If images of roasted marshmallows over a campfire come to mind, your not wrong!
The original marshmallow was the root of this plant. Todays marshmallows are all synthetic candies. But the leaf, stem and root of the Marshmallow plant holds a smilier texture along with a mucilaginous consistency. Its botanical name, Althaea officinalis, refers to ‘althos’: Greek for ‘healer’ while the name marshmallow, however, refers to its preference for growing in marshes and other damp areas throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
This “slippery” herb as it was referred to by the Greeks and Egyptians can treat coughs, sore throats, bronchitis and other throat/chest inflammations. As a smoke, it is sweet and soothing to the throat and chest due to the mucilagenous properties that sooth the mucus membrane in the respiratory tract. Also used in Ayurveda to boost kapha (by adding wetness) and reducing vata (dryness).
Its smooth fragrant smoke produces mild relaxation and is considered a psychoactive herb due to its terpenoids. Additionally as a vape, bath or tea, it also soothes the mucus membranes of the gut lining, throat and lymph nodes. Marshmallow extract is often included in natural cough syrups and throat lozenges and has long been used to treat pertussis (whooping cough) and bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes).