Expectorant – definition and explanation

An expectorant is something which softens and loosens the mucous in the respiratory tract while also thinning it so that it will be easier to bring up. Expectorants are used when people have difficulty breathing because they have large amounts of mucous in their respiratory tracts, and to help people recover from coughs.


To summarise an expectorant promotes or facilitates the secretion or expulsion of phlegm, mucous or other matter from the respiratory tract.