Marshmallow Root For Leaky Gut 2022: How It Work, Benefits & Risks

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Medically reviewed by Gopal Ramakrishnan, Ph. D (Biochemistry)

Marshmallow Root Leaky Gut

For centuries, people have used parts of the marshmallow plant (Althaea officinalis) for their medicinal benefits. The leaves and roots come in handy when you need to treat a plethora of illnesses. The marshmallow root is the ultimate pain killer as it offers you relief from pain and any inflammation.

While using a supplement to improve your health, add the marshmallow root into the mix for the best outcome.

However, it’s better to learn more about the marshmallow root before you brew some to take. Find out the benefits, dosage, and side effects of taking marshmallow root in this article.

Using Marshmallow Root For Leaky Gut

There are many ways in which people use marshmallow roots. One of them is to find relief from pain and inflammation when you have a leaky gut. A leaky gut[1] is a condition where the gut lining won’t absorb the nutrients from food.

In such situations, you end up with inflammation in your stomach and intestines, which is quite painful. The inflammation and pain can impact your quality of life. While you can seek a medical solution, it’s also better to try natural remedies like marshmallow root.

You can use this root by applying directly to your skin if you have any dry areas. That’s just one way. Any person with an inflammatory bowel disease can consider using this plant. It’s a natural remedy that can help you feel much better.

Apart from gut health, there are many other ways you can benefit from the marshmallow root. It works for cough relief and soothing irritations on your skin. Though there isn’t definitive research on the health benefits of the marshmallow root, you can go by the centuries of use.

However, before you can use it to treat a condition like leaky gut, it’s better to understand what it is and its cause.

What is Leaky Gut?

The gut comprises the digestive tract[2], which is where the food you eat is processed. This gut contains a lining inside, a healthy intestinal barrier, responsible for absorbing all the nutrients from the food you eat. The lining has to be less porous for the absorption to occur successfully.

However, when you have poor gut health, there’s more permeability in the gut lining. As a result, all the nutrients absorbed leak back into your gut. This is a sign of poor health and can come with inevitable consequences when the leak occurs.

When you experience leaky gut syndrome, you end up feeling pain, having a poor immune system, and inflammation in your intestines. People who suffer from such stomach digestive issues strive to find better solutions, including leaky gut supplements and natural remedies like marshmallow root[3].

Having a leaky gut can cause you so many issues. There are certain signs and symptoms you can look out for that are warning bells. These include:

  • Bloating and excessive gas
  • Running stomach or diarrhea
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Poor immune system
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Lack of nutrients in the body
  • Pain in the joints
  • Skin breakouts, including rashes and acne

Still, it’s worth noting that, medically speaking, leaky gut is not a recognized medical condition. There’s a need for more scientific research to ascertain the cause and ways to heal the body of this condition. However, you can use the marshmallow root to find relief from the symptoms above.

How Does the Marshmallow Root Work to Ease a Leaky Gut?

The marshmallow root[4] can come to your aid when experiencing leaky gut symptoms. But, it’s better to understand how it works before determining the right dosage to take. The marshmallow root extract is a slimy liquid that you can take.

Other people prefer taking it as a powder. But, overall, the slimy nature of the root extract is what you need. This mucus-like consistency is what goes into your body and lines the gut cells. Thanks to the marshmallow root extract, all those areas where you’re experiencing pain and inflammation find lasting relief.

In addition, you can apply the extract on parts of your skin where you’re experiencing irritation. One of the symptoms of a leaky gut is skin breakouts which can be pretty uncomfortable. The soothing effect of the marshmallow brings you relief from the pain and swelling.

There’s even evidence of using the marshmallow root when you have a wound on your skin. Pain relief and less inflammation[5] is the best way to start the healing process. Marshmallow root has many benefits to the human body, including relief from constipation and inflammatory bowel disease.

How to Use Marshmallow Root?

There are different ways of using the marshmallow root to relieve the leaky gut symptoms listed above. There are many natural products available today that contain the extract but always check the ingredients.

Perhaps the best way to take the extract is by drinking it. People make teas or mix them with juice. Both methods are effective in taking the marshmallow powder to ease intestinal permeability.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is perhaps the easiest way to take root. It would be best if you got the dried root to make the tea or a powder. Add the dried root to hot boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes. After the time elapses, strain the root and enjoy the drink.

There are even marshmallow root tea bags available in the stores today. You can choose one that contains pure powder or mixed with other soothing herbs like chamomile. Always give the tea bag time to sit in hot water to get the best results. 10 minutes or so will suffice before you drink it.

While the extract works, the taste might put you off. In that case, add honey which is another natural ingredient that benefits your gut health[6].

However, if you don’t want to brew tea, you can add the powder to your juice or smoothie. This is also an effective way of ingesting the beneficial natural remedy.

Skin Ointment

Apart from ingesting the marshmallow root, you can use it on your skin. Today, there are many skin products available that contain dried root extract. This soothes the dry skin, inflammation, and pain, which are a result of digestive issues.

Apart from using these ointments, you can make a paste using the powder. Mix a little water with the marshmallow root powder to get a paste. Apply the paste on your skin and leave it for some time before rinsing it off.

While the marshmallow root works to alleviate leaky gut, there are several other benefits of using it. Below are other health benefits of using the marshmallow root.

Other Benefits of Using the Marshmallow Root

Cough Relief

Having a persistent cough can be quite hard when trying to go about your day-to-day life. The cough can result from infection and causes lots of pain in your body’s throat and chest areas. While you can try functional medicine, some natural remedies work too.

For instance, the marshmallow root has a soothing effect on your body when you have a persistent cough. It coats the lining of the esophagus, which soothes the irritation. This is why you’re encouraged to dry cough remedies that contain marshmallow root extract[7].

The soothing effect can help you heal faster from a respiratory infection. In addition, you won’t feel so much pain which is caused by a continuous dry cough.  This includes a sore throat and a painful chest.

Soothe Skin Irritation

For any person experiencing issues with intestinal inflammation, the marshmallow root is a natural remedy. In this case, you have less of the good gut bacteria in your body, causing issues with your gut lining.

One of the main signs that you have a leaky gut is skin irritation. Suddenly, you have a breakout of acne and dry skin patches, which can be pretty uncomfortable. The skin irritations can worsen if you don’t find a solution like taking marshmallow root to ease the condition.

Apart from taking the extract, you can apply the extract to your skin. But, do a patch test first to ensure you aren’t allergic to it. Still, using the extract on your skin is a natural remedy[8] when you have skin irritation.

The extract soothes your skin. However, if the condition persists, make sure you visit a dermatologist. They can recommend functional medication to use together with the marshmallow root extract for lasting results.

Antioxidant Properties

Another issue that can cause you pain and inflammation is the presence of free radicals in your body. This is why you need natural remedies with lots of antioxidant properties to get rid of the free radicals.

 Marshmallow extract[9] is one of those natural products you can use.

Protection from Ulcers

Many people suffer from painful stomach ulcers that can affect your life in many ways. There’s new research[10] that shows marshmallow roots can protect you from getting stomach ulcers. In this case, you need ginger and marshmallow root to act as a preventive measure.

Poor gut health can lead to stomach ulcers as the nutrients leak back due to gut lining permeability. But, when you use the extract as a preventive measure, you reduce the chances of this taking place. The mucous in the plant extract line the walls of your gut guarding against ulcers.

Side Effects of the Marshmallow Root

While the marshmallow root benefits your body, it’s best also to know its side effects. The solution is good but might not work the same way for every person with digestive disorders and other conditions.

Upset Stomach

Not everyone finds relief when using the marshmallow root extract for leaky gut. In some instances, the extract can bring you more stomach problems and pain.

You end up with an upset stomach which worsens symptoms of a leaky gut like pain and diarrhea.


Another side-effect to watch out for is feeling sleepy or dizzy after taking the mixture. Start by testing a little dosage to see how your body responds. If you don’t feel dizzy, you can take more.

Dry Mouth

Taking the powder can leave you with a dry mouth. It’s better to create a concoction to take other than using the powder as it is. A dry mouth can be pretty uncomfortable.

Allergic Reaction

Applying marshmallow root extract to your skin carries lots of benefits. It soothes the pain and brings down the swelling. However, in some rare cases, the extract causes an allergic reaction[11], so do a test first on your skin when using the extract for the first time.

Caution is vital when using marshmallow extract for different issues like soothing a leaky gut. While this is a natural remedy, it can have side effects that are worth noting.

Other Natural Remedies for Leaky Gut

Slippery Elm Bark Powder

Slippery elm is a tree that originates from the US and parts of Canada and has dark brown bark. The bark, at times, appears reddish-brown. Back in the day, this tree was one of the most beneficial for the Native American communities.

The natives had a knack for peeling the bark of the slippery elm to get the slimy extract. The extract came in handy when treating coughs, sore throat, wounds, and even stomach issues. This was achieved by mixing the slime with water to get sticky mucilage.

The mucilage would soothe the ill person, making them feel better within a short period. This natural remedy has been in use in these parts for centuries and continues to be today. You can use the slippery elm bark powder to ease a leaky gut.

Similar to the marshmallow root powder, it soothes the gut linings when you have a leaky gut. In some cases, you can even use slippery elm and marshmallow. But, be sure to first do a test before increasing the dosage to analyze the effects.

The slippery elm bark extract soothes your stomach lining. Its primary purpose is to ease the symptoms of the ailment and improve your quality of life. In one study[12], the extract successfully enhanced bowel movement for patients with severe constipation inflammatory bowel disease.

Apart from soothing your gut lining, the slippery elm contributes to an increase in good bacteria[13] in your gut. The presence of lots of bad bacteria causes a leaky gut. So you have to alter that by taking natural remedies like the slippery elm bark powder to improve this condition.

In Conclusion

A leaky gut can impact your quality of life and even lead to autoimmune disorders[14]. But, the good news is there are some natural remedies you can use to ease the symptoms of this condition. One of them is using the famous marshmallow root extract to soothe the gut lining.

At times, you may experience gut barrier function, making it hard for your body to get the nutrients you need. You can feel much better by taking the marshmallow herbal tea or mixing the powder in a drink. Just be sure to test it first to see if you experience any side effects from the marshmallow root extract.

In addition, you can use the slippery elm extract for a similar effect and even mix it with the marshmallow root. The slippery elm has probiotic benefits that add lots of good bacteria to your gut.

But, be sure to check out some of the side effects[15] of using the marshmallow root extract before you start using it. Still, there are many benefits of using marshmallow extract, not only for your gut health. You can benefit from the plant remedy in other ways listed in this article.

+ 15 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

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  3. ‌Banaee, M., Soleimany, V. and Nematdoost Haghi, B. (2017). Therapeutic effects of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.) extract on plasma biochemical parameters of common carp infected with Aeromonas hydrophila. Veterinary research forum : an international quarterly journal, [online] 8(2), pp.145–153. Available at:
  4. ‌Bahmani, M., Zargaran, A. and Rafieian-Kopaei, M. (2014). Identification of medicinal plants of Urmia for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, [online] 24(4), pp.468–480. Available at:
  5. ‌Bonaterra, G.A., Bronischewski, K., Hunold, P., Schwarzbach, H., Heinrich, Ennio-U., Fink, C., Aziz-Kalbhenn, H., Müller, J. and Kinscherf, R. (2020). Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative Effects of Phytohustil® and Root Extract of Althaea officinalis L. on Macrophages in vitro. Frontiers in Pharmacology, [online] 11. Available at:
  6. ‌Mohan, A., Quek, S.-Y., Gutierrez-Maddox, N., Gao, Y. and Shu, Q. (2017). Effect of honey in improving the gut microbial balance. Food Quality and Safety, [online] 1(2), pp.107–115. Available at:
  7. ‌Europe PMC (2016). Europe PMC. [online] Available at:
  8. ‌Dawid-Pać, R. (2013). Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, [online] 3, pp.170–177. Available at:
  9. ‌Analytical Letters. (2011). Determination of Antioxidant Activity of Marshmallow Flower (Althaea officinalis L.). [online] Available at:
  10. ‌Zaghlool, S., Shehata, B., Abo-Seif, A. and Abd El-Latif, H. (2015). Protective effects of ginger and marshmallow extracts on indomethacin-induced peptic ulcer in rats. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, [online] 6(2), p.421. Available at:
  11. ‌ (2021). Marshmallow. [online] Available at:
  12. ‌The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. (2021). Effects of Two Natural Medicine Formulations on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Pilot Study | The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. [online] Available at:
  13. ‌Peterson, C.T., Sharma, V., Uchitel, S., Denniston, K., Chopra, D., Mills, P.J. and Peterson, S.N. (2018). Prebiotic Potential of Herbal Medicines Used in Digestive Health and Disease. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, [online] 24(7), pp.656–665. Available at:
  14. ‌Mu, Q., Kirby, J., Reilly, C.M. and Luo, X.M. (2017). Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases. Frontiers in Immunology, [online] 8. Available at:
  15. Khalighi, N., Jabbari-Azad, F., Barzegar-Amini, M., Tavakkol-Afshari, J., Layegh, P. and Salari, R. (2021). Impact of Althaea Officinalis extract in patients with atopic eczema: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Clinical Phytoscience, [online] 7(1). Available at:

Medically reviewed by:

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All her work is backed by scientific evidence to ensure readers get valuable and actionable content.

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