Health Library Home>Natural & Alternative Treatments>Herbs & Supplements>Article


Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Hollyhock, Althaea officinalis


Marshmallow is a plant that grows in wet marshy areas. It is different from the white sugary treat. Marshmallow leaves and roots have been used to ease sore throat and cough. It has also been used to ease digestion. Marshmallow can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.


There are no advised doses for marshmallow.

What Research Shows

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Breast engorgement in lactating women A1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take marshmallow in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A1. Khosravan S, Mohammadzadeh-Moghadam H, et al. The Effect of Hollyhock (Althaea officinalis L) Leaf Compresses Combined With Warm and Cold Compress on Breast Engorgement in Lactating Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):25-30.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/29/2020