Meaning of demulcent in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈmʌls(ə)nt/

See synonyms for demulcent on


  • (of a substance) relieving inflammation or irritation.

    ‘The second type of laxative is a lubricating bulk laxative, including demulcent herbs such as psyllium and flax seed.’
    • ‘It is an important demulcent laxative, especially when combined with other laxative herbs.’
    • ‘Bronchitis' best herbs are pectorals that combine expectorant action to clear the sputum with demulcent properties to soothe the inflamed tissue, therefore, Aniseed, Angelica root, Comfrey root and Hyssop are recommended.’
    • ‘The seeds are valued medicinally for their diuretic, demulcent and stomachic properties.’
    • ‘The mucilages are a very useful group of substances, being in most cases both demulcent and nutritive.’
    soothing, alleviating, sedative, calmative, calming


  • A substance that relieves irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth by forming a protective film.

    ‘Many pastilles contain demulcents (relieves irritation) for example glycerine or honey, which can safely be taken by most people to stop their throat from feeling dry.’
    • ‘Simple cough mixtures contain ingredients known as demulcents, for example glycerin, honey and syrup.’
    • ‘Both marshmallow root and slippery elm act as demulcents, which coat the lining of the esophagus and protect it from irritation.’
    • ‘For example, comfrey is considered a safe herb and is used as a demulcent.’
    • ‘Syrup alone may act as a demulcent and provide antitussive action without side effects.’


Mid 18th century from Latin demulcent- ‘stroking caressingly’, from the verb demulcere, from de- ‘away’ + mulcere ‘soothe’.