A demulcent (derived from the Latin demulcere, "caress") is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane. Demulcents are sometimes referred to as mucoprotective agents. Demulcents such as pectin, glycerin, honey, and syrup are common ingredients in cough mixtures. These demulcents will coat the throat and relieve the irritation causing the cough. They can be used to treat any type of cough, but are particularly useful to treat dry coughs. Some demulcents may not be suitable for diabetics as they are based on sugar.

A number of herbs have demulcent properties. These herbs often have a high content of mucilage, and help soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissues of the body.[1]

Common herbal demulcents include:

External links

  • A more complete list of plants with demulcent properties is available from Plants for a Future (use database keyword search).


  1. ^ David L. Hoffmann. "Demulcent". Health World. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  2. ^ "Plantago Major". Retrieved 2006-08-28. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Demulcent — De*mul cent, a. [L. demulcens, p. pr. of demulcere.] Softening; mollifying; soothing; assuasive; as, oil is demulcent. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Demulcent — De*mul cent, n. (Med.) A substance, usually of a mucilaginous or oily nature, supposed to be capable of soothing an inflamed nervous membrane, or protecting it from irritation. Gum Arabic, glycerin, olive oil, etc., are demulcents. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • demulcent — index medicinal Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • demulcent — 1732, from L. demulcentem (nom. demulcens), prp. of demulcere to stroke down, soothingly pet, from DE (Cf. de ) (see DE (Cf. de )) + mulcere to soothe …   Etymology dictionary

  • demulcent — [dē mul′sənt, dimul′sənt] adj. [L demulcens, prp. of demulcere, to stroke down, soften < de , down + mulcere, to stroke < IE * melk , var. of base * melg to stroke > MILK] soothing n. a medicine or ointment that soothes irritated mucous… …   English World dictionary

  • Demulcent — Soothing. The word demulcent comes from the Latin verb, demulcere meaning to caress. Something that is demulcent is caressing. The term demulcent refers to an agent, such as an oil, that forms a soothing film when administered onto the surface of …   Medical dictionary

  • demulcent — /di mul seuhnt/, adj. 1. soothing or mollifying, as a medicinal substance. n. 2. a demulcent substance or agent, often mucilaginous, as for soothing or protecting an irritated mucous membrane. [1725 35; < L demulcent (s. of demulcens, prp. of… …   Universalium

  • demulcent — de•mul•cent [[t]dɪˈmʌl sənt[/t]] adj. 1) pha soothing or mollifying, as a medicinal substance 2) pha a demulcent substance or agent, often mucilaginous • Etymology: 1725–35; < L dēmulcent , s. of dēmulcēns, prp. of dēmulcēre to stroke, soothe …   From formal English to slang

  • demulcent — Obtundent Ob*tund ent, n. [L. obtundens, p. pr. of obtundere.] (Med.) A substance which sheathes a part, or blunts irritation, usually some bland, oily, or mucilaginous matter; nearly the same as {demulcent}. Forsyth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • demulcent — I. adjective Etymology: Latin demulcent , demulcens, present participle of demulcēre to soothe, from de + mulcēre to soothe Date: 1732 soothing II. noun Date: 1732 a usually mucilaginous or oily substance (as tragacanth) that can soothe or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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