- Soothing. The word "demulcent" comes from the Latin verb, "demulcere" meaning "to caress." Something that is demulcent is caressing. The term "demulcent" refers to an agent, such as an oil, that forms a soothing film when administered onto the surface of a mucous membrane. A demulcent is meant to relieve the irritation of the inflamed mucous membrane. For example, a cough syrup may claim to be "a gentle demulcent medicine that will relieve the pain of sore throat." Nothing soothes like a caress (or a demulcent).
* * *1. Soothing; relieving irritation. 2. An agent, such as a mucilage or oil, that soothes and relieves irritation, especially of the mucous surfaces. [L. de-mulceo, pp. -mulctus, to stroke lightly, to soften]
* * *de·mul·cent di-'məl-sənt adj tending to soothe or soften <\demulcent expectorants which give a protective coating to the throat (Therapeutic Notes)>demulcent n a usu. mucilaginous or oily substance (as tragacanth) capable of soothing or protecting an abraded mucous membrane
* * *n.a soothing agent that protects the mucous membranes and relieves irritation. Demulcents form a protective film and are used in mouth washes, gargles, etc., to soothe irritation or inflammation in the mouth.
* * *de·mul·cent (de-mulґsənt) 1. soothing; bland; allaying the irritation of inflamed or abraded surfaces. 2. a soothing, mucilaginous, or oily medicine or application. Called also lenitive.
Medical dictionary. 2011.