Marshmallow root and marshmallow leaf (Althaea Officinalis) has several alternative names: Mallards, schloss tea, mortification root, sweet weed, hock herb, wymote, mauls, and cheeses plant (named after the flat, round fruit). Marshmallow root and leaves are not only great to use as a detangler on dry hair, but can also be used both internally and externally for a wide variety of skin and health conditions such as:
- insect bites
- boils and abscesses
- wound healing
- moisturizer for dry itching skin
- inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract
- assists with upper respiratory complaints such as coughs, bronchitis and asthma
- relives irritation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat
- detangles and nourishes the hair
For the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on the last benefit listed for use of marshmallow root to detangle and nourish natural hair.
Marshmallow is a High Mucilage Plant
This wonderful -rich plant is filled with vitamins A and C starch, pectin, phenolic acids, sucrose, asparagine, oil, flavonoids, cellulose, sugar, glutinous matter (some refer to it as ‘slime’), and phosphate of lime. Marshmallow is a mucilage plant just like aloe vera, okra, fengreek and flax seeds, and kelp, which means it produces a “snot-like” secretion that is extremely similar to the slippery quality of aloe vera.
Marshmallow can significantly cut down on your natural hair detangling time after shampooing. Marshmallow used as a rinse or with conditioners has an amazingly slippery texture and incomparable detangling abilities. Its nutrient rich composition promotes healthy hair growth, and adds a natural shine to your hair. If you suffer from irritation of the scalp such as dandruff, eczema or psoriasis – marshmallow root will soothe your dry, itchy scalp. It’s natural anti-inflammatory properites help heal inflammation of scalp tissue and reduces bacteria, lessening the likelihood of an infection of the scalp.
Marshmallow Root Detangling Spray
This simple to make (DIY) marshmallow root detangling spray makes a huge difference in hair styling after shampooing. Detangling with marshmallow root is much easier, single strand knots (SSKs) slide right out, and there is less tangling which means reduced breakage.
For women transitioning from relaxers to natural, a detangling spray is indispensable to reduce tension between your new growth and the relaxed hair during comb outs. Marshmellow root detangling spray will help you experience much less hair breakage and maintain length during your transition period.
What You Need:
- 1-1/2 cups distilled water
- 3 Tablespoons Marshmallow root powder (or shreds of the root bark)
- 2 Tablespoons Aloe Vera juice
- 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil
- Warm the distilled water in a pot until it is very hot but not boiling (usually let it boil slightly then take it off the stove for 1 minute to cool slightly).
- Place Marshmallow root in a large heat-resistant ceramic or glass bowl; pour hot water over herbs.
- Cover bowl with a plate and allow mixture to steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove root bits by straining through a fine strainer or cheesecloth into a large measuring cup with a pour spout.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. When cool enough to handle, pour the mixture into your spray bottle.
Use this whenever you need to detangle your hair, especially immediately after shampooing. Always shake before using.
The mixture keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days; to keep it longer than that add a few drops of an anti-bacterial preserving essential oil such as Lemongrass or Tea Tree oil.
Risks/Side Effects of Marshmallow
We could find no known side effects attributed to use of marshmallow. However, as with any plant or food, there is always risk of an allergic reaction which could be serious. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as a skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face, tongue or throat), severe dizziness or you experience trouble breathing.
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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