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Herbal Demulcents

Guest Author - Rebecca Lee Graf

An irritated throat screams for relieve. Any time membranes are irritated we will do almost anything to ease the pain. Irritation of a mucous membrane demands the action of an herbal demulcent.

The Latins used the word “demulcere” to mean “to caress”. A sore throat or a digestive system that has had too much as in vomiting or diarrhea can be extremely uncomfortable and in need of caressing or soothing. That is where the herbal demulcent comes into play. These natural soothing agents have been known to ease the irritation of any membrane within the body.

Demulcents not only sooth; they also protect. As in the case of a sore throat, the demulcent initially relieves the burning pain. It also protects the throat from further irritation and pain. Not only is the immediate pain relieved, but the demulcent coats the membrane of the throat so that it has time to heal. Demulcents are pain relievers and protectors.

How do you know if a plant can make a good demulcent? Of course, you should listen to the experts and follow their direction. Another way that you can get an idea if a plant might work as a demulcent is to crush the leaves in your fingers. If a lubricant appears on your fingers, this plant might very well be a demulcent you can use. Look further into information on the plant and see what warnings there are and how you can prepare the demulcent.

Most demulcents are taken in the form of an infusion or herbal tea. As a medicine, demulcents can be soothing but also can be a problem when taking other medications. Their preventative nature can also be a reason that most medications are ineffective when taken after a demulcent has been ingested. Always talk to a doctor or herbalist for further information.

Typically, the leaves are where the demulcent is taken from. In others, it could be the stems or seeds. Some herbs might use the entire plant to create a demulcent.


Here are a few herbs that can act like demulcents:

Acacia
Borage
Chickweed
Chrysanthemum
Cinnamon
Colt’s Foot
Comfrey
Common Purslane
Corn Silk
Couchgrass
Dead Nettle
Elm
Evening Primrose
Fenugreek
Fireweed
Flaxseed
Irish Moss
Lungwort
Licorice
Loquat
Mallow
Marshmallow
Mullein
Oatmeal
Parsley Piert
Plantain
Slippery Elm

Note: Always consult a doctor, pharmacist, or herbalist before taking any herb for medicinal purposes. Many herbs can have negative side effects or have interactions with other herbs or medications.


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Content copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Lee Graf. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Rebecca Lee Graf. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Bettina Thomas-Smith for details.

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