Althaea officinalis

Marshmallow ( Althaea officinalis)

The Real Marshmallow ( Althaea officinalis), also known as drug - marshmallow, belongs to the mallow family ( Malvaceae ).


The botanical name althaea is derived from the Greek word ἄλθειν ( álthein ), which means as much as cure. In the vernacular, one finds for the plant also names as Althee, age Thee, velvetleaf, Ibischwurz, Heilwurz, white mallow, Marsh mallow, Adewurz or mucus root.

The word comes via Latin malva mallow and Greek malache back on a Mediterranean language.

More in part only regional common names for the genuine Marshmallow are or were: Arteawurzel ( Rendsburger pharmacy) Ebich ( Middle High German ), Ebiche ( Middle High German ), old Eh ( Austria ), Eibesch, Eibich ( Austria ), Eibschen ( Zurich ), verbena, Grozpapel ( Old High German ), Heemst (Netherlands), Hemisch, Hemst (Netherlands), Homes ( middle Low German ), Hülfwurz, witte Hümst ( middle Low German ), Hünst ( middle Low German ), Hüffwurzel (Silesia ), Ibisch, Ibischa, Ibischpappel, Ibsche ( Bern, middle High German ), Ibschge ( Zurich ), Ipsch ( middle High German ), witte mallow ( middle Low German ), Pallenblöm (based on the flower, middle Low German ), white or wild poplar, wilt Pippeln ( middle Low German ), Sammetpappeln, rock word ( middle Low German ), Teewurzel ( Rendsburger pharmacy) Ungerschkrud, Weiz poplar ( middle High German ), Ybesce ( middle High German ), Ybesch ( middle High German ), Ybesche ( middle High German ), Ybischa ( middle High German ), Ybischea ( middle High German ), Ybize ( middle High German ) and Ywesche ( middle High German ).


The Real Marshmallow is an erect, perennial herbaceous plant with sturdy stems. It reaches a size of 60 to 150 cm. He is a valuable bee- forage plant. In the subfamily Malvoideae the many stamens are fused into a tube surrounding the stamp, the so-called Columna.


The real Marshmallow grows wild in the steppe zones of southern Russia and Kazakhstan east to the Altai before. In the West, the spread in southern Europe ranges from the Balkans to Italy and the Iberian peninsula. According Central Europe the plant was brought by man ( archaeophyte ), stable feral occurrence here are limited to coastal areas and inland salt. Temporarily appeared on the plant in waste places, in gardens or on dumps. Preference warm sunny locations with rich, well- supplied with water clay or clay soils. In Austria there is an autochthonous occurrence in Zwingendorf (Lower Austria ).

Marshmallow in the kitchen

For substances of the sweet marshmallow marshmallow was originally prepared and is today mainly associated with the U.S., but goes back to the French pâte de guimauve or the so-called Eibischteig. The name Marshmallow derives from the English term marshmallow ( German: Marsh Mallow ) for the Marshmallow. Were used for both the stems and leaves and the root; today uses the industry for substitutes.

Eaten was formerly the roots that were first boiled and then fried. Edible flowers are also, and the young leaves can be eaten in salads. The Romans used the plant as a herb soup and stuffing sucking pigs.

In famine it has the white carrot -like root used as food. The only reference in the Bible alludes to the insipid taste of Eibischschleims to ( 6.6 Hi EU): " If Fades eaten without salt, or is taste in Eibischschleim " This indicates that you Eibischschleim not without spice or in times prosperity had eaten.


Mucilage ( in the roots up to 25% ) especially with Galacturonorhamnanen and arabinogalactans; Pectins, and also in the root strength.

Marshmallow in herbal medicine

As a drug, can be used:

  • The flowering period in July-August collected and dried flowers
  • The before and during the bloom collected and dried leaves
  • The Marshmallow

The mucous substances act enveloping and sooth; in animal experiments also anti-inflammatory and immune- stabilizing effects could be detected. Various preparations are used for inflammation of the mouth and throat, to reduce coughing fits, with mild inflammation in the gastrointestinal area.

Marshmallow in the form of the root drug ( Althaeae radix)