(redirected from mucilaginous)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


(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 ?
Experiments in Salvia mericarp floatation Percent (%) of floating after species n 6 hrs 24 hrs mucilaginous S.
In previous studies, various growth forms of the attached diatom community have been described in terms of motility, colony form, and extracellular mucilaginous matrix form [32].
Could it also be that there was relatively higher surge in free fatty acids (FFAs) in mucilaginous seeds during storage thus hampering water absorption [4]?
Pectinase are used in coffee processing to remove the mucilaginous coat from the coffee beans [32].
The consortium with the highest percentage of discoloration was formed by Rhodotorula mucilaginous E48i, Galactomyces pseudocandidum, E.
A possible explanation for these results could be the damage or removal of the water-soluble mucilaginous envelope of conidia during the preparation of inoculum (Sanchez-Pena et al.
For instance, Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller), a perennial succulent xerophyte, with elongated pointed fleshy leaves consisting of two parts, an outer skin (green rind) and an inner pulp (colorless mucilaginous gel), has been widely used as a healing plant in the history of mankind.
Unripe fruit containing tannins or mucilaginous substances, cut up in slices, sun dried and conserved and prescribed in chronic dysentery and diarrhea [8, 10].
The results highlight the presence of mucilaginous substances in the vacuoles of the secretory cells as shown by a positive reaction to the PAS test (see Figure 5G).
Linseed has a high rate of a soluble mucilaginous fiber with positive impacts on hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia in humans.
If on current oral medications, use of this herbs should be at least 2 h before or after these drugs because fenugreek fiber has the potential to interfere with the absorption of oral medication due to its mucilaginous contents (which gives it a moist and sticky texture)
(37) A thick, highly mucilaginous soup made from the leaves of a type of mallow boiled in (usually) chicken broth.