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"Food of the Gods"

 

Marshmallow was a revered food source throughout Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. The plant (while popular for its taste) was reserved for royalty and was often referred to as one of the many food of the gods.

The foods made with the root sap were known to relieve sore throats, coughing and could even be applied physically to speed the healing of fresh wounds. "Don't Marsh the Mallow" For those reasons Marshmallow Root has widely been considered one of the most potent natural cough remedies in existence. Though the sweet candy and desserts made with the roots were a rare delicacy, by the mid 1800's French confectioners would find a way to mass produce the fluffy little chunks we know today and bring them to the public.

Less than 50 years later, the small white bulbs of sugary goodness were commonly sold in tins and called penny candies. While the root was taking form in the culinary world, many modern cough remedies of the early 1900's began to include the sap from the marshmallow root as a prime ingredient. Typically made into sweet lozenges, the root's unique taste soon became synonymous with medicine.

Not Your Grandpa's Marshmallow!

Nowadays, a number of replacements have pushed Marshmallow Root out of many recipes. But you can still find homemade marshmallows (made the old fashioned way) at high-end candy stores. Artisan candy makers are the last keepers of this ancient tradition, unless you try your hand at it! It was a cheap and effective remedy for the common cold and proved its usefulness time and time again. With the emergence of pharmaceutical manufacturing the health benefits of this plant have been forgotten by most... But the treats originally inspired by the Marshmallow root are still as popular as ever (even though most contain none of the root at all), and there's no getting around them these days. Especially with a cup of hot chocolate!

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