Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marshmallow Flowers As a Medicine

I have used the root of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) for about 25 years as a medicine. A few years ago I started experimenting with the flowers which have a slight mucilaginous characteristic to them. They are not super mucilaginous like the root is but still they seemed promising. I made a guess that they would have some anti-inflammatory and vulnerary (wound healing) ability and tried using them on wounds which proved to be beneficial.

 
I was happy to see this recent research article from Lebonon that examined a tea of marshmallow flower in relation to its effect on lipemia, gastric ulcers, inflammation and platelet aggregation(platelets are involved in blood clotting). The abstract can be viewed here:



What the research found was the following: Marshmallow flowers increase serum HDL (what is called the good cholesterol), they have significant anti-inflammatory acitivity (acute and chronic inflammation) and decrease the growth of gastric ulcers. Additionally there was inhibition of platelet aggregation.

They also examined their effect on liver enzymes to see if the flowers would harm the liver in any way. None was seen.

For information on marshmallow root go to this link: 

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