Demulcent

A demulcent herbs have the effect of acting as a protective barrier on irritated or inflamed tissue. When they are used on the skin demulcents are called emollients. The experience of demulcency cannot always be explained pharmacologically. They contain complex polysaccharide molecules of mucilage, having the property of becoming slimy and gummy when in contact with water. This has a direct action on the lining of the intestines, soothing and reducing irritation by direct contact. However, there are some remedies that have a similar action far from the sight of absorption into the body, meaning that they cannot have such a direct action on, say, the urinary system, because the mucilage will have been broken down into its constituent parts losing its unique soothing action.



Demulcents have these general properties:


  • They reduce irritation down the whole length of the bowel.
  • They reduce the sensitivity of the digestive system to gastric acids.
  • Help to ease the digestive muscle spasms which cause colic.

Some demulcents also:


  • Ease coughing by a soothing of bronchial tension.
  • Relax painful spasm in the bladder and urinary system, and sometime seven in the uterus.


Herbal Demulcents

Coltsfoot

Comfrey

Corn Silk

Couch Grass

Flaxseed

Iceland moss

Irish Moss

Liquorice

Lungwort

Marshmallow

Mullein

Slippery Elm

Demulcents that are also Anti-Catarrhal : Coltsfoot, Lungwort, Mullein

Demulcents that are also Anti-Inflammatory : Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Liquorice, Lungwort, Marshmallow, Mullein, Slippery Elm



Demulcents that are also Anti-Microbial : Couch Grass

Demulcents that are also Anti-Spasmodic : Coltsfoot, Liquorice, Lungwort, Mullein

Demulcents that are also Astringent : Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Lungwort, Marshmallow, Slippery Elm

Demulcents that are also Carminative :

Demulcents that are also Cholagogue :

Demulcents that are also Diaphoretic : Mullein

Demulcents that are also Diuretic : Coltsfoot, Corn Silk, Couch Grass, Marshmallow, Mullein

Demulcents that are also Emmenagogue :

Demulcents that are also Expectorant : Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Irish Moss, Liquorice, Lungwort, Mullein

Demulcents that are also Hepatic :

Demulcents that are also Laxative : Flaxseed, Liquorice

Demulcents that are also Nervine :

Demulcents that are also Tonic : Coltsfoot, Corn Silk, Liquorice, Mullein

Demulcents that are also Vulnerary : Coltsfoot, Comfrey , Lungwort, Marshmallow, Mullein

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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