Devotees of the Marshmallow plant believe it can be used to help treat a number of conditions – and has a long history of holistic use. Traditionally the leaves and roots are most commonly used, though all parts of the plant are edible.
Marshmallow has been used for medicinal purposes stretching back as far as ancient Egypt. They commonly used all parts of the plant, in particular using the thick, sticky sap to help soothe sore throats, coughs and colds.
The Middle East was the first region to use marshmallow sap in their sugary confections. They used it as a syrup to sweeten dishes and combined it with nuts and grains to make the famed sweet treat halva.
In 19th century France the sap was also used to create sweet candies called marshmallows, created by whipping the sap. Today’s modern marshmallow sweets no longer call for the plant’s sap.
The common mallow plant (botanical name Malva Sylvestris) is sometimes confused with althaea Officinalis – but they are in fact different species that belong to the same plant family and offer different health benefits.
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