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The herbalist medicinal plants – Althaea officinalis

The Botanical characteristics. Perennial gray-green herb 120-150 cm tall.

Rhizome thick, short, branched; woody taproot, fleshy side, gray on the outside, white inside. Stems single or numerous, slightly branched. Leaves alternate petiolate, upper entire, ovate, middle and lower lobes or without shallow lobed, margin crenate, soft and dense pubescence, especially on the lower side. The flowers are on short stalks sit in the leaf axils; Corolla pale pink, white or reddish-pink. Fruit – mnogosemyanka discoid; when Mature splits into separate fruitlets. Seeds dark brown, smooth, glabrous, reniform. It blooms from June to September. The fruits begin to ripen in September – October.

Distribution. It grows in meadows, especially saline in coastal thickets and bushes, marshlands, shores of ditches, reservoirs in the salt marshes; singly, rarely in groups.

Used parts of the plant. Medicinal raw materials are roots, less aboveground part of the plant (flowers, leaves, seeds). Raw materials collected in the usual way and dried in the open air in the shade.

Chemical composition. All organs of the plant contain mucus (23% and 4.7 – extraction of hot and cold water, respectively). The roots contain carbohydrates, mucus. In the composition of mucus galacturonic acid, pentoses, pentosans, geksogena, uronic acid: arabinose, rhamnose, glucose, galactose, neutral polysaccharides – arabinan, galactan and their derivatives; organic acids, essential oils, rubbery material, phytosterols, tannins, fatty oil, mineral salts, vitamins.

The leaves contain carbohydrates: essential oils, rubbery material. The flowers contain essential oil with the smell of Valerian.

The seeds contain fatty oil in its acid composition: oleic, linoleic, linolenic acids; phospholipids: phytin.

Marshmallow officially recognized medicine in many countries of Western Europe, North and South America, Japan. Roots were included in all of the national Pharmacopoeia. The leaves are officinal in the countries of Central Europe and Turkey; flowers in Belgium, France, the Netherlands.

Application. In scientific medicine, root powder, infusion and syrup used as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract and part of the thoracic fees. The syrup is used to correct the taste of medicines and cough mixtures used in pediatric practice.

In folk medicine of many countries of the infusion and decoction of the roots is used in tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, Eyewash with blepharitis; for the treatment of gastritis, enterocolitis, cystitis, diarrhea, to eliminate the irritation in inflammatory and ulcerative processes as an aqueous extract, using inside acts protectively, covered with a thin layer of mucosa, and kept at them for a long time and thus protects the mucous membranes from further irritation and may also slow the absorption of various soluble drugs taken at large doses. Acting as a protector mucilages, soften plaque inflammation (eg, mucous throat and larynx). External preparations marsh mallow is used for burns, ringworm, boils, scabies, pustular diseases, allergic dermatoses, tumors.

Marshmallow root is a typical representative drugs belonging to the mucus, it is almost equivalent to the content of active compounds flax seed.

In the literature there is evidence that the drugs marshmallow soften tumors and prevent the formation of absorbable blood tumor promotes maturation of abscesses and their healing. Noteworthy clinical observations on the use of marshmallow preparations for eczema and psoriasis. As a result of treatment the improvement was largely observed in most patients.


To take a decoction of 6 g of raw materials placed in enameled pots, pour 200 ml of boiled water, close lid, heated in boiling water bath 30 minutes, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, strain. The remaining raw materials squeeze, made up to 200 ml. Store in a cool place. Take 1/3 Cup 3 times a day after meals. The medicine “mukaltin” is also used as marshmallow: doctor’s prescription. This is particularly useful drug for children, according to copies doctors.

In influenza marshmallow often used in combination with other plants (mother-and-stepmother, oregano, etc.).

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