[Marshmallow Root Extract for the Treatment of Irritative Cough: Two Surveys on Users' View on Effectiveness and Tolerability]

Complement Med Res. 2018;25(5):299-305. doi: 10.1159/000489560. Epub 2018 Aug 1.
[Article in German]


Background: Cough preparations containing aqueous marshmallow root extracts (Althaea officinalis) have a long history as medicinal products in Germany. The aim of the 2 prospective, non-interventional surveys reported here was to create a better documentation of the users' impression of the effectiveness and tolerability, and user satisfaction.

Methods: Consumers (n = 822) buying either lozenges or syrup of the aqueous marshmallow root extract STW42 to treat their dry cough were recruited in pharmacies in 2 independently performed surveys. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire covering a treatment duration of 7 days so that the course of symptoms could be documented, and the overall effectiveness, tolerability and satisfaction assessed.

Results: This consumer-reported outcome shows that both preparations showed a good effect with respect to the symptomatic treatment of oral or pharyngeal irritation and associated dry cough with a very rapid onset of effects, in the majority of cases within 10 min. The tolerability was very good (with only 3 minor adverse events for the syrup).

Conclusion: The results of the surveys justify the long-established use of both marshmallow preparations for symptomatic treatment of dry cough.

Keywords: Althaea officinalis; Cough; Effectiveness; Onset of effects; Safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Althaea / chemistry*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cough / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts