Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm: Overview

Native American tribes discovered that by scraping away the rough outer bark of the majestic slippery elm tree (Ulmus rubra), they could uncover a remarkable healing substance in the inner bark.  They beat the bark into a powder and added water to create a "slippery" concoction ideal for soothing mucous membranes and healing scrapes.

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History

Long recognized by health authorities in the United States as an effective medicine, slippery elm bark presently has the approval of the Food and Drug Administration as a nonprescription demulcent (soothing agent) that can be taken internally.

Function

The popularity of slippery elm bark has endured, no doubt, because it works so well for coating and soothing irritated or inflamed mucous membranes.  This is the work of an ingredient in the inner bark called mucilage, a gummy, gel-like substance that when ingested forms a protective layer along the throat, digestive tract, and other areas.  Astringent compounds in the herb called tannins help tighten and constrict tissue.

Side-Effects

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with slippery elm.  If an allergic rash develops when slippery elm is applied to the skin, discontinue its use in all forms.

On This Page

Slippery Elm:

Slippery Elm can help with the following:

Autoimmune

Ulcerative Colitis

Slippery elm's soothing mucilage effect has been used for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.  It is part of the herbal combination called "Robert's Formula", which is widely prized by naturopathic physicians for such intestinal inflammations as gastritis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.  For digestive disorders, taking 500-1,000mg of powder tid is often recommended.  It may be used in lozenge form as well.

Crohn's Disease

Slippery elm's soothing mucilage effect has been used for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.  It is part of the herbal combination called "Robert's Formula", which is widely prized by naturopathic physicians for such intestinal inflammations as gastritis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.  For digestive disorders, taking 500-1,000mg of powder tid is often recommended.  It may be used in lozenge form as well.

Digestion

Poor Small Intestine Health

Slippery elm tea is reported to be beneficial against inflammation of the small intestine.

Infections

Pharyngitis ("Strep Throat")

For coating and soothing irritated or inflamed mucous membranes add 1 tablespoon of dried slippery elm per cup of hot water.  Alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon of liquid extract in 8 ounces of hot water and drink up to 3 cups daily.  Slippery elm lozenges are also available.

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KEY

May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with
Moderately useful:
often helps with