Slippery Elm Health Benefits
benefits of slippery elm are remarkable. Its many uses include
emollient, demulcent, nutritive, astringent and as a tonic. As with
many other herbs, it has gained a reputation as actually working
with many heal problems. It has in fact grown to be so popular that
Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva or Ulmus Rubra)
has been used for at least two centuries in America as an herbal
agent and its renewed popularity is growing. Before we get into
some of the specific health benefits of slippery elm, let's talk
about where it comes from.
The slippery elm bark comes from a tree, a
deciduous tree and is native to the eastern north America. Slippery
elm comes from the inner bark of the tree and is stipped off and
ground into a powder if it's not powdery enough, which it often
Popularity of Slippery Elm
Among its many medicinal uses, slippery elm was
even used by Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry to throw his famed
spitball (Daugherty, para. 12). It's so popular that there is a law
forbidding excessive stripping of the slippery elm tree of its
precious bark. It's even been touted publicly by singer Amy Lee for
what it's done for her. If you look at the picture on the left
farther down the page, you'll see what it looks like when it's
taken from the bark.
Specific Slippery Elm Health Benefits &
Alternative Medicine Uses
Let's now go over some of the many and varied
slippery elm health benefits. It is a very diversified herb and
according to famed master herbalist and naturopathic doctor, Dr.
John Christopher (1976), "Slippery elm is one of the finest and
most valuable Medicnies in the herbal world" (p. 334).
An all-natural alternative medicinal herb for
It's also a natural cure for acid reflux -- and
much less expensive too than many of the pills available at your
Helps soothe severe or mild stomach upset like
gastritis, flatulence, peptic ulcer, and other gastrointestinal
Takes away ulcer pain.
When combined with psyllium husks or seeds, it
forms a potent drink that can help relieve severe
Though bland to taste, if you have a baby that
can't keep anything down, slippery elm is so soothing even a baby
can eat it in a gruel. Slippery elm is a nutritive meaning it has
life-giving nutrients in it and this will allow the affected baby
to keep the slippery elm down and get much-needed
It's very soothing to inflamed skin, mucuous
membranes. In 19th century America, there are stories of how it was
used as a poultice for injured or inflamed body parts, even for
gunshot wounds. It provides the elements for speedy healing and
simultaneous strengthening of the stomach.
It's soothing to the voice or throat. Singer Amy
Lee has publicly credited it saying the "slippery elm tea" has
helped her throat.
According to The Daily Record (2008), it
"Slippery elm powder can help to correct
the bacterial balance in the gut" (para. 4). Bear in mind this is a
major newspaper in the United Kingdom. The word is definitely
getting out about slippery elm.
My Personal Experience With Slippery Elm
I've had a few jerk bosses in my life and
consequently, the stomach acid used to really churn. I've had
bosses where if I did 98 things perfectly out of 100, they would
only look at the two mistakes. It's very frustrating to work like that. In my last such
experience, I developed an ulcer. Knowing about slippery elm, I
bought a bottle with 100 vegetable capsules and would pop four or
five at a time and it worked. It literally within five to 10
minutes would not just reduce but eliminate the acidity pain in my
I knew it would work as periodically through my
life when I've had too much stomach acidity and ulcer-like pain in
my stomach, I would take slippery elm to soothe my stomach and then
later, when the pain was gone, I would take cayenne pepper. Believe
it or not, cayenne and all peppers high in capsaicin (the active
ingredient in cayenne and peppers that make them hot to the taste)
would re-build the stomach tissue. I'm a great believe in cayenne
I went through a bottle pretty quickly before I
finally quit. It was just another personal experience I had with
slippery elm. It's so soothing and so inexpensive. A full bottle
costs around $10 to $12 where I live. That's all!
Where Can I Get Slippery Elm?
You can get it at your local health food store
whether you want it in capsule or powder form. It's inexpensive
too. You can, of course, get it online but it's easier and quicker
to get it locally. If you are going to get it online, look for it
from a reputable company that has passed an AIB food safety. This
will mostly likely ensure quality and good manufacturing
Slippery elm is an incredibly fantastic medicinal
herb. It is inexpensive, readily available and so gentle to the
human organism that can even be used with babies. It's possessed of
a multitude of medicinal uses including for gastric ulcers,
tuberculosis, asthma, pneumonia, skin eruptions, burns and even
helps heal the effects of poison ivy -- it's an all-natural cure
for poison ivy. (Nevertheless, as with any health problems, see
your licensed physician. I'm not a doctor and as always, any
information in this site is for educational purposes only.)
I hope you've found this information useful to
Yours in health,
Bock S. Integrative medical treatment of
inflammatory bowel disease. Int J Integr Med.
Christopher, John R. (1976). School of Natural Healing. Provo,
Utah: BiWorld Publishers.
Daughtery, Paul. (2009, February 11). No need to inject
more 'roid outrage. USA Today on the Web. Retrieved from
Lexis-Nexis March 14, 2010.