Sore throats are the worst, which is why I'm down to try just about anything to get rid of one. Gargling salt water, sipping honey — you name it, I've done it in the name of relief. But apparently there's at least one weird trick to soothe a sore throat I haven't tried: eating a marshmallow. Well, let me rephrase that... I haven't purposely done with the intention of curing what ails me. As far as poppin' marshmallows goes, I'm basically a pro.
So I'm sure at this point you're wondering how I stumbled upon this life-changing sore throat soother, eh? I picked up the trick from blogger Ashley Brown, who explained the phenomenon via her blog, 7th House on the Left. "Eat three or four marshmallows to sooth a sort throat. Greg [Brown] has actually used this a few times but I always thought it to be quite odd," said Brown. "Come to find out, there's a scientific reason to why it works. Apparently, the gelatin is very helpful when it comes to relieving irritating and soothing pain in your throat. And I'm sure it's a lot more tasty than nasty throat lozenges." Can I get an amen?
If you're feeling a bit cynical and think this sounds too good to be true, well, get on board — it turns out marshmallows are legit when it comes to soothing sore throats, and it isn't just their gelatinous nature. Although, admittedly, gelatin does play a big part. Did you know that gelatin contains glycine and arginine, a combo of amino acids which researchers at Rutgers have linked to accelerated healing? Knowledge is power, people.
As for the other health benefits, old school marshmallows (totally a thing, I promise) were made using derivatives from the marshmallow herb, Althaea officinalis, an African plant with roundish leaves and small flowers. The leaves and roots of this herb have historically been used to treat swelling in the respiratory system, as well as coughing and even laryngitis. While most marshmallows on today's market likely don't take advantage of the potent properties of this herb, you can still get your Althaea officinalis on by taking a marshmallow root capsule or brewing up a cup of marshmallow leaf tea.
But if your throat is killing you and you don't have either of those at the ready, go ahead and grab that bag of marshmallows you've been eyeing. Or, if you're lucky enough to live anywhere near Toyko, Japan, I recommend hauling your sore-throated self down to the Dominique Ansel Bakery to partake of his latest genius invention: a marshmallow that blooms in your hot chocolate.