup is 1 tablespoon. The syrup is diluted in 100 grams of water, taken 4-5 times a day.
It is recommended to use the drug after meals. The course of treatment is from 10 to 15 days, after which the need to continue it is agreed with the attending physician.
The roots and rhizomes of marshmallow are valuable raw materials that have a healing effect on the body. The rhizome of the plant is fleshy, light, thick, short and multi-headed. The stems extend upward from the rhizome, and the main roots downward. Marshmallow root is fleshy, soft. For the preparation of medicinal preparations, the roots of annual and biennial plants are used, of which, as a rule, one, sometimes two.
In older representatives of marshmallow, the number of roots increases, the root ages, and its upper part becomes lignified, as a result of which the root loses its medicinal properties. Procurement of medicinal raw materials is carried out in spring or autumn. Other roots are separated from the woody taproot, thoroughly cleaned from the earth, washed in water at room temperature. After preparation, they are cut into large pieces of about 20 cm. Too thick parts of the rhizome must be cut longitudinally.
It is important to free the roots from the cork layer, from spoiled woody parts. The prepared parts are immediately dried, observing the temperature regime of 35–40 ° С. It is important to avoid yellowing of the raw material. For storage, the dried roots are placed in wooden boxes, which are carefully closed. A glass container is suitable for powder. For storage, choose dry, cool places in order to avoid the formation of dampness. It must be borne in mind that during storage, the roots of the marshmallow can become damp.
Marshmallow root in its composition contains substances that have a positive effect on the human body in diseases of the lungs and bronchi, influenza, sore throat, hemoptysis, jaundice, stomach diseases, stones in the bladder, diarrhea (as an enema), difficulty urinating, pain. A large amount of mucous substances (polysaccharides hexosan and pentosan, which decompose during hydrolysis into pentose, galactose, arabinose and dextrose) were found in the composition of the marshmallow root.
In addition, starch, sugar, asparagine, pectin, lecithin, betaine, phytosterol, fatty oils, mineral salts (mainly phosphates), and vitamins (provitamin A, carotene) were found in the roots. Marshmallow roots are used in folk and official medicine.
Recipes for making infusions and decoctions
Recipe No. 1. You need to take 6.5 grams of medicinal raw materials (marshmallow roots), pour 0.5 cups of water at room temperature, leave for 1 hour, then strain thoroughly. Reception scheme: 1 tablespoon 1 time in two hours. It is prescribed for the treatment of prostate: adenoma and prostatitis.
Recipe No. 2. You need to take 3 teaspoons of raw materials (marshmallow root) and pour it with 1 glass of boiled water (cold), leave for 8 hours, then strain thoroughly. It is prescribed as a lotion in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, allergic conjunctivitis, myositis.
Marshmallow for cough
Marshmallow is a plant, the medicinal composition of which can cure many diseases. However, first of all, it is worth noting it as an effective antitussive agent for children and adults. Preparations prepared on the basis of marshmallow, allow you to fight painful cough, laryngitis, whooping cough.
Positive dynamics is observed due to the effect of mucous substances contained in the root, which envelop the inflamed areas of the mucous membranes of the trachea and pharynx, protecting the nerve endings from irritation.
For the treatment of diseases of the respiratory tract (tracheitis, pneumonia, bronchitis), marshmallow tincture is prepared, which has a high anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect. The therapeutic effect is achieved due to the content of mucous substances in the marshmallow root, which have an expectorant, enveloping, and anti-inflammatory effect.
Tincture recipe. Take ready-made raw materials (marshmallow root) in a dosage of 20 g and a vodka solution (40%) in a dosage of 500 ml. Pour vodka over the roots. The container should be closed and put in a dark place, leave for 10 days, after the expiration of the term - strain. Reception scheme: 10-15 drops before meals 3 times a day. It is worth taking the tincture with caution in the urinary and digestive system, and diluting it with hot water in order to lower the concentration.
Dry extract of marshmallow root is a dark amber powder. Modern medicine offers a number of drugs for the treatment of laryngitis, bronchitis, tracheitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, bronchial asthma, in which the active ingredient is marshmallow extract. The main active material of the marshmallow root extract is mucus. Mucus collects in the parenchyma of the root around the eighth week of its life. This mucus protects the plant both from drying out and at the same time from waterlogging.
To date, marshmallow extract and the properties of mucus have been thoroughly studied. Mucus has an intense emollient, moisturizing, immunostimulating, astringent, enveloping effect. The anti-inflammatory effect is provided by flavonoids and tannins, also contained in the root of the plant.
Marshmallow root extract is used in medicine. It is part of various preparations that are used for thin, sensitive, damaged or burned skin, has a calming effect, and is highly valued in the cosmetic field. Being a good remedy for hair, the extract helps to moisturize and protect it from the negative effects of environmental factors.
The infusion of marshmallow root is a transparent, mucous liquid of yellowish color. The infusion has a sweetish taste and a peculiar smell. To prepare the infusion, marshmallow root is used, it is very finely cut and filled with water. For 6.5 grams of medicinal raw material, you should take 100 ml of water and leave for 1 hour. Dosing regimen - 1 tablespoon every 2 hours.
Althea infusion is used internally. It is prescribed for the treatment of eczema, dermatitis, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, as well as for the normalization of metabolic processes in the body. In addition, the infusion of marshmallow root is an effective adjuvant for various inflammatory processes of the respiratory tract (pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, laryngitis, whooping cough, tracheitis).
The mucus contained in the infusion of marshmallow root penetrates the trachea, exerting a softening effect on the vocal cords, lubricating solid deposits, promoting the healing of mucous membranes. Althea is prescribed for the purpose of soothing pain in the joints, for the sciatic nerve, with muscle ruptures.
The composition of marshmallow is well studied in our time. Its content allows the use of marshmallow as an effective remedy for the treatment of various kinds of diseases, especially when it comes to diseases of the respiratory system. Marshmallow is mostly used in scientific medicine. On its basis, various preparations are prepared, including cough medicines for children.
The medicine is used as a secretolytic and to stimulate the motor function of the respiratory tract, a method of treatment in combined combinations. It is used according to the scheme indicated in the instructions.
Contraindications for marshmallow
Contraindications to the use of marshmallow have not been identified, however, it should be used with extreme caution in patients with diabetes mellitus, and it is also prohibited to combine it with other antitussives that inhibit the cough reflex, contributing to the thickening of sputum.
The author of the article: Sokolova Nina Vladimirovna | Phytotherapist
Education: Diploma in "General Medicine" and "Therapy" received at the Pirogov University (2005 and 2006). Advanced training at the Department of Phytotherapy at the Peoples' Friendship University of Moscow (2008).
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