Can you imagine harvesting marshmallows from your own plants? Just kidding. Marshmallows do not grow on plants but are made from the roots of these beautiful flowering plants.
History of Marshmallow Plants
Marshmallow plants are scientifically known as Althaea Officinalis. It is an ancient medicinal plant that first originated in ancient Egypt in 2000 BC. It was first used as a traditional remedy to relieve cough and cold symptoms. And to heal wounds. The process involved boiling the roots to get a slimy pulp that was then mixed with honey and stored.
It was later introduced in France where candy makers started using the sap to make tasty candies from the roots of mallow plants. This candy, called Pâte de Guimauve, was a spongy-soft dessert made from whipping dried marshmallow roots with sugar, water, and egg whites. Gradually, the candy makers started using gelatin instead of mallow roots. Nowadays the marshmallows that we buy from the stores do not contain marshmallow roots.
Marshmallow plants are native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia.
Health Benefits of Marshmallow
The botanical name of Marshmallow Plants is Althaea Officinalis
If you can make the smores easily from the store-bought marshmallow or make them from other ingredients then why bother growing these plants? As I mentioned earlier marshmallow plants were used as a traditional medicine in Egypt and are still commonly used as a herbal remedy for cold, cough, and inflammation.
- According to some researchers, the extracts from marshmallow plants can protect the body from certain bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
- Marshmallow plants were famously used to reduce dry cough and act as a cough suppressant
- These plants have some phytochemicals that may reduce inflammation and promote wound healing.
- Mallow plants also believed to fight against oral infections
- Some researchers believe that the extract from marshmallow plants may be used for protecting the skin from harsh UV radiation.
- These starchy plants are also believed to have hypoglycemic effects.
Why Grow Marshmallow Plants?
The reason I decided to grow these plants is that I was curious to know more about the marshmallow plants and also their beautiful purple-violet flowers look very pretty. Marshmallow plants are frost tolerant and hence they can add beauty as well as height to your winter garden.
Other than the beautiful looks, marshmallow plants are edible. The roots can be used to make marshmallows at home or as a root vegetable. You can get creative and make many wonderful dishes from this delicious herb.