Slippery Elm Bark can be found in the bulk herbs section in your local health food store (or online). I'll give a brief list of the healing properties of the bark and an easy tea recipe which has performed miracles on my digestive track recently. Seeing how many people, especially high stress individuals (that's me!) and Celiacs, have irritated digestive tracks, I thought this information was relevant from Wikipedia and Dr. Karl Smith's informational sites.
Slippery Elm Bark, or ulmus fulva, is an herb from the inner part of the elm bark which is usually sold in a finely ground powder. It hails from the elm tree and masquerades under many names: American elm, Indian elm, red elm, moose elm, sweet elm, rock elm, and winged elm.
It is a very safe and gentle herb and is allergen free (unless you are allergic to elm trees). Slippery Elm Bark herb can be taken by anyone; infants, pregnant women, and the elderly can all enjoy its benefits. The inner bark, normally ground into a powder, is used for a variety of medicinal purposes. The soothing properties of the bark benefit both the skin as well as the respiratory and digestive track.
Slippery Elm Bark can actually sustain life for a short period of time since it is high in many essential nutrients:
- sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, iodine, copper, zinc, phosphorus, bromine, manganese, and vitamins E, F, K, and P
- It is excellent for those who are sick or have cancer or other destructive "wasting" diseases.
- Digestive Problems:
- colitis, gastritis, GI hyperacidity,
- kidney problems
- diarrhea and constipation
- wasting diseases
- It soothes nausea and is not likely to be thrown up
Medicinal Uses (External):
The soothing and inflammation-reducing properties of the bark make it ideal for:
- rash (diaper rash)
- sores, wounds
- hemorrhoids and boils
Heal an Irritated or Acidic, Damaged G.I. Tract:
Take as a hot tea or add to your baked goods, soups, smoothies, or really anything to take for an irritated digestive system.
Heal a Sore Throat or Respiratory Infection:
The acid buffering and anti-inflammatory action of the bark soothes sore throats and relieves dry and irritated bronchi and lungs. It is an expectorant, meaning that it breaks up mucous stuck in the throat or bronchi (as is the case in bronchitis or a cold/flu) and causes you to cough it up. Conditions appropriate for slippery elm usage:
- sore throats, coughing, hoarseness
- pleurisy, lung bleeding, and leukorrhea
To soothe a sore throat: Karl Smith, D. C., has a fantastic page on his University Chiropractic website. He has many easy herbal remedies and good looking recipes if you're adventurous. A favorite lozenge recipe of Dr. Smith's: Take some locally grown honey and mix it with slippery elm powder till it makes a thick paste. Add 1-5 drops of peppermint oil to taste. Put in a container with a lid and store it in the fridge. Eat by the spoonful 2-4 times daily until sore throat subsides.
Slippery Elm Tea [Vegan]
slippery elm bark (powder)
1 c. water, boiling
1 T. sweetener of choice**
2-3 oz. light coconut milk (optional) or other "milk" of choice
** I use organic unsulfured blackstrap molasses (optional) or 1 packet (1 g. total, 10 mg herb) Stevia
spices (adjust to your liking):
hearty dashes of:
cinnamon, nutmeg, caradmon (powdered)
dash of 50-50 cayenne pepper & cinnamon mixture
Variations: Add 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process - it's processed with alkali)