Authored by: Emily Cuthbert

Latin Name: Althea officinales

Standardized Common Name: Marshmallow 

Sanskrit Name: Khatmi

Other Common Names: Althea

Family: Malavaceae

Parts Used: Root, sometimes leaves and flowers


  • Taste (Rasa): Sweet
  • Potency/Action (Virya): Cooling
  • Post-digestion effect (Vipaka): Sweet
  • Doshas: VPK=


  • Mucilage
    • Antitussive
  • Polysaccharides
  • Tannins
  • Flavonoids
  • Amino acids
    • Asparagine

Actions: Althea officinales is a moistening and cooling herb, often used to aid in soothing irritation of dried mucous membranes. Also used internally in cases of respiratory irritation as well as urinary tract infections. Externally, the actions are great to treat burns, ulcers and other types of inflamamtion.

  • Nutritive tonic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antitussive
  • Demulcent to GI, respiratory system and urinary systems
  • Bulking laxative
  • Emollient
  • Vulnerary
  • Expectorant
  • Drawing properties

Indications: Cough, kidney/bladder infections, rheumatism, malnourishment, lung tonic

Safety/Contraindications: Generally very safe. May slow down absorption of other medications due to mucilage content.

Preparations and Doses:

  • Cold Infusion: 2-4 grams/cup 3x daily
  • Refrigerate overnight before straining and consuming
  • Dried Herb: Up to 5 grams 4x daily


  • Frawley D, Lad V. The Yoga of Herbs: an Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass; 2016.
  • Marciano M, Vizniak NA. Evidence Informed Botanical Medicine. Canada: Professional Health Systems Inc.; 2015.
  • Skenderi G. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc., Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution. Rutherford, NJ: Herbacy Press; 2004.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine: from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres; 2020.