Not to be confused with the tasty treat toasted over an open campfire, Althaea officinalis is a perennial medicinal herb and part of the malvaceae family. Marshmallow grows on the sides of salt and brackish marshes, in ditches and on the grassy banks near the sea. Its pale purple-pink flowers bloom in late summer.
Marshmallow root can soothe an upset stomach and can also be applied externally to bruises, cuts, and splinters. The dried root can also be used as a toothbrush or chewed on by teething children. The dried flowers can be used to make a tea. Additionally left-over water used to boil any part of the plant can be used as a vegan alternative to egg whites! Not a misnomer, the root of the marshmallow is dried, ground, made into a paste, roasted and then used to make the sweet by the same name.