Althaea Officinalis in Traditional Medicine and modern phytotherapy
Althaea (Marshmallow) has been under consumption over the past few centuries to manage some of diseases including fever, eczema, constipation and cough. The aim of this study is to investigate the traditional and modern uses of marshmallow in children and adults. This study was a narrative review, in which the medicinal properties of marshmallow were collected from credible pharmacopeias and therapeutic books of Traditional Medicine (TM). Further, electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Magiran, and Web of Science were explored for this purpose. Marshmallow has been prescribed in various forms such as tablet, syrup, gargle, vaginal suppository, vaginal douche, rectal enema, as well as ophthalmic and nasal drop for different diseases by PM scholars. Some of its traditional effects including anti-inflammatory, antitussive, anti-infective, and anti-pyretic properties have been confirmed in new studies. Phytochemical investigations revealed that the whole part of marshmallow contains a mucilage, phenolic acid, scopoletin, and flavonoids. Considering the comparatively extensive uses of marshmallow in traditional medicine and the confirmation of some of these applications in modern medicine, we can examine the other benefits of this plant, especially in pediatric medicine with regards to digestion and fever. It is also possible to find better ways to treat diseases by integrating both traditional and classic medicine.
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