Marshmallow Root (Althaea)- Student Article

Spotlight: Marshmallow Root (Althaea)

I made my first homemade soap this weekend and it is a Shampoo Bar. Until recently, I had never heard of such a thing. The last several months, I have been on the search for a homemade shampoo. The baking soda or clay “no poo” methods did not appeal to me so I tried every version I could find using castile soap. Having used salon products for several years, I hated the way my hair was feeling. I tried to be patient and work myself through the gross period, which I have read so much about. After two weeks, I gave up the castile soap for my hair. (I love it for everything else!)

I then came across a recipe for a Marshmallow Root Shampoo Bar. I was so excited. The Marshmallow Root has mucilage’s which would give my hair some “slip”. This was exactly what I was looking for. Having never made soap, I was a bit nervous, but I gathered my ingredients and got started.

I borrowed this recipe from

marshmallowMarshmallow Root Shampoo Bar

4.5 oz Sweet Almond Oil

1 oz Beeswax

5 oz Castor Oil

2 oz Cocoa Butter

9 oz Coconut Oil

3 oz Jojoba Oil

4.5 oz Olive Oil

2 oz Shea Butter

4 oz Marshmallow Root Infused Water

6 oz Coconut Milk

4 oz Lye

.5-1 oz Essential Oils

1. Add marshmallow root to 4 oz. boiling water and let steep.
2. Measure all oils and butters and beeswax individually on kitchen scale and add to a hot crock pot.
3. Strain and squeeze the marshmallow root infusion and add enough extra water to equal 4 ounces again. (The herb absorbs some of your liquid).
4. In a glass bowl, add coconut milk to the marshmallow root infusion, (you should have a total of 10 ounces of liquid), and out of doors, add your lye to the mixture.

Precaution: Lye is caustic and dangerous. It is the responsibility of every soap maker to be familiar with how to safely handle such chemicals. Do your homework! Especially if this is your first soap-makin’ rodeo.

5. Let the lye mixture cool while stirring (with wood or plastic).
6. Add the lye/liquid mixture to the crock pot and stir
7. Blend in crock pot with stick blender until trace. (It will look like banana pudding).
8. Cook on high in crock pot for approximately 45-1 hour, or until the mixture folds in on itself and looks a little translucent.

To test: Take a pinch from the crock pot and rub in between your fingers. It should feel waxy. You can also put the tip of your tongue to your sample, and if you feel a zing, like that of a 9 volt battery, it’s not finished. When it’s finished, it will taste like soap.

9. Pour it into your greased or parchment paper lined mold and allow to cool. Cut into bars.

You can use your first bar right away, but allow the others good ventilation to continue to harden.

Thanks to these easy instructions, my first batch was a success and my hair feels great. The bar lathered up very nicely on my hair, and felt like any other shampoo I have ever used. I look forward to researching and trying other herbs for future shampoo bars.

Here are some quick facts about Marshmallow Root.

  • Scientifically known as Althaea officinalis
  • It is an African plant with short roundish leaves and small pale flowers, the roots and leaves are most commonly used.
  • Originally used by the Egyptians and later adopted by the French.
  • Most commonly used for sore throats and dry coughs
  • Also used to treat digestive disorders, including heartburn, indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers and Chron’s disease.
  • Considered very safe with no reported side effects

The mucilage and flavanoids, which contain anti-inflammatory properties, work together to coat membranes and reduce inflammation for sore throats, dry coughs and digestion ailments. The extract also contains phagocytosis, which speeds up the healing process by engulfing bacteria, dead cell tissues or other solid particles.

It can be used in capsules, tinctures and tea.

Taken from

Christine Gray

New student of Heart of Herbs , Essential Oils and Herbs. Just turned 50 years old and became an empty nester.

I believe I have given up my obsession for shoes and purses for Essential Oils!

Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Educational programs are available through Heart of Herbs

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