Marshmallow Root – Althaea officinalis
Marshmallow root, or common marshmallow, is a flowering plant that produces flat, disc-shaped fruits commonly referred to as “cheeses.” The foliage of the plant dies back in the fall, but the fibrous roots are perennial.
Marshmallow has a long history of use as a culinary and medicinal plant that spans more than 2,000 years. The ancient Romans considered marshmallow to be a delicacy, and had a preference for eating the roasted roots of the plant as a vegetable. In Syria and in other parts of the world periodically affected by famine, marshmallow is an abundant and life-saving alternative when traditional crops fail. Because inhabitants may have to survive on plant sources for food for weeks at a time, marshmallow roots, par-boiled and then pan-fried in butter with onions, is common fare at such times.
Country of origin: United States
Safety: may affect blood sugar control