Is Marshmallow Root Safe in Pregnancy? Tea, Candy + More

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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The marshmallows we all know and love were originally made from the marshmallow plant. These days, they are produced with gelatin. Regardless of the specific type, are marshmallow products safe for pregnant women?

Marshmallow root and marshmallow tea are safe, as well as marshmallow treats and marshmallow crème. However, the latter two contain high amounts of sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

Do marshmallows have any health benefits or anything you should be cautious about? What about the plant leaves and flowers? Learn all the answers below! 

Is Marshmallow Root Safe During Pregnancy?

Most literature and research about marshmallow root don’t report negative side effects on pregnant women and their babies. 

Dried and sliced marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) in wooden spoon

In one study, the roots, leaves, and flowers of Althaea Officinalis, or marshmallow plant, were used in an experiment. The researchers found that the marshmallow plant did indeed have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects (source: Journal of Medicinal Plants Research).

The leaves of the marshmallow plant have also been studied and found to contain polysaccharides that have anti-infertility properties through their anti-pathogenic and antioxidant activity (source: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules). 

In the same way, marshmallow flowers have been shown to be very safe and beneficial, due to their flavonoid content and antioxidant properties (source: Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine).

Is Marshmallow Root Tea Safe for Pregnant Women?

Studies suggest that marshmallow root tea is safe and beneficial during pregnancy.

In a recent study, 14 herbal plants (including Althaea Officinalis) were made into teas and tested for levels of heavy metals such as iron, zinc, nickel, aluminum, manganese, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, selenium, and tin.

Results showed that all the herbal teas were safe for consumption during pregnancy (source: Acta Poloniae Pharmaceuticalsz).

You can make your own marshmallow tea during pregnancy by drying the leaves and roots, or you can buy it from a store. 

Marshmallow tea sold online or in the grocery store is mostly made with dried roots or leaves.

However, it can also be combined with other herbs to address certain conditions like stomach upset, sore throat, and more. Make sure that any other list of herbs are safe for consumption during pregnancy.

Steep marshmallow tea for 5–10 minutes and strain if necessary (source: Oesophageal & Gastric Cancer Charity). If you want to add honey to sweeten your tea, we recommend pasteurized honey.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Marshmallow Candies?

Marshmallow candies are also safe to eat during pregnancy.

The marshmallow treats we know today were originally made with gelatinous sap drawn from the root of the marshmallow plant. Today, marshmallow candies are made using gelatin instead (source: The Science Behind Our Food). 

Marshmallows take a long time and effort to prepare (source: CGTN News). This is probably why the modern fluffy marshmallows we see in the supermarket today make use of gelatin. 

Gelatin comes from the collagen of pigs or cows. It is generally considered safe during pregnancy when consumed in food amounts (source: MedlinePlus). 

To learn more about consuming collagen during pregnancy, read this article here!

Can I Eat Marshmallow Fluff When Pregnant? 

Marshmallow fluff is a spread-like version of solid marshmallows, but it is made with different ingredients. It is also called marshmallow crème, marshmallow spread, or marshmallow paste. 

Marshmallow fluff is mostly made with dried egg whites, corn sugar and/or corn syrup, and vanillin (source: Leaf).

With regards to safety, dried egg whites are safe because they are pasteurized (source: USDA).

Corn syrup is generally safe during pregnancy, but high fructose corn syrup is not advised because it is linked to restricted fetal growth and placental issues (source: Washington University School of Medicine) as well as metabolic issues (source: PubMed).  

Sweet Sticky Marshmallow Fluff Spread in a Bowl

If marshmallow crème is made with high fructose corn syrup, we don’t recommend it.

Vanillin is categorized by the FDA as a synthetic flavor (SY/FL) and is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). 

If you decide to make your own marshmallow fluff, remember it is high in calories. A typical 1ounce serving has around 22.4 g of carbohydrates, of which 13.3 g are sugars.

A high-sugar diet is not good during pregnancy. It can bring about complications such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy-associated hypertension, and extreme weight gain during pregnancy.

Excessive sugar intake can also affect babies by increasing the risk of adiposity, unfavorable metabolic profile, decreased cognition, and obesity when he or she grows up (source: Nutrients). 

While marshmallow leaf tea and root are safe, do remember not to consume too many marshmallow treats or crème as they contain high levels of sugar. But in moderation, marshmallow treats and teas are safe to consume during pregnancy.