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Most everyone experiences occasional heartburn. It’s one of the most recognized symptoms of acid reflux. The chronic occurrence of acid reflux is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD should be taken seriously. If you experience chronic acid reflux, see your doctor.

Most doctors are likely to prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medications for relief of acid reflux symptoms. But did you know there are scientifically proven methods of naturally getting rid of occasional heartburn?

Marshmallow root is one of the natural remedies that can soothe acid reflux symptoms like heartburn.

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What Is Marshmallow Root?

The marshmallow we’re talking about is not the white fluffy goodness you use to make smores. Confectionery marshmallow is where our minds first go when thinking of marshmallows and you aren’t too far off. Before their mass production, marshmallows were made from the root of the marshmallow plant (Althaea Officinalis), a perennial that likes wet marshy areas.

For centuries, marshmallow root has been used as a medicinal herb for treating digestive issues like acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, and even ulcers.

Marshmallow Can Improve the Following Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux can have many possible symptoms. Marshmallow can improve the following causes of acid reflux:

  • Heartburn
  • Sore Throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngitis
  • Cough

Let’s look at the properties of the marshmallow root and how it helps with acid reflux and other digestive issues.

How Does Marshmallow Help Digestive Issues Like Acid Reflux?

Marshmallow root contains a large percentage of mucilage, a thick, gooey substance with healing properties that have been used to treat the common cough, heartburn and acid reflux, indigestion, esophagitis, ulcers, repair gut lining, and other gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Even the marshmallow flower has found to have a potential benefit in healing ulcers.1

Gastrointestinal Healing Effects of Marshmallow

When used internally marshmallow has the following healing effects:

1. Demulcent

Marshmallow root helps digestive issues by coating the lining of the gastrointestinal tract to soothe and protect the mucous membranes from irritation.2

2. Pain Reliever

Marshmallow can act as a pain reliever for relieving the irritation caused by acid reflux.3,4

3. Anti-inflammatory

Marshmallow reduces inflammation in the digestive tract.2

4. Antimicrobial

Marshmallow is an antimicrobial that helps kill microorganisms or prevents their growth.

This can be extremely helpful for healing irritated tissue and in treating bacterial and yeast overgrowth conditions like candida, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and Helicobacter pylori that can cause GERD.

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4. Immunomodulatory

Marshmallow can promote healing of the digestive tract by acting as an immunomodulator modifying the immune system’s response.2

5. Regenerative

Marshmallow stimulates the cells that support tissue regeneration to help heal irritated and damaged tissue in the gastrointestinal tract.5

6. Antitussive

Marshmallow root acts as a cough suppressant. Coughing due to esophageal irritation is a symptom of acid reflux.2

Risks of Using Marshmallow Root for Acid Reflux

1. Not for Children

Marshmallow is not recommended for children.6

2. Marshmallow Root Is Not Regulated By The FDA

Marshmallow is a natural food supplement. Supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ingredients, quality, and strength of doses often vary across manufacturers.

3. Statements Regarding Marshmallow Root Treatments Are Not Regulated By The FDA

Statements provided by supplement manufacturers and this website regarding dietary supplements like marshmallow have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.

The FDA supports the physician-supervised treatment of acid reflux and other digestive issues through the use of FDA regulated medications.

4. Interference with Medications

Supplements like marshmallow can interfere with the absorption of medications and supplements you take.

5. Other Options Are Available

It may not be your best option. Prescription acid reflux medication or another natural remedy could possibly be a better option. Consult your doctor.

6. Do Not Use When Pregnant or Nursing

Like many other supplements, there is a lack of testing. Unless suggested by your doctor, do not take marshmallow when you are pregnant or nursing.

How to Use Marshmallow Root for Acid Reflux

There are different forms of marshmallow that can be taken for protecting the esophagus from the pain of acid reflux that we know as heartburn.

There are marshmallow root capsules but the don’t have the same soothing effect on the esophagus since they are washed on into the stomach without contact with the esophagus. Capsules can, however, help soothe the rest of the GI tract. The following forms are more effective as a heartburn remedy than capsules.

Marshmallow Root Powder by Micro Ingredients

Marshmallow Root Powder by Micro Ingredients is certified USDA Organic and Vegan Friendly with no additives, preservatives, filler, artificial colors, flavors, sugar, yeast, GMOs, soy, or gluten.

Combine 2 scoops with boiling water for a soothing herbal drink. (A measuring scoop is provided in the bag.)

Recommended Product from Amazon: Micro Ingredients – Marshmallow Root Powder

Marshmallow Leaf & Root Herbal Tea by Celebration Herbals

Marshmallow Leaf & Root Herbal Tea by Celebration Herbals is made of organically grown and prepared marshmallow leaf and root.

For best results, steep in boiling water for 7-12 minutes.

Recommended Product from Amazon: Celebration Herbals – Marshmallow Leaf & Root Herbal Tea

Marshmallow Root Extract by Nature’s Answer

Marshmallow Root Extract by Nature’s Answer is a super concentrated form of marshmallow root that’s alcohol-free, gluten-free, and certified USDA organic.

Combine 1-2 mL (28-56 drops) in a small amount of water.

Recommended Product from Amazon: Nature’s Answer – Marshmallow Root Extract

Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals

Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals contains marshmallow root, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), and slippery elm. All three of these herbals help protect against acid reflux by coating and building up the mucous membrane that lines the throat and stomach.

Throat Coat Tea is my favorite tea for relieving acid reflux symptoms.

For best results, steep in 8oz of boiling water for 10-15 minutes.

Recommended Product from Amazon: Traditional Medicinals – Organic Throat Coat Tea

Related Content: Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) for Acid Reflux

Conclusion

Marshmallow is generally considered safe and can provide a natural way for soothing acid reflux that works for some people. This approach doesn’t work for everyone. We are all different. You may have to try different natural remedies to find one that works for you.

Consult your doctor before using supplements. With your doctor’s help, you can come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you.

If you’re pursuing an alternative route for healing, make sure your doctor is aware of the supplements you take or plan to take. Herbal supplements and other alternative forms of medicine can have negative health effects and can affect the absorption of medications.

The marshmallow plant is a mucilage rich herb that's scientifically proven to be a natural remedy for soothing acid reflux symptoms like heartburn. Marshmallow root contains a large percentage of mucilage, a thick, gooey substance with healing properties that have been used to treat the common cough, heartburn and acid reflux, indigestion, esophagitis, ulcers, repair gut lining, and other gastrointestinal (GI) problems.

References

  1. Rouba Hage-Sleiman, Mohamad Mroueh, and Costantine F. Daher. Pharmacological Evaluation of Aqueous Extract of Althaea Officinalis Flower Grown in LebanonPharmaceutical Biology. Volume 49, 2011 – Issue 3, Pages 327-333.
  2. Ali Esmail Al-Snafi. The Pharmaceutical Importance of Althaea Officinalis and Althaea Rosea : A Review. International Journal of PharmTech Research. Vol.5, No.3, pp 1378-1385, July-Sept 2013.
  3. Mahmoud Bahmani, Arman Zargaran, and Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei. Identification of Medicinal Plants of Urmia for Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. Volume 24, Issue 4, July–August 2014, Pages 468-480.
  4. K. Bone. Marshmallow Soothes Cough. British Journal of Phytotherapy. 1993/1994;3:93.
  5. Alexandra Deters, Janina Zippel, Nils Hellenbrand, Dirk Pappai, Cathleen Possemeyer, and Andreas Hensel. Aqueous Extracts and Polysaccharides from Marshmallow Roots (Althea Officinalis L.): Cellular Internalisation and Stimulation of Cell Physiology of Human Epithelial Cells in Vitro. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 127, Issue 1, 8 January 2010, Pages 62-69.
  6. Shahnaz Sultana, Andleeb Khan, Mohammed M Safhi, and Hassan A. Alhazmi. Cough Suppressant Herbal Drugs: A Review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention. Volume 5 Issue 5, August 2016, Pages 15-28.
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HowToTreatHeartburn.com is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Statements regarding dietary supplements and other statements on the site have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Please consult a physician to determine your best plan for treatment.

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