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(myo͞o`səlĭj), thick, glutinous substance, related to the natural gums, comprised usually of protein, polysaccharides, and uranides. It swells but does not dissolve in water. Mucilage is secreted by the seed covers of various plants, including marsh mallows and flaxes and certain seaweeds; it is the chief constituent of agar. In the plant it sometimes serves to check the loss of water to aid germination, to facilitate seed dispersal, and to store food. It is used in medicine as an emollient and a demulcent. Mucilage is employed also as an adhesive, and the term is extended to include other slimy adhesives, especially solutions of gum, such as tragacanth mucilage.



a substance of plant origin that forms aqueous viscid solutions. Mucilage is found in seeds, roots, and bark, accumulating primarily in mucilage receptacles.

Chemically and physically similar to gums, mucilage contains branched (galactomannans) and linear (glucomannans) polysaccharides. In many forms of vegetation, including flax, plantain, some plants of the Cruciferae family, elm, and rye grain, it contains uronic acid and a variety of neutral carbohydrates. Mucilage is also found in the cell walls and intercellular substances of red and brown algae, for example, in agar, carra-geenin, and alginic acid.

Mucilage’s ability to swell in water enables seeds to absorb water and swell during germination. An accumulation of mucilage in plant tissues increases resistance to drought. Desert plants, such as cacti and spurges, characteristically have a high mucilage content.

Mucilage is used in the medical, pharmacological, food-processing, and metallurgical industries and in the production of paper, textiles, emulsions, and glues.


See references under .



A sticky material employed as an adhesive.
A gummy material derived from plants.


1. An adhesive prepared from a gum and water.
2. A liquid adhesive which has low bonding strength.


1. a sticky preparation, such as gum or glue, used as an adhesive
2. a complex glutinous carbohydrate secreted by certain plants
References in periodicals archive ?
Wild yeasts, bacteria and fungi present in the environment--on the cherry skin, in the tank, in the water, and virtually every surface of the mill--break down the sugar and pectin-rich mucilage layer thereby "cleaning" the seed and preparing it for the drying process.
The fiber and mucilage stimulate salivation, preventing the pH decrease, and the urea promotes alkalization in the rumen due to the ammonia-N produced.
The mucilage has been assumed to be instrumental in adhering the mericarps to animals (Ridley, 1930; Melcher et al.
Clinical studies have proven the association between the presence of mucilage polysaccharides (Rhamnogalacturonan) and formation of physical connection to mucin and tissue stimulation.
The portion of a leaf with trichomes and mucilage that captures prey is generally round.
Ahuja, Evaluation of Mimosa pudica Seed Mucilage as Sustained-Release Excipient, AAPS Pharm.
Okra mucilage is composed of acidic polysaccharides mixed with proteins.
Large stable aggregates (more than 2 mm) are held together by a fine network of roots and fungal hyphae that exude sticky gels or mucilage (including polysaccharides), which soil particles adhere strongly to, rather like a sticky string bag.
Its seed is rich source of lignans which are anti- carcinogens and linola seed is also blessed with mucilage which is helpful for normalizing lipid level i.
Dishes like threads of crab with vegetable mucilage, baby green peas on tempura, frozen tiger note with caviar, macadamias and pink peppercorns, grilled and bathed sting ray, walnut omelette with cinnamon were washed down by me with a Champagne Piellot Reserve and a 2012 Algueira wine from a 12th century monastery.
However she moves, she is caught in the amber mucilage of his gaze whose evenness mesmerizes her.
15) Ulmus rubra exerts demulcent and nutritive actions, with large amounts of mucilage soothing irritation of mucous membranes within the gastrointestinal tract.