Slippery Elm is a tree that is indigenous to North America and has been used by native Americans for a variety of conditions for centuries. The inner bark of the tree is the main part used for medicinal preparations.
Native Americans found innumerable medicinal and other uses for this tree. Canoes, baskets, and other household goods were made from the tree and its bark. Slippery elm was also used internally for conditions such as sore throats and diarrhoea. As a poultice, it was considered a remedy for many inflammatory skin conditions.
What it does
Slippery Elm bark contains very high levels of mucilage, which is rich in polysaccharides and gives it the soothing effect for which it is well known. It also contains starch, a small amount of tannin and minerals. The mucilage also has demulcent, emollient and healing properties particularly to the mucous membranes of the digestive system and the skin. In people with heartburn, the mucilage appears to act as a barrier against the damaging effects of acid on the oesophagus.
|Crohns disease||Gastroenteritis||E coli infection|
|Stomach ulcers||IBS||Topical application for wound healing|
Slippery Elm food is nutritive and easy to digest, so the gruel is useful in convalesence.
For a tight, chesty cough, Slippery Elm powder can be made into a gruel by adding a cupful of hot water, milk (or half of each) to a teaspoon of the powder. Whisk to a smooth consistency, sweeten with a little honey and spice with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger as desired.
Simmer a stick of Liquorice in the water and then drink.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using Slippery elm.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Slippery elm.
Because slippery elm is so mucilaginous it may interfere with the absorption of medicine taken at the same time.