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What Is Marshmallow Used for Today?
Marshmallow contains contains large sugar molecules called mucilage, which are thought to exert a soothing effect on mucous membranes, and this is the basis of most proposed uses of the herb. However, only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies can prove a treatment effective, and no such studies of marshmallow have been reported at this time. (For information on why double-blind studies are so important, see Why Does This Database Rely on Double-blind Studies? )
On the basis of its supposed soothing properties, tea or lozenges containing marshmallow tea are often recommended for asthma , cough , colds , and sore throat. Marshmallow taken as tea or in capsules is sometimes recommended for Crohn's disease or ulcers , on the theory that mucilage might sooth the lining of the digestive tract. Finally, marshmallow ointment is sometimes recommended for irritated skin.