Althea. Althea officinalis.

Botanical name: 


Asparagin, mucilage, pictin, fixed oil, sugar, starch, salts.


Solvent, water. Dose, from a half to one dram.
Syrupus Althaea. Syrup of Althaea. Dose, ad libitum.

Physiological ActionAlthaea is the most mucilaginous of the diuretics. It has but little influence beyond its local, soothing, emollient effect; it also soothes irritation in the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestinal canal, as well as those of the entire urinary apparatus.

Therapy—In its soothing influence upon the intestinal structures, it is of service when there is inflammation of the bowels or irritation from any cause, and it is often administered as an enema in dysentery, and if a few drops of laudanum be added it will often cause prompt relief from the tenesmus and general distress. When irritation of the bladder exists from decomposed urine, this agent is of much service, especially if taken in conjunction with benzoic acid or benzoate of sodium. An infusion which contains five or six grains of the above salts to the ounce is of most excellent service in these cases. Acute painful cystitis with much mucus, ammoniacal urine, great pain in urinating, and tenesmus, should be relieved in twelve hours with this method.

In conditions where simple irritation is induced either from the presence of uric acid or other precipitated crystalline bodies, a strong infusion of Althaea will greatly enhance the influence of other indicated remedies.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.