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Marshmallow syrup has two definitions. The first, and possibly most familiar, is a thick, sugary syrup made from marshmallow fluff. It may be eaten on cakes and confections, breakfast pastries, and even ice cream. The second kind of marshmallow syrup is an herbal syrup usually consumed for medicinal purposes. This second kind of marshmallow syrup is also sweet, but should generally be taken under the supervision of a doctor or trained herbalist.
Confectionary marshmallow syrup may be purchased at most grocery stores. Pancake syrups sometimes come with added marshmallow flavor and most stores sell spreadable marshmallow fluff. Fluff can become a syrup if it is heated in a double boiler or in the microwave until it becomes runny. It may then be poured over pastries, sweet potato casseroles, or anything else that tastes delicious with marshmallows. Chocolate cream pies might even get a sweet makeover this way.
Another version of homemade marshmallow syrup may be made with melted sugar and plain gelatin. The cook simply needs to combine 1 part each of sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring until all the sugar is melted. Next, a packet of plain gelatin powder goes into the mix. When the syrup becomes thick and runny, it is finished. This kind of syrup should remain pourable and somewhat liquid, but may crystallize. If that happens, the cook can simply warm it in water over the stove or in a microwave-safe container.
The second kind of marshmallow syrup is more like a cough syrup. In fact, it is often used to soothe coughs, sore throats, and help heal viral infections. Instead of using the white confections often sold in grocery stores, this kind of syrup requires marshmallow root. The marshmallow plant loves low-lying, marshy regions and grows very thick, fibrous, and aromatic roots. When chopped, pasted, or boiled, they release extracts that often soothe pain and inflammation.
Medicinal marshmallow syrup doesn’t usually feature just marshmallow root. A few popular herbs to throw into the mix include licorice, hyssop, horehound, cloves, and slippery elm bark. All of these herbs reportedly attack colds and flus in different ways. The flavors typically complement one another as well.
To make medicinal marshmallow syrup, cooks should simmer the crushed marshmallow root, along with any other herbs, in a little water until the water is reduced by half. The cook may then strain out the whole herbs and mix the infused water with glycerin and honey. Anyone using this kind of mixture should consult a doctor about dosage amounts and frequency.