School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

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Reported by John Immel, Asheville, NC
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Herbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.

Herbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane. Demulcents are sometimes referred to as mucoprotective agents. They are helpful for cough, irritation of the stomach lining, vaginal dryness and other conditions of irritated mucous membranes.

  • Direct demulcents - High in mucilage. Heavy, viscous, slimy herbs like Slippery Elm and Marshmallow. Coat membranes, soothing and cooling them.
  • Reflexive demulcents - These indirect demulcents do not necessarily have high mucilage, but instead work by proving the nervous system to produce more mucus. Examples include Comfrey, Borage, Marshmallow, Colstfoot (Source: Holmes)

Osmotic Diuretics for the Urinary Tract

Large, gummy demulcent molecules that are too large for reabsorption in the kidney may be ideal demulcents for the urinary tract. Examples: Marshmallow root (althea officinalis). Mucilagenous diuretics are helpful when irritant or stimulant diuretics would increase discomfort and kidney pain. They also provide soothing relief to urinary tract epithelium where stones have irritated the lining.


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'Demulcent' may aggravate, or be aggravated by, these symptoms and causes below.

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About John Joseph Immel

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.

John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 7 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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