Name: Marshmallow officinalis
Diseases and effects: chronic bronchitis, tracheitis, laryngitis, bronchopneumonia, bronchial asthma, gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum.
Active substances: polysaccharides, pentosans, hexosans, galactose, dextrose, pentose, asparagine, betaine.
Collection time: April – May, September – October
Marshmallow officinalis is a perennial grayish-green herbaceous plant of the Malvaceae family, 60-150 cm high. The rhizome is thick, short, many-headed, with a powerful taproot, woody root in the upper part, reaching a length of 50 cm; roots fleshy, whitish. Stems slightly branched, woody in the lower part, cylindrical. The leaves are alternate, 5-15 cm long, petiolate, velvety-felt from dense short pubescence. The flowers are clustered in the axils of the upper and middle leaves and at the top of the stem. Corolla pink, five-petaled; petals obovate. The fruit is a flat, disc-shaped fractional polysemyanka, consisting of 15-25 yellowish-gray fruitlets (heaps).
Flowering from June to September, fruiting from July. In medicine, the roots of the plant are used. Grass (aerial part) is used to obtain the product mukaltin.
Marshmallow officinalis is common in the steppe and forest-steppe zones of the European part, and in the south of Western Siberia, in Kazakhstan, some regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus.
To the forest-steppe and steppe zones, Marshmallow officinalis prefers habitats that are sufficiently provided with moisture: the banks of rivers, oxbow lakes, ditches, lakes and ponds, coastal thickets of shrubs, damp, mostly saline meadows and deposits. Usually forms small groups, sometimes sparse thickets. In Ukraine, it occurs mainly in the basins of the Dnieper, Seversky Donets and Southern Bug.
Procurement and quality of raw materials
The roots and rhizomes of marshmallow are harvested before the start of regrowth, in April – the first half of May, or in autumn, in September-October, after the death of the aerial parts of the plant.
At present marshmallow is cultivated in Moldova on an area of 300-350 hectares, annually 50-60 tons of root and 150-200 tons of grass are obtained. The yield of dry roots is 10-25 q/ha.
Marshmallow reproduces by seeds, less often – vegetatively and by seedlings. Sowing marshmallow seeds is carried out early in the spring at the first probability of entering the field or before winter, when there are no conditions for germination.
The roots and grass of Althea are harvested in the second and 30% of the growing season. Root harvesting is carried out in early spring or autumn.
Grass harvesting is carried out in the second year of the Althea vegetation. Mowed at a height of 20-30 cm from the soil plane, the grass is dried in rolls, and then dried under a canopy, spread out in a layer no more than 50 cm thick.
According to the requirements of the State Pharmacopoeia and Pharmacopoeia article FS 42-812-73, the peeled marshmallow roots are cylindrical pieces or split lengthwise into 2-4 parts, slightly tapering towards the end. The thickness of the pieces is 0.5-1.5 (2) cm and the length is up to 35 cm. The cut raw materials are pieces of various shapes ranging in size from 3 to 8 mm.
Raw materials must have a moisture content of no more than 14%; total ash not more than 7% (for Marshmallow officinalis), including ash insoluble in 10% hydrochloric acid, not more than 0.5%; woody roots no more than 3%; marshmallow roots, poorly cleaned of cork, not more than 3%; organic impurities (parts of other non-toxic plants) not more than 0.5%; mineral impurities (earth, sand, pebbles) no more than 0.5%.
Store raw materials in dry, well-ventilated areas. The roots are hygroscopic and damp easily. Shelf life 3 years.
Collected at the beginning of flowering, the dried herb of the cultivated Marshmallow officinalis consists of non-lignified shoots with partially crumbled, whole or broken leaves and flowers.
Numerical indicators: the content of polysaccharides should not be less than 5%, and reducing sugars should not be less than 2%.
humidity not more than 13%; total ash not more than 18%; stems no more than 60%; fruits no more than 10%; organic impurities (parts of other non-poisonous plants) not more than 1.5%. Shelf life 5 years.
Marshmallow roots contain within 35% of mucus, consisting mainly of polysaccharides – pentosans and hexosans, which break down during hydrolysis into galactose, dextrose and pentose. In addition, the roots contain pectin up to 16%, starch up to 37%, sucrose up to 10%, asparagine 2%, betaine 4%; fatty oil 1.7%. Leaves and flowers contain mucilage and within 0.02% solid essential oil.
Application in medicine
Marshmallow preparations have enveloping, protective, softening, anti-inflammatory properties, have an expectorant and some analgesic effect. They are used for chronic bronchitis, tracheitis, laryngitis, bronchopneumonia and bronchial asthma.
In addition, marshmallow roots are widely used for gastritis and peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, especially with increased acidity of gastric juice.
Decoction of marshmallow roots
6 g (2 tablespoons) of raw materials are placed in an enamel bowl, pour 200 ml (1 cup) of hot boiled water, cover with a lid and heat in boiling water (in a water bath) for 30 minutes, then cool at room temperature for 10 minutes and filter. The remaining raw material is squeezed out. The resulting infusion is diluted with boiled water to the original volume (200 ml). Store in a cool place for no more than 2 days. Taken hot, 1/2-1/3 cup 3-4 times every day after meals.
In addition, an infusion of marshmallow root (in the form of rinses, poultices and enemas), liquid marshmallow root extract and marshmallow syrup, consisting of dry marshmallow root extract (2 parts) and sugar syrup (98 parts), are used. The latter product is used in mixtures to improve the taste and as an enveloping agent. Marshmallow root is part of the breast collection.