Because it contains compounds called phenolics, SE may act as a natural free radical scavenger and fighter of oxidative stress. The tree can grow 50 to 60 feet tall and has a heavy grey-white bark. It was concluded that “Weight loss and improvements in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels occurred after a low-energy-density dietary intervention plus regimented supplementation program.”. White elm (U. americana) is a related species used in a similar manner. The slippery elm tree (SE), medically known as Ulmus fulva, is native Eastern North America, including parts of the U.S. and Canada. The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, The Health Benefits of the Ayurvedic Herb Phyllanthus. Today, slippery elm bark is typically found in tablet and capsule form, or used to make lozenges, powders, teas and extracts. Its inner bark has a mucilaginous or “slippery” texture and it is this part of the tree that is used as a herbal remedy for a variety of complaints. It’s long been used by Native Americans to make healing salves and tinctures that can help treat various types of wounds, as well as taken orally for the relief of flu and cold-like symptoms and sore throats. All in all, it is a full-service gastrointestinal cleaner and has been used as such for thousands of years. Try taking it for several weeks, then taking several weeks off before starting again if necessary. This bark is dried and powdered to be used for medicinal purposes and typically found as tablets and capsules, slippery elm lozenges, slippery elm powder for making teas or extracts, and coarsely powdered bark for poultices. Since SE has the ability to improve digestion, this may aid in weight loss. Can Osha Root Really Treat Cold, Flu, and Sore Throat? Proponents of slippery elm claim that it can alleviate many of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases (such as ulcerative colitis) by forming a temporary protective barrier in the intestines. Although SE trees are abundant and associated with many other hardwood trees, they are not important lumber trees; instead they have been used mostly for medicinal purposes throughout history. Here are some of the most common uses and forms: If making SE tea at home (see below) use about 2–3 teaspoons of powder per one-cup serving. By using Verywell Health, you accept our, Steve Gorton / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images, 8 Best Medicines for Sore Throat Reviewed, How to Use Natural Remedies for Laryngitis. It was also consumed as a tea and was used to treat sore throats. It has been used as a mucilaginous herb internally to coat the … Even through slippery elm bark is still used in modern medicines, there’s been no large-scale effort to cultivate them for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, other scientists have looked into whether slippery elm can control the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), classified either as constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C) or diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). Brew… Their preferred habitat, the floodplains, have been aggressively targeted for urban development and channel construction. But it is the inner bark or “phloem” we are concerned with. Slippery Elm. Slippery Elm is a deciduous tree that grows between 40-60 ft in height. It’s long been used by Native Americans to make healing salves and tinctures that can help treat various types of wounds, as well as taken orally for the relief of flu and cold -like symptoms and sore throats. Subjects who took formula two experienced a 20 percent increase in bowel movement frequency and significant reductions in straining, abdominal pain, bloating and global IBS symptom severity, as well as improvements in stool consistency. Native to North America, the slippery elm tree or red elm has an inner bark that can be used as a natural remedy. Slippery Elm is a valuable tree that has many traditional uses. Other common names include red elm, gray elm, soft elm, moose elm, and Indian elm. Although it works differently than some other laxatives, it seems to improve symptoms of constipation, IBD and IBS, including in both adults and children. Habitat. The slippery elm is currently on the "special concern" list in Rhode Island and is already believed to be eradicated from Maine. Because of the demulcent properties in slippery elm, it is also beneficial for healing hemorrhoids. Slippery elm is a tree that grows in North America. The inner bark of SE has become an herbal remedy used by some to help support cancer recovery for prevention, and for improving quality of life and side effects among those undergoing conventional breast cancer treatments. Both groups were also said to experience improvements is straining, abdominal pain, and bloating. Due to the sparsity of research, little is known about the safety of slippery elm. If so, it’s worth trying slippery elm, an herbal remedy used in North America since the 19th century that has been shown to treat a number of digestive issues. The cleansing mixture was taken before each meal during week two of the study. It doesn’t succumb easily to a mortar and pestle, so it may be easiest to buy it in capsule form, which is available at most health food stores or Internet sources. 2010 Oct;16(10):1065-71. Inflammatory bowel disease(IBD) 3. In the spring, dark brown floral buds appear and open into small, clustered flowers at the branch tips. Because the timber is not of much commercial use, little effort has been made to replant the trees. To prevent drug interactions, it may be best to take slippery elm two hours before or after other herbs or medications you may be taking. It was also taken orally to relieve asthma, for weight loss, … The trunk is reddish brown with gray-white bark on the branches. Aliment Pharmacol Therapeu. Slippery elm tea is a traditional medicinal tea that is prepared with the bark of the slippery elm tree. While slippery elm is considered safe when used for the short-term treatment of sore throat, you shouldn't assume that is can be used with impunity. Like other high-antioxidant foods, studies suggest it may also help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis, which is why it’s recommended for anyone following an IBS diet. Though SE is usually well-tolerated, some supplements containing this herb may trigger side effects in some people, such as nausea, increased bowel movements, frequent urination, swollen glands, skin blemishes, flu-like symptoms and slight headaches. Slippery elm bark is a widely used herbal remedy and is considered to be one of the most valuable of remedies in herbal practice[4]. Slippery elm's inner bark, on the other hand, does have its other uses too. Slippery elm has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating sore throat. Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) is a type of elm tree native to eastern North America from southern Quebec to northern Florida and east to Texas. Slippery Elm is also known as Ulmus fulva, Red Elm, Sweet Elm, Moose Elm, Indian Elm, Gray Elm, and Soft Elm. Moreover, due to the onslaught to Dutch Elm Disease, there are very few mature slippery elm trees left in nature. Because it has immune-boosting benefits and anti-inflammatory effects, it may help relieve pain associated with breast cancer. Do Agaricus Mushrooms Have Health Benefits? Slippery elm inner bark is an amazing herb, traditionally used throughout the world for its healing and soothing properties. The five psoriasis cases, ranging from mild to severe at the study onset, improved on all measured outcomes over a six-month period, demonstrating that SE makes a great addition to any psoriasis diet treatment. © GHM, 11 Biggest Benefits of Walking, Plus Health Tips From Doctors & Trainers, Slippery Elm Benefits, How to Use, Recipes and Side Effects, Diarrhea (in humans and pets): treatment by ingestion of capsules, tablets, tea, tincture and extracts, Cough (humans and cats): treatment by lozenges, tea, tincture, and extracts, Constipation (pets, especially cats): treatment by powder or extract added to food. A 2002 study from England found that slippery elm exerted antioxidant effects on colon tissue samples taken from people with ulcerative colitis. Slippery Elm, or Ulmus Fulva, is a herbal remedy that has been used in North America for centuries. The inner bark has long been used in traditional Native American medicine to treat wounds and gastrointestinal ailments. Do you struggle with constipation, diarrhea or other digestive issues? It grows as far south as Florida, as far west as Texas, and its range stretches in Quebec in the north. Hawrelak, J. and Myer, S. Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. This tree is fairly common throughout the eastern part of the United States and into the Midwest, as well as the eastern part of Canada. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2009.0090. Ultimately, both formulas led to  improvements. The powder is then used to manufacture supplements in capsule form or to create extracts for use in tinctures, lozenges, salves, and lip balms. In fact, Native Americans used it to heal salves for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, and skin inflammation. In addition to mucilage, research demonstrates that SE contains antioxidants and antimicrobial agents, making it a great remedy for wounds, burns, boils, psoriasis and other external skin conditions triggered by inflammation. It’s the inner bark that’s most often dried and powdered to be used for medicinal purposes, since it creates a lubricating substance when mixed with water. Slippery elm contains a type of soluble fiber known as mucilage. Read our, Medically reviewed by Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, Medically reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD, Medically reviewed by Lana Butner, ND, LAc, Verywell Health uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Slippery elm has long been used in herbal medicine. Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of Slippery Elm. The tree’s bark has deep fissures, a gummy texture, and a slight but distinct odor. Slippery Elm is a species of elm tree that has been used as an herbal remedy in North America for hundreds of years. Slippery elm powder can also be purchased in bulk or packaged in tea bags. Other manufacturers have since joined in, producing slippery extracts, tinctures, lotions, and herbal teas. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Phenolics are antioxidants that have been shown to elicit cellular responses that counter oxidant stress, which contributes to aging and many chronic diseases. The slippery elm tree is native to eastern Canada and eastern and central US, where it is found most commonly in the Appalachian mountains. This inner bark, taken from the tree most commonly known as slippery elm, but also called red elm, sweet elm, Indian elm, soft elm, moose elm, or gray elm, is a pretty valuable commodity on its own, but there are many valuable uses for the wood as well. Slippery elm has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating sore throat. The Iroquois were known to scrape the bark of the slippery elm tree to treat infections, swollen glands and conditions affecting the eyes. A general recommendation in capsule/tablet form is a dosage of about 1,600 milligrams daily, taken in 2–3 divided doses. Its texture, however, can make it challenging to use. To date, the evidence of this is mixed. It is a glue-like substance that is rich in sugars and polyphenols. Here are a few recipes to try: Does slippery elm have side effects? When you do take your regular medications, drink plenty of water unless otherwise indicated. Therefore, use caution and check with your health care provider, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or using other medications. Although there is little evidence that this actually works, women who are pregnant or intend to get pregnant should avoid slippery elm just to be safe. 2018 Jun 29:1-10. Updated November 5, 2017. As described above, there are many medicinal uses for slippery elm. SE was first promoted as an option to help treat breast cancer, including DCIS, in the 1920s. One such method used the inner bark from the slippery elm tree. SE has been shown in certain studies help patients with psoriasis, a condition that currently has no cure. Slippery elm trees, identified by their “slippery” inner bark, may live to be 200 years old. Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles. A 2008 study from Australia reported that two different herbal supplements containing slippery elm were able to increase bowel frequency by 20 percent in people with IBS-C but had minimal effect in people with IBS-D. MedlinePlus. Slippery elm is also known as red elm, gray elm, soft elm, moose elm, and Indian elm. The regimented supplementation program included daily supplementation with a one green drink, as well as a “cleanse supplementation” containing slippery elm plus other herbs and minerals. The information on this site has been included in good faith and is for general purposes only. A study performed at New York Chiropractic College used normal participants from the faculty, staff, students and community members to participate in a 21-day weight loss program. Not only does this help most people, but it can actually give much relief to your dog too. In particular, it is a gentle and effective remedy for irritated states of the mucous membranes of the chest, urinary tubules, stomach and intestines[254]. As a general rule, never exceed the recommended dose on the product label. While vitamin manufacturers will often voluntarily submit their products for testing by an independent certifying body (like the U.S. Pharmacopeia or ConsumerLab), herbal supplements manufacturers rarely do. Tinsley, G.; Urbina, S.; Santos, E. et al. Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) 4. SLIPPERY ELM Ulmus rubra Muhl. They can be found growing from Maine west to New York, extreme southern Quebec, southern Ontario, northern Michigan, central Minnesota and in certain other areas. The tree known as 'slippery elm' is a large deciduous tree in the Elm family (Ulmaceae), native to central and eastern United States. It is either taken orally or applied topically to aid in the healing of cuts and burns. When the bark of this towering, large-leaved deciduous tree is combined with water, it creates a particularly thick and slippery gel best known for its lubricating qualities. For centuries, Native Americans -- and later European settlers -- used its inner bark as a treatment for many conditions. 4 Benefits of the Medicinal Mushroom Cordyceps. The mucilage found in its bark is ideal for soothing the digestive tract and eliminating inflammation, primarily the type that causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). One of the primary uses for slippery elm is as a digestive aid. Mucilage traps and absorbs water, forming a gel-like substance that can coat mucous membranes, providing short-term relief of pain and inflammation The high calcium content may also act as a mild antacid. To avoid this, separate the doses of slippery elm and your other drugs by at least two hours. If you are wondering about slippery elm benefits, most of them involve the inner bark of the tree. The bark contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. The SE tree ia medium-sized tree that can reach well over 50 feet in height and is topped by spreading branches that form an open crown. What the test tube study did not show is whether the same effect would occur if a slippery elm was taken orally. The part of the tree used is the inner bark, which is soft and stringy. If possible, speak with an herbalist or nutritionist for help finding what works for you. Thacker's Slippery Elm Lozenges are still produced today, in addition to a slippery elm lip balm used to treat chapped lips. This mucilage coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines, making it ideal for sore throat, cough, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis and diarrhea. Next, you add a small amount of cinnamon … Ulmus rubra, the slippery elm, is a species of elm native to eastern North America, ranging from southeast North Dakota, east to Maine and southern Quebec, south to northernmost Florida, and west to eastern Texas, where it thrives in moist uplands, although it will also grow in dry, intermediate soils. Plant phenolics also seem to help protect against pathogens due to their natural antifungal effects. Like other herbs, it’s best to take breaks from using it periodically. Slippery elm is a tree also known as Indian Elm, Moose Elm, Olmo Americano, Orme, Orme Gras, Orme Rouge, Red Elm, Sweet Elm, Ulmus fulva, Ulmus rubra, and other names. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Weight loss Some proponents claim that slippery elm can treat upper respiratory tract infections, syphilis, … Herbal medicines can trigger allergic reactions, including skin rashes, among people who are sensitive to their effects. Slippery elm, or Ulmus rubra, is a tree native to the central and eastern United States and Ontario, Canada.. Moistened with water and used as a poultice, this powdered bark was used as a toothache remedy and to draw out splinters, thorns, embedded shotgun pellets, and boils. via Slippery Elm Benefits, How to Use, Recipes and Side Effects. Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an in vitro study, A Purported Detoxification Supplement Does Not Improve Body Composition, Waist Circumference, Blood Markers, or Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Healthy Adult Females. The subjects were asked to follow a dietary protocol that included a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, small amounts of protein from fish and fowl, fiber supplements, olive oil, and avoidance of red meat, processed foods and refined carbohydrates. The inner bark of the tree is the only part used, often in powdered form. You can consume the tea 1–2 times daily. DOI: 10.1080/19390211.2018.1472713. The outer bark of the slippery elm tree has long been used in folk medicine to induce abortion. She helped co-author the first integrative geriatrics textbook, "Integrative Geriatric Medicine.". There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of slippery elm. When you use slippery elm for treating constipation, it will aid in stimulating the nerve endings of the gastrointestinal tract. Couple that in with a few exotic elm tree diseases recently imported into the United States and wild elm populations are in decline. Is it safe to take slippery elm every day? SE should only be given to children under the supervision of a knowledgeable practitioner. Slippery elm remedies are typically made from the powdered inner bark of the tree. The bark supplied material for the sides of winter houses and roofs of the Meskwaki. 2002;16(2):197-205. The slippery elm tree (SE), medically known as Ulmus fulva, is native Eastern North America, including parts of the U.S. and Canada. Dietary supplements are not stringently regulated in the United States and do not need to undergo rigorous testing or research before reaching the market shelves. While it's recommended to relieve a variety of ailments, studies show that it's most effective when treating irritable bowel syndrome, sore throats, and skin irritation. Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. These properties relax the mucosa of the digestive system, stimulating a reflex action … In the 1960s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified slippery elm as a botanical drug, believing it safe for the treatment of minor sore throat pain. Native to eastern North America, Slippery Elm is a large deciduous tree that has a long history of traditional use by the Native American Indians. Common Uses: Boxes, baskets, furniture, hockey sticks, veneer, wood pulp, and papermaking. They were also asked to consume saffron tea and slippery elm bark water daily. Slippery elm is a tree also known as Indian Elm, Moose Elm, Olmo Americano, Orme, Orme Gras, Orme Rouge, Red Elm, Sweet Elm, Ulmus fulva, Ulmus rubra, and other names. Slippery elm is a medium-sized tree native to North America that contains bark that is used to make supplements and medicine. Langmead, L.; Dawson, C.; Hawkins, C. et al. Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved, Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. However, its best known use involved scraping the inner bark of the tree to use for medicine. Additionally, it may help protect against ulcers and excess acidity in the GI tract because it causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings, and that reaction leads to increased mucus secretion. It is mucilaginous and has coating, lubricating, and cooling properties that soothe irritated and raw membranes. The inner bark is where most of the health benefits reside. When the bark is extracted from the tree, it swells up in the water when kept for an hour. Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), identified by its "slippery" inner bark, is commonly a medium-sized tree of moderately fast growth that may live to be 200 years old. Always consult with your doctor before taking slippery elm powder, and follow the manufacturer's dosing instructions. While slippery elm is believed by some to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, the drug action is relatively short-lasting (around 30 minutes) and does nothing to treat the underlying causes of reflux. Animals with the following conditions have selected Slippery Elm powder: Diarrhoea, constipation; Inflamed mucous membranes (especially if taking NSAIDs) Stomach ulcers; The health benefits of slippery elm powder are rooted mainly in its soothing properties. The inner bark was used for cordage by many tribes. Please consider supporting General Health using PayPal with a single or monthly donation. J Altern Complement Med. In spring the leaves can have a reddish tinge that turns to green in summer. Sore throat 7. In fall the leaves are yellow. Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an in vitro study. It is extremely versatile, providing relief from a number of ailments, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and sore throats. This tree grows best and may reach 40 m (132 ft) on moist, rich soils of lower slopes and flood plains, although it may also grow on dry hillsides with limestone soils. SE bark can typically be found at your local health food store in a variety of forms — including tea, lozenges, capsules and tablets, poultice, and extract. Slippery Elm is also known as Ulmus fulma, Red Elm, Sweet Elm, Moose Elm, Indian Elm, Gray Elm, and Soft Elm. Among some of the conditions slippery elm is believed to treat are: 1. External skin conditions (humans and pets): treatment by shampoo or topical cream infused with extract. SE has also been shown in certain studies to treat diarrhea and diverticulitis. Formula one was associated with a small but significant increase in bowel movement frequency, as well as reductions in straining, abdominal pain, bloated stomach and IBS symptoms. Slippery Elm is native to North America, and was widely used by Native Americans as medicine and as food. Because it coats the digestive tract, it may slow down the absorption of other drugs or herbs. In one study, the effects of two different formulas on digestive function were compared, both of which included SE in addition to other herbs. Because slippery elm can coat the digestive tract, it may interfere with the absorption of certain drugs. It should not be relied upon for any specific purpose, and no warranty or liability is given as regards to its accuracy or completeness. Plant Symbol = ULRU Contributed By: USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center Alternate Names Red elm Uses Ethnobotanic: This tree was valued for its bark, which supplied material for the sides of winter houses and roofs of the Meskwaki. 2019. Acid reflux 2. Slippery elm, as the name suggests, is slippery in form and obtained from the inner bark of the tree by the same name. Even prior to the American Revolution, the dried and powdered inner bark of the elm tree was found to have an array of medicinal uses. The medium-sized tree is native to North-eastern Canada, Texas, Florida, and parts of Central America. Comments: More commonly referred to as Slippery Elm in tree form (so named for its gelatinous inner bark), Ulmus rubra is typically called Red Elm in most woodworking applications, in reference to its reddish heartwood. Sometimes called red elm, gray elm or soft elm, this tree grows best on moist, rich soils of lower slopes and flood plains, although it may also grow on dry hillsides with limestone soils. Then add the honey, almond or coconut milk. This plant is renowned in Native American cultures and the bark is widely used in natural remedies, but when the bark is powdered and ground down, it can be brewed into a thick and nutrient-packed tea. Although SE trees are abundant and associated with many other hardwood trees, they are not important lumber trees; instead they have been used mostly for medicinal purposes throughout history. It’s even been used to heal wounds, relieve the flu or common cold, treat infected and swollen glands, and to wash and heal sore eyes. Understanding the Benefits of Cissus Quadrangularis. There are many ways you can incorporate SE into your diet. At the end of the study researchers found that participants experienced clinically meaningful reductions in weight and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Slippery Elm Tree (Ulmus rubra) – Attribution: Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There is also a significant amount of fibrous tissue found in the bark, which can help to bulk up the stool and eliminate issues like diarrhea. Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) – Illustration ©the herbal resource. Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. This is due to a substance in the bark called “mucilage,” which, when mixed with water, becomes gel-like (hence the “slippery” nomenclature). Slippery Elm has oblong, serrated leaves that are 4-8 inches in length and rough on top. To date, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims., Slippery elm has been used to make commercial medicines as far back as the 1840s when a physician named Henry Thacker starting producing herbal remedies for sale to doctors. However health-related purposes were not the only use of SE. In one study, five case studies were evaluated of patients with psoriasis following a specific dietary regimen. Some Native American tribes believed SE could make childbirth easier. Add the slippery elm bark powder and stir well. Is slippery elm a laxative? Among them was a slippery elm elixir that was first sold as an oral suspension and later as lozenges. Constipation 5. The first known use of slippery elm bark was by Native Americans as material for home building, cordage and creating storage baskets. What are the uses for slippery elm (also known as red elm)? Because of this, the quality of supplements can vary considerably from one brand to the next. Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)is a species of elm tree that has been used as an herbal remedy in North America for hundreds of years. Books & Gear Used In this Video -- https://amzn.to/2YhNQ92 Elm Tree Elm Trees ELM TREES!! American Elm is especially susceptible to Dutch elm disease, and was ravaged by the fungal disease in the second half of the twentieth century. Mouth ulcers 6. To cure constipation: You make a mixture including 1 teaspoon of bark powder of slippery elm and 2 cups of hot water. This mucilage coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines, making it ideal for sore throats, coughs, gastroesophageal reflux diseases, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis and diarrhea. Because the concentration of SE varies depending on the specific supplement, always read the product’s dosage recommendations carefully. Slippery elm powder is a natural treatment made from the bark of the elm tree. Slippery elm is also a main ingredient in essiac tea. J Diet Suppl. It is extremely versatile, providing relief from a number of ailments, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and sore throats. Slippery elm has long been used in folk medicine. Despite the positive findings, the conclusions were limited by the fact that the research was conducted by a commercial herbal drug manufacturer. Side effects commonly cited include nausea and skin irritation. However, the agency fell short of declaring it effective, characterizing slippery elm as "a demulcent with limited clinical effects.". Habitat. In the U.S., SE trees are uncommon in much of the South, but grow abundantly in the southern part of the lake states and in the corn belt of the Midwest. Can Nattokinase Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke? Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health. Slippery elm is not yet an endangered species, but there are grave fears about its sustainability. During week three, the cleanse supplementation was replaced with prebiotic and probiotic supplementation. A Purported Detoxification Supplement Does Not Improve Body Composition, Waist Circumference, Blood Markers, or Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Healthy Adult Females. In fact, slippery elm for pets is very safe and nontoxic. Harvesting Slippery Elm Bark Ethically. Because the tree is fast growing and bears seeds at a young age, it has been able to continue in areas where older trees have died, though the newer elms also succumb to the disease at a relatively young age. It should not be confused the American elm (U. americana), the species of which it resembles but has no medicinal properties. As a natural demulcent, slippery elm can reduce inflammation by coating lining of the throat and esophagus.. Environmentalists urge against the use of wild-harvested bark to prevent the total loss of this ancient species. The inner bark was used by many tribes by boiling the bark to make fiber bags, large storage baskets, ropes and cords, making slippery elm one of the most versatile trees on the planet. Among some of the conditions slippery elm is believed to treat are: Some proponents claim that slippery elm can treat upper respiratory tract infections, syphilis, herpes, gout, psoriasis, and even breast or lung cancer. The soft inner bark from the slippery elm tree is an excellent demulcent, taken in the form of a tea or porridge (rather unappetisingly called ‘gruel’) it coats the entire digestive tract in a protective, soothing mucilage to allow healing and repair. Slippery elm is primarily used as an herbal remedy for sore throats and coughs. Sometimes called red elm, gray elm or soft elm, this tree grows best on moist, rich soils of lower slopes and flood plains, although it may also grow on dry hillsides with limestone soils. It contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. Nutritional supplements containing digestive enzymes that were intended to facilitate digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, increase metabolic rate and mediate inflammatory processes were consumed 30 minutes before each meal. Though more studies need to be conducted, slippery elm — when combined with certain herbs such as burdock root, Indian rhubarb and sheep sorrel (which together form the supplement called Essiac) — may improve conditions for women with breast cancer and improve depression, anxiety and fatigue. Some people may also experience allergy, usually those who are allergic to elm pollen or have a cross-reactive allergy to peach. It also was commonly used as a pain-relieving and infection-preventing poultice for gunshots and other serious wounds. The fresh inner bark can be used in place of, or along with, other natural laxatives. Use your best judgment when buying a slippery elm supplement and try not to be swayed by health claims that may or may not be true. Any amount helps, big or small. To better ensure quality and safety, only purchase supplements from manufacturers with an established brand presence. “Slippery elm is an herbal remedy derived from the North American elm tree that has been used for centuries,” says Dr. Carol Osborne, an integrative veterinarian based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. It is either taken orally or applied topically to aid in the healing of cuts and burns.

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