Althea officinale


Image I


Image II

Botanical Name: Althea officinale
Common name: Marshmallow (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 25)
Family: Malvaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
Parts used: Root and Leaf (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)


  • Mucilage
  • Pectin
  • Asparagine
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)



  • Demulcent
  • Emollient
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Expectorant

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)



Root: Primarily used in the digestive system, indicated in inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastritis, peptic ulceration and colitus (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526).


Leaf: Most commonly used in the urinary and respiratory systems

Urinary: cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel

Respiratory: bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, coughs and inflammation of mouth and throat. (Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 526-527)


Topical use:

  • Applied externally as an ingredient in drawing ointments
  • An emollient for varicose veins and ulcers
  • Wounds, burns, scalds, bedsores, abscesses and boils

(Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 526-526).


The herb has also shown antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris and Staphylococcus (Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 526-527).


Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5 in 25%): 1-4mL tds

Cold Infusion: infuse 2-4g in 1 cup water overnight

Syrup: 1-10mL

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)




May delay absorption of other drugs taken at the same time (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526).



Combined with Comfrey in ulcerative conditions.

For bronchitis combines well with Liquorice and White Horehound.

(Hoffmann, 1990, p. 214)


Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livvingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image I: Sepp, C. (1822). Flora Batava, Volume 4. Retrieved from:

Image II: McAllister, M. (2011). (6) Seasonal Materia Medica Profile: Marsh mallow. Retrieved from:

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