Happy October! Are you having fun reading through the Oregano issue? Our herb of the month for November is Marshmallow, Althea officinalis. I wanted to be sure to get the herb box announcement out before heading to the American Herbalist Guild Herbal Symposium happening this weekend in Granby, CO.
Marshmallow Herb Box
As a person with Celiac Disease, I often suffer from digestive issues caused by foods that irritate my already sensitive and damaged gut mucosa. When I eat anything with gluten, or more irritatingly, foods with gluten cross reactive proteins, which can be anything from eggs to most grains, some legumes, chocolate, and coffee, my tummy does not love me. When my digestive system is unhappy, my mood instantly takes a spiral. Did you know that your gut health could have a significant impact on your mental health? There is some fascinating research coming out about this, but I digress. When my stomach is a-aching, I turn to my soothing, cooling, coating, and healing demulcent herbs. Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) and common mallow (Malva neglecta) are two go-to herbs.
I first met mallow when trying to resolve my irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, before I found out that I had Celiac disease. It was one of the few herbs, when combined with peppermint, that could either calm down my intestines when things were moving too quickly, or moisten things up and get them moving again when things were too slow. Once I figured out the Celiac aspect of my bowel issues, and went on a gut healing diet, I need mallow much less, but it is still fantastic first aid for the digestive system that I don’t travel without.
Mallow isn’t only great for digestive issues though, it is a wonderful ally for any dry, hot, irritated conditions that can use a nice slimy, coating, cooling, healing hug. In this issue, you will find we are mostly talking about marsh mallow, which is easiest to find in herb shops, but know that many of the Malvaceae family have similar properties. I will be discussing in particular, my friend Malva neglecta, common mallow, because it has many of the same uses as marsh mallow, and is a weed in most people’s yards! You know how much I love weeds.
The Marshmallow issue will include articles like:
- Herbal Monograph
- Digestive support
- History and mythology
- Working with the whole plant
- Topical applications
- Malva neglecta, the mallow in your back yard.
- Flower essence
The Marshmallow herb box might look something like:
- Marshmallow root cut and sifted
- Marshmallow powder root cut and sifted
- Soothing tummy tea with marshmallow leaf
- Ingredients to make marshmallow balls (herbal indigestion remedy)
- Demulcent marshmallow/lavender lotion