Marshmallow is a 3 foot perennial plant with large pink flowers that bloom in August and September. It quickly forms a large root mass.
Traditional Healing Uses: Marshmallow tea has been used to soothe and relax the body’s internal passages, and to heal inflammations and irritations in digestive, urinary, and respiratory organs. It has been used to treat coughs, bronchitis, colitis, ulcers, and urinary cystitis. Marshmallow root poultices have been applied to boils, ulcers, and abscesses.
Other Uses: Fresh raw leaves are tasty in spring salads; roots may be boiled and then fried in butter with onions.
Harvest: Leaves and roots are both used. Collect leaves in late summer after flowering, and roots in late autumn the second year of growth. Dry lateral and main roots; remove bark from older roots and then dry roots whole or sliced.
Preparation: Put 1 teaspoon of chopped root into a cup of water and boil gently 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day. Or pour boiling water on 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaf and steep for 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day.