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The Marsh Mallow Plant


a close up of a flower

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is a natural healing process.

Along the banks of Caddo and any swampy area along the road side, you will see the Mallow Plant (above.) As it grows in the marshes it is called the Marshmallow plant. It is often white with a maroon center or it can be different shades of pink. It has been used for millennia as a medicinal plant. The root contains a slimy sap that cannot be digested by humans. As it travels through the digestive tract it leaves a soothing coating bringing relief for many ailments. The Indians would use it to aid children with foul tasting medicine. It is sweet and would be given following at nasty stuff. French chefs discovered that the sap could be whisked with sugar and egg whites to create a sweet, moldable treat. The French then added cornstarch to help speed up the production and give the candy its unforgettable form. Today the manufacturing of marshmallows is quite different.

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