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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. Methyl cellulose, propylene glycol and glycerine are synthetic demulcents.

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][unreliable medical source?]

Common herbal demulcents include:[2][unreliable medical source?]


  1. ^ David L. Hoffmann. "Demulcent". Health World. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  2. ^ David L. Hoffmann. "Demulcent". Health World. Retrieved 2013-04-13.