Marshmallow

by Regan Schwartz

Althaea officinalis

Energetics: cold, moist, relaxant

Actions: demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, nutritive, emollient, vulnerary, antimicrobial

Mallows love damp ground and that affinity for moisture shows up in their delightfully demulcent nature.  Working with marshmallow root in cold infusion produces a viscous water (or oil!) full of hydrating and regenerative polysaccharides.  The leaf in tea or long infusion adds an element of emotional support as well as an affinity for the respiratory system.

Marshmallow has long been one of my favorite herbs for the skin - it features in my heel and lip balms and my soothing body oil because of its amazing emollient qualities and soothing nature. I love working with marshmallow infusions in baths as well!  It turns out that in addition to being profoundly soothing, marshmallow also brings antimicrobial action!  How amazing is this plant?!

Lately I’ve been working with marshmallow internally and finally addressing the ways the last few years of stress and existential dread have wreaked havoc on my nerves and GI tract.  Drinking a daily infusion of marshmallow has made such a difference!  Not only is my digestion system happier, but I’m calmer, gentler, and feeling more resilient.

Magically, Marshmallow is associated with protection, love, attraction, banishing, and otherworldly travel (like so many herbs with an affinity for water and ruled by the moon it is broadly associated with divination and emotion).

How have you been taking good care of yourself?  Have any plant friends been helping?  I’d love to hear your stories of healing and growth!💚