The versatile marshmallow plant has been used for many purposes for hundreds of years. The sap of the marshmallow plant was originally used to make marshmallow sweets but has since been replaced by gelatin (in the late 1880’s). The root of the marshmallow plant has been used for centuries to relieve a cough1. The medicinal properties of this herb, native to Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa, is still very much in use today1,2.

Marshmallow root extract, scientifically know as Althaea Officinalis, is traditionally used to relieve dry coughs – or coughs that do not produce any mucus2,4. This interesting ingredient is classified as herbal demulcent. Demulcents are herbal substances that have a gel like consistency, that create a protective coating on the throat2,4. By creating this protective coating, demulcents (Marshmallow root extract) helps to soothe inflammation in the throat, while protecting it against foreign particles that may cause irritation2,4,5. This protective coating covers the cough receptors in your throat, which reduce their sensitivity and helps reduce the urge to cough 5,6.

Bronchostop Cough Syrup contains the combination of marshmallow root extract and thyme herb extract 7. This combination allows for the product to work on both a wet and a dry cough as the demulcent helps relieve a dry cough, while thyme (herbal expectorant) helps thin mucus and aid its removal4,5,7. This combination can be beneficial for a cough associated with a cold as the cough can change from dry to wet and back to dry again8-14. Click here to learn more about the Bronchostop range https://bronchostop.co.za/products/

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been commissioned and brought to you by iNova Pharmaceuticals. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For individual advice, please consult a healthcare professional.


  1. National Confectioners Association – History of Marshmallows (2022) at https://candyusa.com/marshmallows (website accessed on 26 January 2022)
  2. WHO Herbal monographs Volume 2 [online]. Available from https://apps. who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4927e/. Accessed 13 November 2019
  3. Frontiers in Pharmacy. Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative Effects of Phytohustil®and Root Extract of Althaea officinalis on Macrophages in vitro (2020) at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00290/full (website accessed on 26 January 2022)
  4. Capasso F. et al. Phytotherapy. Chapter 18 – Plants and the respiratory System. Springer Science & Business Media, 2003.
  5. Al-Snafi AE. The Pharmaceutical Importance of Althaea officinalis and Althaea rosea: A Review. International Journal of PharmTech Research 2013;5(3):1378-1385.
  6. Fuller RW, Jackson DM. Physiology and treatment of cough. Thorax 1990;45:425-430.
  7. Bronchostop approved package insert September 2019
  8. Ciuman RR. Phytotherapeutic and naturopathic adjuvant therapies in otorhinolaryngology. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2012;269:389–397.
  9. Eccles R. Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza. Lancet Infect Dis 2005;5:718–725.
  10. Parihar M, et al. A review – Cough & treatments. International Journal of Natural Products Research 2011;1(1):9-18.
  11. Turner RB. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of the common cold. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997;78:531–40
  12. Buensalido JAL. Rhinovirus (RV) Infection (Common Cold). 30 July 2019. Available from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/227820-print. Accessed 16/11/2019.
  13. Farzan S. Cough and Sputum Production. Chapter 38 – The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations, 3rd Edition. Butterworths.
  14. Morice A, Kardos P. Comprehensive evidence-based review on European antitussives. BMJ Open Resp Res 2016;3:e000137. doi:10.1136/bmjresp-2016-000137.

Scheduling Status: Proprietary name (and dosage form): Pholtex Bronchostop® Cough Syrup. Composition: Each 5 ml syrup contains: 39 mg Thyme herb extract and 277 mg Marshmallow root dry extract. Pharmacological Classification: Complementary Medicine: Discipline Specific Traditional Claims D33.6 Western Herbal Medicine. Scheduling Status: Proprietary name (and dosage form): Pholtex Bronchostop® Cough Pastilles. Composition: Each pastille contains: 51.1 mg Thyme herb extract and 4.5 mg Marshmallow root dry extract. Pharmacological Classification: Complementary Medicine: Discipline Specific Traditional Claims D33.6 Western Herbal Medicine. These unregistered medicines have not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for their quality, safety or intended use. Further information is available on request from iNova Pharmaceuticals. Name and business address of applicant: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Limited. Co. Reg. No. 1952/001640/07, 15e Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000. www.inovapharma.co.za. For more information, speak to your healthcare IN4478/22