Question about marshmallow root

cheeser

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When mixed with water and simmered on the stove, is loose marshmallow root powder supposed to have a fairly thick consistency, kinda like snot? Or is it supposed to be thin, like tea?

We recently decided to give marshmallow root powder a try as an alternative to the homemade slippery elm bark syrup we've been using per the recipe on Tanya's site. From what I've read from various sources, supposedly it's just a simple matter of swapping out one powder for another for whatever recipe you use, but the results are vastly different! The slippery elm bark syrup had a nice thick consistency, but when I use marshmallow root in the same recipe, I wind up with something that looks like dark tea.

Is that what I'm supposed to wind up with? Or do I need to keep tweaking with the recipe to get a thicker consistency, e.g., not adding as much water, letting it simmer on the stove longer to allow more water to evaporate, etc.?
 

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To me, marshmallow root has a thinner consistency but it is still very effective. When I make my decoction, I usually use "cut & sifted" marshmallow root/ slippery elm bark instead of powdered because it is easier to work with. In the tradition of my forefathers, I begin with cold water and simmer, covered, on very low heat, until I can smell the herb. I remove from heat and allow to cool, still covered. In urgent cases, I thin out the hot decoction with cold water and administer either in wet food or via syringe. Powdered works well, too, but making the paste takes more time.
My preference is for MR for urinary issues, slippery elm bark for GI issues, and MR/SE interchangeably for lungs/respiratory. A little licorice root for viruses can be added. Red raspberry leaf tea is antispasmodic so can be beneficial especially for abdominal cramping, sense of urinary urgency and coughing; it is also used for anti-nausea. Because RR is prepared as a tea (steeped, not simmered), I add it to a decoction after the potion is removed from the heat source. Lemon balm and chamomile can also be soothing. One "rule" for SE, and to a lesser extent MR (because MR has a thinner viscosity) is to administer the herbs 4-6 hours away from medications because the herbs add a soothing coating to the alimentary/gastrointestinal and urinary tracts & that coating can interfere with absorption of the meds.
Anyway, as the old saying goes "all roads lead to Rome", so there are probably many other techniques to using herbs. My dad's people include traditional healers & my methods are those that I was taught by him. Just so you know, I do ask my vet before trying any new herbs; she was raised on a remote ranch in the Pacific NW so she was raised using medicinal herbs too.
I know that my post here is overkill for you but I wanted to add extra information for the visitors to this site who are just now exploring traditional medicine.
 
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cheeser

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Thanks bunches! To be honest, I mostly give Buddy slippery elm for hairball control, and the nausea that he sometimes gets when his sinuses are giving him fits. The fact that it can also be helpful re: bladder inflammation is usually just an added bonus. But it's been a while since various remedies specifically for urinary tract problems has been on my radar screen, so the info was most helpful. :)

I've been a nervous wreck about letting Buddy have the Young Again LID Zero Mature dry food as part of his daily diet, even though it's supposed to be specifically formulated for cats who require a low carb diet, e..g, urinary tract issues, diabetes, etc. But right now, I'm just too exhausted first thing in the morning to spend two hours trying to coax Buddy to eat wet food for breakfast. It's easier for me to let him have a tablespoon or so of the Young Again as soon as I stumble out of my pallet on the floor, follow it up with his "power shake" a couple of hours later when I'm not so much of a zombie, and hope and pray that his urinary tract problems don't flare up again. :)
 
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cheeser

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To me, marshmallow root has a thinner consistency but it is still very effective. When I make my decoction, I usually use "cut & sifted" marshmallow root/ slippery elm bark instead of powdered because it is easier to work with. In the tradition of my forefathers, I begin with cold water and simmer, covered, on very low heat, until I can smell the herb. I remove from heat and allow to cool, still covered. In urgent cases, I thin out the hot decoction with cold water and administer either in wet food or via syringe. Powdered works well, too, but making the paste takes more time.
My preference is for MR for urinary issues, slippery elm bark for GI issues, and MR/SE interchangeably for lungs/respiratory. A little licorice root for viruses can be added. Red raspberry leaf tea is antispasmodic so can be beneficial especially for abdominal cramping, sense of urinary urgency and coughing; it is also used for anti-nausea. Because RR is prepared as a tea (steeped, not simmered), I add it to a decoction after the potion is removed from the heat source. Lemon balm and chamomile can also be soothing. One "rule" for SE, and to a lesser extent MR (because MR has a thinner viscosity) is to administer the herbs 4-6 hours away from medications because the herbs add a soothing coating to the alimentary/gastrointestinal and urinary tracts & that coating can interfere with absorption of the meds.
Anyway, as the old saying goes "all roads lead to Rome", so there are probably many other techniques to using herbs. My dad's people include traditional healers & my methods are those that I was taught by him. Just so you know, I do ask my vet before trying any new herbs; she was raised on a remote ranch in the Pacific NW so she was raised using medicinal herbs too.
I know that my post here is overkill for you but I wanted to add extra information for the visitors to this site who are just now exploring traditional medicine.
Thanks so very much. I really appreciate all of the info. :heartshape:

I've considered trying marshmallow root as an alternative to slippery elm for quite some time, mostly because I've read that it can be more helpful for upper respiratory symptoms. But then something would come up and the SEB syrup would work so well (like a really upset tummy from a course of Veraflox, the awful mouth ulcers Buddy gets during herpes flare ups, etc.), and then I'd get cold feet about making any changes.

But I'm ready to give it a try now, and I feel better knowing that it will probably have a thinner consistency than what I'm accustomed to. :)

Since I already have the powdered form of marshmallow root on hand (not the extract kind), is there a particular recipe that you'd recommend? Or is it just a matter of tweaking with the stovetop method formula on Tanya's site for the slippery elm bark syrup until I get the consistency that I want, such as adding a bit more powder and/or less water, simmering it longer, etc? Or can I add a bit of slippery elm bark syrup to the mix to make it thicker, and if so, what proportions would you suggest?
 

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I suggest blending the two since you have them. With powdered herbs, I use a teaspoon total per cup of water & blend into a paste. I store the leftovers in a clean canning jar. I do not strain it but allow the sediment to collect on the bottom. I refrigerate the rest if the room gets warmer than 55°. Don't worry if the decoction gets cloudy or too thick - you can thin it as you go. I pour from off the top - the medicinal benefit still accumulates in the jar. You can even add more fresh water to the jar as you go.
You can also switch directly to the MR and see how your boy responds. The rule of thumb that I use is to stop the herbs after 2 weeks and see how the patient is doing. Also, don't blend more than 6 at a time.
As for brands, I have no complaints with any of the ones that I buy online or at the healthfood store. I do sometimes add L-lysine and bovine colostrum to a canned food gruel, both at signs of flare-up, and with my outside ferals, during cold spells. Just for an example, I will add a shot of my current stash.
Another thing that I recommend is observing the herbs (sniff & look, to identify the scent and color) and tasting them yourself. You can determine freshness and potency that way. For older batches of crude product, you can increase the simmering time & then add more to achieve the desired strength (I rely mostly on the scent).
 

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cheeser

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I suggest blending the two since you have them. With powdered herbs, I use a teaspoon total per cup of water & blend into a paste. I store the leftovers in a clean canning jar. I do not strain it but allow the sediment to collect on the bottom. I refrigerate the rest if the room gets warmer than 55°. Don't worry if the decoction gets cloudy or too thick - you can thin it as you go. I pour from off the top - the medicinal benefit still accumulates in the jar. You can even add more fresh water to the jar as you go.
You can also switch directly to the MR and see how your boy responds. The rule of thumb that I use is to stop the herbs after 2 weeks and see how the patient is doing. Also, don't blend more than 6 at a time.
As for brands, I have no complaints with any of the ones that I buy online or at the healthfood store. I do sometimes add L-lysine and bovine colostrum to a canned food gruel, both at signs of flare-up, and with my outside ferals, during cold spells. Just for an example, I will add a shot of my current stash.
Another thing that I recommend is observing the herbs (sniff & look, to identify the scent and color) and tasting them yourself. You can determine freshness and potency that way. For older batches of crude product, you can increase the simmering time & then add more to achieve the desired strength (I rely mostly on the scent).
Awesome! Thanks for the additional info. :hearthrob: :redheartpump: :hearthrob:

I'll start with half slippery elm and half marshmallow root for now, and see how it goes. Now that I think about it, my first attempts at making slippery elm bark syrup were pretty pitiful, and it took a while to learn how to get the consistency just right every time. So maybe it might just take me a while to get the hang of using marshmallow root. I guess I just panicked when I saw how thin the "syrup" was by merely substituting one powder for another, and was afraid that I had made a mistake in giving this a try. ;)

Buddy suffers from chronic post-nasal drip, which sometimes makes him cough, especially if he's been ingesting more hair than usual (which he has). Shedding season has started earlier than usual this year, even though we don't really have seasons where we live. So I'm curious to see if the marshmallow root might be more soothing for that sort of thing than the slippery elm. :)
 
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Okily-dokily. I whipped up a batch of half slippery elm/half marshmallow root the other day using the usual recipe, and it has the same consistency as the syrup made with just the slippery elm. However, Buddy isn't too keen on the taste, which is kinda funny, because I've read that some cats find the taste of marshmallow root more pleasing than slippery elm. Go figure. :wink:

I'm not 100% sure, but I think Buddy doesn't sound quite as congested. But that could just be a coincidence, since the congestion waxes and wanes all the time. We'll see how it goes. :)
 

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Sending prayers and vibes that Buddy's respiratory inflammation clears up! I pray that he responds as well to MR as I do - I felt those awful UTI symptoms come on suddenly & quickly took 4 MR capsules with a tall glass of warm water and felt much better in minutes!
 
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