Today, we’re going to have a look at marshmallow and how it can work as an herbal treatment for your four-legged friend. For the purposes of this article, we’re talking about the medicinal plant Althaea officinalis and not the fluffy white confections you put in your hot chocolate. While the aforementioned treat is made from the plant, there’s a significant difference between it and the perennial plant.
In terms of traditional herbal medicine, the leaves, flowers and root of Althaea officinalis have been used for various applications. In humans, marshmallow has many healing properties. It can be used for helping various forms of irritation, including a sore throat and different sorts of mouth ulcers. These soothing properties are also useful when it comes to dogs.
As with its usage in humans, the most common usage in pets relates to inflammation and irritation. Marshmallow is a popular demulcent, as it can create a film in the mouth that protects and soothes. Like honey or various syrups, marshmallow can provide relief as what’s known as a mucoprotective agent. There are also suggestions that it can help with urinary tract inflammation.
As with licorice, the anti-inflammatory properties of marshmallow are exciting. And as with licorice, there are several ways to get your dog to take marshmallow.
The root, flowers and leaves have a few applications that are very exciting, with everything from marshmallow root powder to a poultice for wounds deriving from this remarkable plant. Dosage below:
- Adding marshmallow root to your dog’s food can aid the relief of several issues, from kennel cough to digestive concerns. A dosage of three-quarters to one teaspoon of powdered marshmallow root can be added to food twice a day for adult dogs, while puppies can make use of a quarter to a half teaspoon of the powder.
- The use of marshmallow as a demulcent is one of the most common applications, which makes sense because of the sheer versatility of the herb. It works on both the gastric and urinary tract systems, which means that most pet owners will find it useful on more than a few occasions. Marshmallow root soothes mucus membranes, which can provide relief from afflictions like constipation and vomiting.
- Half a teaspoon of powdered marshmallow root can be added to your dog’s wet food daily to help ward off things like infections, coughs and even the ghastly constipation. It will also provide a kick to the immune system, which in turn reflects the ability of Althaea officinalis to ward off infections.
- One concoction of root powder has it used with three parts of wheat or barley grass, one part yucca root, two parts dandelion, and one part the root of marshmallow. This can be added to your dog’s food in a small amount initially, with the dosage increased by a half a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight every day. This dosage should be applied for five days, with a two-day rest period. The routine should be used for about a month.
Due to the properties of marshmallow root, it’s important that your dog has access to plenty of water. Its coating capacity can create discomfort, so having that liquid counterbalance can help stave off any possible concerns.
For the most part, however, marshmallow is an incredibly safe herbal treatment to rely on. Some have reported that it can impair the absorption of drug treatments, however, so you’ll want to space out the application of marshmallow from your dog’s normal drug routine.
May cause a decrease in blood sugar levels. Talk to your holistic vet first if your dog is a diabetic.
Reasons to Use
Marshmallow root is a very safe herbal treatment for your dog. It works as a demulcent, which is just a fancy way of saying that it helps soothe and coat various tracts of your pet’s body. It can soothe issues with the bladder and gastrointestinal system, plus it can be used for a sore throat and to soothe symptoms like kennel cough.
And it can even be applied directly to the skin to soothe wounds and to stave off infections. It works for gastritis and ulcers alike, plus it has healing properties that make it a good option to add to your regiment of infection-fighting treatments. Some reports have marshmallow root making a powerful difference in fighting bladder and kidney infections.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen