Marshmallow root is great to decrease the ph (or helps to keep it low) when formulating your concoctions.
Marshmallow root throws a light yellow color when you make the decoction.
The root is 25% – 35% mucilage as opposed to 11% in the leaves.
Some people use marshmallow root for the same reason they use Apple Cider Vinegar: to close the hair cuticle after shampooing. So the three immediate advantages are to add slip to your concoctions, to close the cuticle and to help with shine (like so many other tea rinses).
Others use it internally because it is thought to help with sore throat. Its mucilage coats inflamed surfaces. Be careful though because mucilage is said to interfere with the absorption of medications.
Ah, but are you asking where you’ve heard about marshmallow root? Its in the famous Kinky Curly products (along with fruit pectin, which is also low in ph).
The root and the powder of course are different. Adding water directly to the powder will show an immediate thickening. However, the powder (at least the grade I’ve used before) does not fully dissolve in water, so you’ll have to figure out how to strain it.
TIP: Marshmallow root tea/decoction will break the sodium carbomer (pre-neutralized carbomer) matrix. In other words, if you’ve made a gel from sodium carbomer+water, and try to add marshmallow root tea to it for extra slip, it will probably turn the gel into liquid again or at least cause it to “weep”.
Like so many other herbal teas, it can also be used on the skin because of its anti inflammatory properties.