Marshmallow Root: For Immune Health and So Much More | 1MD Nutrition™

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Marshmallow Root: For Immune Health and So Much More

Marshmallow root is an herb used to support immune system, respiratory, digestive, and skin health. Here’s information to help you promote overall health. 

8 minute read

Last Updated March 18, 2022

Marshmallow Root: For Immune Health and So Much More

Marshmallow root is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. This herb can help promote your health, specifically supporting immune, respiratory, digestive, and skin health. 

Marshmallow root comes from the marshmallow plant and is edible, along with its leaves and flowers. The beneficial properties of marshmallow root come from the mucilage, a sap-like substance it produces. 

Health Benefits of Marshmallow Root

A mucilage acts like a soft fiber, swelling when it contacts water. Marshmallow root is a naturally-occuring mucilage, and this quality allows it to form protective coatings around membranes. Additionally, this herb contains powerful cleansing compounds that support your immune system, digestion, and skin health. 

The compounds within marshmallow root, such as antioxidants, certain amino acids, phenolic acid, tannins, and quercetin, are the reason for its health benefits. These compounds help to support normal mucus thickness in the nasal passages, airways, and digestive tract to aid normal respiratory function.

These compounds help reduce occasional oxidative stress and encourage antioxidant activity to support the body’s immune system response, particularly as it relates to lung health.

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Support Your Immune System

Marshmallow root was traditionally used to sustain the immune system’s ability to defend against seasonal threats. More recently, the benefits for lung and respiratory health have been identified and marshmallow root is now more widely used to promote lung health.

Although used as a syrup originally, marshmallow root can now be taken as a supplement to support immunity. It is especially effective at reducing coughs associated with common seasonal threats. Additionally, marshmallow root helps maintain normal mucus thickness, allowing it to coughed up normally and be removed from the airways. 

The flavonoids in marshmallow root help to reduce typical oxidative stress and help promote healthy immune cell activity to avoid unwanted immune responses. The amino acid, asparagine, is also high in marshmallow root, and it helps promote immune cell activity to protect your body from invaders.

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Additional Benefits of Marshmallow Root

The purifying properties, high fiber content, and numerous plant compounds in marshmallow root provide benefits to your whole body. Beyond support for your immune system, marshmallow root can promote your overall health and well-being.

Skin Health: The antioxidant properties of marshmallow root help strengthen epithelial cells and tissues in your skin. As the body’s first line of defense, these epithelial tissues can help reduce occasional oxidative stress and serve as a physical barrier to keep environmental threats out. Marshmallow root is commonly applied topically to the skin as an ointment, but when taken daily as a supplement, you will get the same benefits.

Detoxification Support: Marshmallow root helps support kidney function, aiding in the body’s natural cleansing and detoxification processes. This also supports urinary tract and bladder health.

Digestive Aid: Marshmallow root contains fiber, which promotes healthy digestion. Marshmallow root has been found to support gut lining integrity, acting as a protective coating to soothe the gut, allowing nutrients to pass while keeping environmental toxins out.

How to Take Marshmallow Root

The amount of marshmallow root you should take depends on several factors. Your age, overall health, conditions, and medications taken are all important. As always, consult with your healthcare practitioner before adding any supplements to your routine. There is no standard recommendation for the dosage you should take, but 100 milligrams per day is considered to be safe and beneficial. Most manufacturers recommend taking marshmallow root for four weeks at a time, with a one-week break before resuming the supplement.

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Marshmallow root was traditionally taken as a tea, but you can now take it as a naturally-sourced supplement to support your health. You only want to get supplements from a reputable brand that uses clinically-studied ingredients

It is also advised to take marshmallow root according to manufacturer guidelines and your doctor’s recommendations. It needs to be taken with a full glass of water to produce truly effective results. This may also reduce the risk of any potential side effects.

Side Effects and Warnings

Marshmallow root is considered safe for consumption and is not likely to cause side effects when taken as advised. As part of a quality supplement, marshmallow root is generally well tolerated. It can cause occasional digestive discomfort in some people. 

Although rare, there are medications that can interact with marshmallow root, specifically those related to blood glucose control, so consult with your physician before taking marshmallow root, if you are already monitoring blood glucose levels daily.  interact with diabetes medications. Marshmallow root should also be avoided before surgery and for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding.

The Bottom Line

Marshmallow root has been used for its healing properties for centuries. It is safe for consumption when taken properly and can help promote respiratory and immune system health


Full of powerful plant compounds, marshmallow root is an effective naturally-sourced health option you don’t want to miss out on. This herb may have lent its name to the sweet candy we all love, but nothing is sweeter than the health benefits you get from marshmallow root.