Not many in the western world are aware of the medicinal herb slippery elm but it is one of the most powerful herbal medicines in the world.
Famed naturopath and herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher wrote, “Slippery Elm is one of the most valuable medicines in the herbal world.”
While I am not a trained herbalist, I’ve been studying herbal medicine and have been a user of Slippery Elm for over 25 years. I can testify of its effectiveness from personal experience.
So, what are the health benefits of Slippery Elm? Well, before I go over some of its benefits, let’s give some basic botanical information that you may find useful.
For millenia, the herb known as Slippery Elm has been used as both food and medicine in many civilizations including Native American, Ayurvedic, traditional Chinese and even in Western medicine.
Its botanical name is Ulmus fulva and is a member of the ulmaceae elm family.
Some of its common names are Slippery Elm, red elm, elm bark, moose elm, American elm, sweet elm, and rock elm. Its most common name is, of course, Slippery Elm.
Its identifying characteristics are it comes from a large tree, 50 to 65 feet high that is one to four feet thick. The bark is reddish-brown with the bark deeply furrowed in a strait perpendicular manner that is very rough.
The innermost layer that is next to the wood is white with a fibrous texture. The powder is very light brown in color (see the image below). Its taste is plain, distinctive and mucilaginous.
Its therapeutic action is highly diversified including, but not limited to, nutritive, emollient, demulcent, tonic and expectorant. Slippery Elm is truly one of the most valuable herbal medicines, …no not just “herbal medicines” but one of the most valuable medicines in the world. Period.
Slippery Elm Health Benefits
Slippery Elm is one of nature’s best demulcent (soothing) herbs. This humble but remarkable herb can soothe, disperse and help the rapid healing of a host of ailments. It is especially helpful to irritated and inflamed flesh, like ulcers.
It helps heal stomach ulcers and does so with a remarkable soothing, unlike cayenne pepper.
I love cayenne pepper and its health benefits are nothing short of astonishing but cayenne will never be accused of as being a “soothing” herb. Paradoxically, cayenne helps heal ulcers as well but not to the smooth soothing of Slippery Elm.
Slippery Elm can help soothe sun burn as well as simultaneously heal. It is soothing and healing to mucous memgbranes internally or externally with wounds, chapped skin, or as mentioned burns.
When taken internally, it is highly nutritive and healing for all inflammatory conditions of the stomach, intestines, colon, and urinary organs. When combined with psyllium seed, it is a very potent drink that helps to evacuate the bowels and thus helps in relieving even the most persistent constipation.
As it is teeming with nutrients, it can be taken as a beverage or gruel for babies, the elderly or those suffering from stomach problems. The Slippery Elm gruel, while not delicious to the taste (it’s very bland tasting) is a valuable remedy for lung hemorrhage and other pulmonary complaints.
The demulcent and mucilaginous nature is so gentle that the powder can be retained and assimilated by even the most sick or delicate stomachs — even in babies.
For those with a weak stomach and can’t hold anything down, Slippery Elm will be well received and not ejected out. In such an instance, it should be taken as a gruel with the powder mixed with water (the more purified the water, the better).
Here is a list of some of its multi-faceted medicinal uses:
- Gastric ulcers
- Stomach ulcers
- Gangrenous wounds or sores
- Painful urine
- Skin eruptions like boils, carbuncles, abscesses
- Sore throat
- Poison ivy (will relieve and heal when used as a poultice)
- Vaginal irritation
- Burns, e.g., sunburn, regular burns, any kind of burns really
- Sore throat
My personal experiences with Slippery Elm revolve stomach ulcers and constipation. Let me give a quick anecdote as to my experience with Slippery Elm in the fall of 2001, winter of 2002.
I was working for a very abrasive manager whose unwarranted berating of me and naturally abusive communicative manner wore on me.
I developed the third ulcer I’ve had in my lifetime. I had trouble sleeping and any acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, salsa caused significant discomfort.
I stopped eating those types of acidic foods, of course, and started taking 5 to 7 capsules of Slippery Elm a day.
It not only reduced the acidic stomach upset I had but it healed the ulcer as well. Terminating my employment for my jerk boss helped too but I only did that after my ulcer was cured.
If you have stomach problems, excessive flatulence, or intestinal problems, Slippery Elm is a godsend.
Needless to say, I love Slippery Elm and have found it to be a great, healing herb. You will too.
I hope you have found this article helpful.
Yours in health,
Nutritional Supplement Bible.com