Licorice & Marshmallow Root for the throat

 Going through the last few crates of plants that came from our old farm in Sligo I found 9 missing Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) plants! I remember digging them up from one of the polytunnels when we were moving… but had misplaced them and they had been left outside in a crate of soil for 2 whole winters! Eeek! We were so surprised and delighted to find them alive. Also found was some smaller Marshmallows (Althea officinalis). Marshmallow is a plant we grow a lot of. Always sowing and planting in new Marshmallows each year to keep a good stock of them for harvesting. It’s the root of both Licorice and Marshmallow that we use medicinally, and they take 3-4 years to mature for harvesting.

 These too amazing root herbs are the main ingredients in our absolute go to for sore throats and night coughs for our kids. We mix our Licorice root tincture, Marshmallow root tincture, Thyme leaf tincture and Plantain leaf glycerite to make a powerfully effective medicine for sore throats and cough. In particular, we find this the best mix to have to hand over winter in case one of the kids is woken in the night with a sore throat and irritating dry cough. This night time sore throat and cough can be quite common in children, often being the first symptom of the onset of a strep throat or chest infection. But, it needn’t develop into a more serious infections if tackled at this stage. The Licorice root is a superb antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive, expectorant and mucoprotective. Thyme is highly anti bacterial and expectorant. The Marshmnallow root, licorice  plantain leaf glycerite are fantastically demulcent bring healing to the mucus membranes and allowing them to remain moist to do their natural job of carrying up and dispelling any bacteria and keeping the throat from becoming inflamed – thus reducing the soreness. You’ll notice neither of these herbs are our main anti-tussive (stopping cough) medicinals. With coughs that can keep kids up throughout the night I don’t often find using anti-tussive herbs key. It is the soothing of the dry throat and moistening of the mucus membranes that reduces the cough and is possibly the most healing aspect of this herbal mix.

 Please note: Licorice is contraindicated in people with hypertension, kidney insufficiency and pregnancy.

 I’m delighted to discover these missing Licorice plants and get them planted into the ground. Licorice is certainly a plant we will always grow here and make remedies from. It has so many more wonderful uses including for gastritis, chronic fatigue, RA, PCOS and eczema to name but a few, making it one plant I couldn’t be without for home use or in clinical practice.

 

About Ivywood

Herbalists Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso have moved their businesses and family to a new piece of land in Co Clare. They are busy creating new spaces on the land to reestablish their clinical practice and medicinal herb nursery. Formerly Bareroot Botanicals and Iona Herbal they have now renamed the woodland and business Ivywood.

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