Plant Magazine of Botanical-online September 2017

Natural remedies

Marshmallow toxicity

(Althaea officinalis L.)

DANGERS OF MARSHMALLOW

Is marshmallow a toxic plant?

No, marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is not a toxic plant.

Marshmallow is used in herbal medicine for its richness in mucilage, a soluble fiber with demulcent effect, which is not toxic, although it can have side effects.

* More information on the side effects of marshmallow in the listing above.

photo of marshmallow
Photo of marshmallow leaves and flowers

What are marshmallow components?

- A plant rich in mucilage and fiber (30%), in all parts of the plant and especially in the roots: pectin, cellulose, hexose, xylose, galacturonic acid, arabinose, rhamnose, uronic acid

- Asparagine

- Vitamin C and beta-carotene (especially the leaves)

- Fatty acids: malvalic acid

- Flavonoids: kaemferol, quercetin

- Tannins (2%)

- Alkaloids: betaine (root)

- Phytosterols (root)

- Essential oil

Principles and toxic hazards of marshmallow

- No toxic effects have been described in humans because of marshmallow use. People with diabetes should use it with caution, because its fiber content can influence blood sugar levels.

- When this plant is harvested, you must be careful to properly wash the leaves, and realize that they have not been contaminated by grazing animals or pets, polluted rivers or pesticides from nearby crops. Some of these contaminants may cause infectious diseases (bacteria transmitted by animals) or chemical poisoning.

Marshmallow during pregnancy and breast-feeding

There are no studies that verify plant safety during pregnancy and lactation. However, it contains betaine (alkaloid), mostly in its roots. The alkaloid betaine has abortifacient properties, so marshmallow is contraindicated in pregnancy.

red dot More information on marshmallow in the listing above

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

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