Marshmallow root, popularly also called marshmallow leaf, white mallow, Spanish mallow or tooth root. The official name is Althaea officinalis L. Althaea comes from the Greek ‘Althaia’. This means: healer, healthy. ‘Officinalis’ means: from the pharmacist’s workshop and refers to its occurrence on the official list of medicinal plants. This points to its traditional use as a medicinal herb.
It grows on moist and salty soils, often found in coastal areas. It comes from Europe and Asia. Marshmallow leaf was already used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a medicinal herb for coughs, sore throats and on burns and ulcers. In times of scarcity, it was also taken as food.
Marshmallow leaf efficacy
It has characteristic large white, pale pink leaves, similar to maple leaves, with a sharp apex and indented edge. Marshmallow leaf can grow up to 2 meters high and flowers from July to September.
The roots of the marshmallow were given to young children who were teething to suck on: it softened the gums and the teeth came through faster. Hence the name ‘Tooth root’. The very first frothy spongy sweets were made with honey and marshmallows. This is how marshmallow name came about.
Marshmallow leaf contains high levels of mucilage. Most of it is in the roots, then in the leaves and then in the flowers. Mucilages have a calming effect and can be used internally for respiratory complaints and digestive problems. When used externally, mucilage also provides a calming effect.
The active substances are mucilaginous polysaccharides – arabinogalactans, galacturonorhamnans, glucans and arabinans. It has an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting cytokines such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α). It improves the immune system by increasing macrophages and T-lymphocytes.
An ointment with marshmallow root extract reduced skin irritation caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
In children with eczema, treatment with Althaea officinalis 1% ointment was better than with hydrocortisone 1% hormone ointment. Marshmallow root is also used externally against boils.
Iconic Elements Calming cream
The Iconic Elements Calming Cream is suitable for sensitive, irritated skin and soothing the skin in case of insect bites. The cream contains Ectoine, Avena Sativa, Marshmallow Root, Isoquercetin, Cucumber extract and Aloe Vera. This composition cares for chapped skin and supports the skin’s regenerative capacity.
Now that you’re here
Itching is common. Actually, everyone suffers from it from time to time. The medical term for itching without visible skin abnormalities is pruritus. Itching with skin abnormalities is called prurigo.
Do you suffer from itching yourself? Then for you, itching is probably just itching.
And you want to get rid of it before it drives you crazy! Itching is worse than pain.
Itching is a skin stimulus that makes you feel the urge to scratch, pinch, rub or pat. The complaints can vary from mildly irritating to very intense itching. Sometimes the itching is so severe that someone scratches the skin until it bleeds.
How does itching occur?
Studies show that itching has a complex mechanism of origin. The ends of the nerves that sit on the border of the epidermis and dermis cause the feeling of itching. You will never feel itching in your muscles or joints.
Itching is caused by specific itch nerves in the skin being stimulated by mechanical, chemical, thermal and electrical stimulation, among other things.
- Mechanical stimulation: you get itching through touch, touch, grasping or rubbing. For example, think of hives.
- Chemical stimulation: you get itchy because chemical substances come into contact with your skin, such as ointment, but also agents such as soap or cleaning products.
- Thermal stimulation: you get itchy due to heat from the sun, a warm bath or physical exertion, for example.
A lot of itching is caused by histamine, a substance that is produced in your skin by your immune cells. The histamine is intended as a defense against foreign substances and alerts your skin to the fact that something is going on in that area, such as a mosquito bite. More on puritus