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Tragacanth

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Tragacanth is a gummy exudation from Astragalus species, including A. gummifer, shrubs of the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Tragacanth, a water-soluble gum, has been used since ancient times as an emulsifier, thickening agent, and suspending agent. Today it is used extensively in foods and dressings and to thicken ice cream. Tragacanth has also been used as a demulcent (relieves irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth by forming a protective film) in cough and cold preparations and to manage diarrhea. It also has been shown to moderate blood sugar levels, but this has not been demonstrated consistently. There is no recent clinical evidence to support specific dosage of tragacanth. No adverse effects have been documented.[1]

[1] Drugs.com. Tragacanth. http://www.drugs.com/npp/tragacanth.html

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