What is an Emollient?

These are remedies that soften, soothe and protect the skin. They are used externally and have a similar role for the skin that Demulcents do internally.

How Emollient Work

They usually act beneficially through a mucilage or oil component. Mucilage is a Hetero–polysaccharide that absorbs water to form a gel that soothes, moistens, and protects inflamed or irritated nerve endings on mucous membranes or epithelia to cool heat and burning. They may be applied as a gel (e.g. Aloe vera), lotion/cream or paste. Useful whenever protective & anti-inflammatory effects are required for healing.

Herbal Examples:

  • Plantago major/lanceolata (Plantain)
  • Aloe barbadensis (Aloe)
  • Stellaria media (Chickweed)