Marshmallow

- By: Aimee Regur

(French Rosemary with Sweet Orange Facial Toner, Italian Red Mandarin with Rose Facial Cream, Moroccan Argan with Willow and Rosemary Facial Cream, Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Body Wash, Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Hand Soap, Chilean Reship with Tamanu and Red Clover Hand Cream)

Althea officinalis or Marshmallow is native to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa and has been naturalized in the Eastern United States. There are many species of mallow found globally, many who have common traditional uses. Some you may be most familiar with are Hibiscus, Cotton and Okra.

Marshmallow leaves, roots and flowers are used for their anti-inflammatory and demulcent action on mucus membranes. They are deeply cooling and moisturizing, and are useful internally for expectorating sticky painful mucus in the lungs. Helping with a variety of digestive disorders as it is a bulk laxative due to high mucilage content, it is a soothing diuretic for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

In skin care Marshmallow is soothing and moisturizing, very useful for rosacea, eczema, dry, sensitive skin that is prone to wrinkles, cracking and flaking. The extract has the ability to plump up the skin, helping to eliminate fine lines. It is also useful in healing abrasions, minor wounds and insect bites. It can be used for softening hard skin and rough patches and is very useful for breastfeeding mothers with sore irritated nipples. The water extract can also be used to soothe irritated eyes, caused by conjunctivitis and allergies.

Marshmallow? Get’s you thinking about those weirdly sweet gooey textured treats that we used to covet as children… but how did they come about? The original marshmallow started in ancient Egypt, when the root extract was mixed with nuts and honey. The bark of the stem was also peeled off and boiled with sugar, which produced a soft, chewy confection. In the 19th century the recipe was developed to include the sap of the root, egg whites and sugar serving as a sore throat lozenge, that quickly gained in popularity and became mass produced, only to be adulterated by modern technology that replaced the traditional herb with gelatin and other distasteful ingredients.

“There seemed to be some correlation between devotion to God and a misguided zeal for marshmallows.”
― David Sedaris, Naked