Marshmallow root comes from the marshmallow plant and looks like a brown, fibrous husk. The flowers, root, and leaves of the marshmallow plant are edible.
The medicinal properties of marshmallow root come from the mucilage, or sap-like substance, that the plant produces.
The mucilage of the plant contains antioxidants, and research suggests that it forms a coating over skin and the digestive tract. By doing this, it may help with skin irritation and digestive issues, such as ulcers.
Marshmallow candy got its name from marshmallow root because manufacturers originally used the root’s mucilage to make this confection. Today, however, candy marshmallows typically do not contain the herb. Instead, they consist of sugar and gelatin.