Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra or Ulmus fulva) is a species of elm tree that has been used as an herbal remedy in North America for hundreds of years. Only the inner bark (not the whole bark) is used as a remedy.
This herb is extremely versatile. It can offer alleviation for many health conditions.
Slippery Elm contains a slimy mucilage, which is a polysaccharide that becomes a gel when mixed with water.The mucilage provides a soothing and coating effect on the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, causing relief from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea and diverticulitis.
The inner bark of slippery elm contains various nutrients, such as tannins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, beta-carotene and B vitamins. In addition, Slippery elm has an unique combination of water-soluble and water-insoluble fibres, hence it has been widely used as part of a bowel flora protocol for management.
In manufacturing, slippery elm is used in some baby foods and adult nutritional products, and in some oral lozenges used for soothing throat pain.
Possible health benefits of Slippery elm:
- It contains chemicals that can alleviate symptoms of sore throat.
- It can cause mucous secretion which can be helpful for stomach and intestinal problems (such as IBS, Ulcerative colitis and GERD).
- When used as a herbal poultice, it can alleviate pain and inflammation of wounds, boils, burns and skin ulcers.
- Acts as bulking laxative and prebiotic
- Helps to alleviate chronic constipation
- Helps to alleviate intestinal dysbiosis
The appropriate dose of slippery elm depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for slippery elm. Give slippery elm to a child only under the supervision of a knowledgeable practitioner.
- How to make Slippery Elm powder tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 g (roughly 2 tablespoons) of powdered bark, then steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.