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Friday, 1 November 2013

Popular #Herbs -Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)


http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/pics_a/althaeaoffi.jpg

Marshmallow
is a genus Althaea, belonging to the family Malvaceae, native to Africa. The herb has been used in tradtional medicine as a medicinal plant and ornamental plant in treating irritation of mucus membranes, such as mouth and throat ulcers, and gastric ulcers, cough, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Immunocorrective agents
In determination fo Sorbus sibirica, Calendula officinalis and Althaea officinalis extracts on the humoral immune response and nonspecific resistance of mice, found that these extracts are not inferior to Echinacea purpurea tincture in terms of stimulation of humoral immune response, phagocytic and bactericidal activity of peritoneal macrophages but exceed effect of E. purpurea on phagocytic activity of peripheral blood neutrophils, according to "[New promising natural immunocorrective agents].[Article in Russian]" by Borsuk OS, Masnaia NV, Sherstoboev EIu, Isaĭkina NV, Kalinkina GI.(1)

2. Irritation of mucous membranes
Aqueous extracts from the roots of Althea officinalis L. (Malvaceae) and its effect on irritated mucosa, found that Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from the roots of A. officinalis are effective stimulators of cell physiology of epithelial cells which can prove the traditional use of Marshmallow preparations for treatment of irritated mucous membranes within tissue regeneration, according to "Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from Marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro" by Deters A, Zippel J, Hellenbrand N, Pappai D, Possemeyer C, Hensel A.(2)

3. Cough suppressive effect
In the assessment of isolation from the roots of medicinal plant Althaea officinalis L., showed various biological effects on the citric acid-induced cough reflex and reactivity of airways smooth muscle found that On the contrary, pretreatment of animals with selective 5-HT(2) receptors antagonist significantly decreased rhamnogalacturonan antitussive efficacy. From this point of view it seems that the cough suppression effect of the polymer is associated with the serotonergic 5-HT(2) receptor's function, according to "Possible mechanisms of dose-dependent cough suppressive effect of Althaea officinalis rhamnogalacturonan in guinea pigs test system" by Sutovská M, Nosálová G, Sutovský J, Franová S, Prisenznáková L, Capek P.(3)

4. Antibacterial activity
In the evaluation of the antibacterial actions of 16 herbal tinctures and theirs effect on two whole cell Escherichia coli found that Althaea officinalis affected microbial metabolism in spite of the lack of literature precedent, according to "The detection of antibacterial actions of whole herb tinctures using luminescent Escherichia coli" by Watt K, Christofi N, Young R.(4)

5. Antioxidant activity
In the observation of the Antioxidant activity of Eleven polysaccharides isolated from the leaves of of Arctium lappa var. herkules, Aloe barbadensis, Althaea officinalis var. robusta, Plantago lanceolata var. libor, aerial parts and roots of Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii, stems of Mahonia aquifolium, and peach-tree (Prunus persica) gum exudates found that the activity of eight polysaccharides ranged from 20 to 45%, while the fructofuranan from P. lanceolata var. libor roots was practically inactive, according to "Antioxidant activity of medicinal plant polysaccharides" by Kardosová A, Machová E.(5)

6. Whitening agent
In the researching a new agent which can inhibit the calcium mobilization found that that an extract of A. officinalis inhibits both the secretion of ET-1 from NHKC and the action of ET-1 on NHMC mainly by suppressing the ET-1-induced calcium mobilization without the modification of IP3 production, which in turn suggests that this extract is a useful ingredient for a whitening agent, accoridng to "Inhibitory mechanism of an extract of Althaea officinalis L. on endothelin-1-induced melanocyte activation" by Kobayashi A, Hachiya A, Ohuchi A, Kitahara T, Takema Y.(6)

7. Etc.

Side effects
1. The liquid form of Marsmallow contains sugar, please consult with your doctor before taking the herb, if you have diabetes.
2. As always, do not use the herb in children, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without approval of the related field specialist.
3. Etc.

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Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20017400
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19799989
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19447256
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17661335
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16797146
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11853172