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A demulcent (derived from the word "caress") is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane. 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.


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