This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Althaea. - Synonym. - Marshmallow. The root of Althaea officinalis Linne (nat. ord. Malvaceae).
Europe, Western and Northern Asia; naturalized in the Eastern United States and in Australia, in salt marshes} culivated in Europe.
In cylindrical or somewhat conical pieces, from 10 to 15 cm. long, 10 to 15 mm. in diameter, deeply wrinkled; deprived of the brown, corky layer and small roots; externally white, marked with a number of circular spots, and of a somewhat hairy appearance from the loosened bast-fibres; internally whitish and fleshy. It breaks with a short granular and mealy fracture, has a faint, aromatic odor, and a sweetish, mucilaginous taste.
Resembling Althaea. - Young and peeled Belladonna roots, but these have no hair-like bast-fibres upon the surface.
1) Asparagin, 1 per cent. (2) Bassorin, a mucilage, 35 per cent. (3) Sugar, 8 per cent. (4) Pectin, 10 per cent.
Marshmallow is used as a demulcent, for irritation and inflammation of mucous membranes.