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Slippery Elm – The Gut Healing Remedy


Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) is a most valuable remedy.

The bark of the tree is known as one of natures finest demulcents; a moistening herb that forms a soothes mucous membrane tissue. When the powdered inner bark is mixed with water it becomes mucilaginous.

This mucilaginous quality soothes and protects irritated tissues, it is nourishing, anti-inflammatory and healing. Not only this, but Slippery elm causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion. This action protects the gastrointestinal tract from excess acidity and stomach ulcers.

When convalescing and recovering from an illness it is a valuable tonic being highly nutritious, containing magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, beta-carotene and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. It can be considered a prebiotic, having a restorative action on the microbiome..

During the American Revolution Slippery elm was used as a poultice for gun shot wounds; such are its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. From 1820 to 1960 it was included in the United States Pharmacopeia.

Slippery elm is indicated for –

  • Acid Reflux
  • Gastritis
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Wounds
  • Coughs
  • Cystitis
  • IBS
  • Coughs
  • Boils
  • Psoriosis
  • Sore throat
  • Laryngitis

Slippery elm bark is a very valuable remedial agent in mucous inflammations of the lungs, bowels, stomach, bladder, or kidneys. It is also highly beneficial in diarrhoea, dysentery, coughs, pleurisy, strangury, and sore throat, in all of which it tends powerfully to allay the inflammation. A tablespoonful of the powder boiled in a pint of new milk, affords a nourishing diet for infants weaned from the breast, preventing the bowel complaints to which they are subject, and rendering them fat and healthy. Elm bark has likewise been successfully employed externally in cutaneous diseases, especially in obstinate cases of herpetic and syphilitic eruptions.” King’s Dispensatory

How to Prepare Slippery Elm

Although Slippery elm supplements are very effective I often favour making what I would call a gruel. I can only explain this as a “thick” mucilaginous drink, which I know doesn’t sound appealing! And yet when you do consume Slippery elm this way, it becomes clear how soothing it is on the digestive tract.


Drink it

Make a warm drink

  • Place one heaped teaspoon of Slippery elm in to a cup
  • Add one heaped teaspoon of runny honey and enough COLD water to make a ‘Bisto-like’ paste. Stir until smooth.
  • Gradually pour over hot water, whisking as you go.
  • Consume 2 – 3 times a day, according to your needs, but at least first and last thing.

Make a smoothie

In a blender add

  • 1 banana
  • Half a cup of milk
  • Half a cup Greek yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons of Slippery elm powder
  • Half a teaspoon of cardamom or cinnamon powder
  • 1 -2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • Blend until smooth. Consume first thing.


Eat it – Slippery elm confectionary

This is a really useful recipe for when on the move and traveling and very effective.

To a small bowl add –

  • 10g of Slippery elm powder
  • 20g of liquid honey (raw if possible)
  • Mix until combined
  • On a board roll the mix in to a cylinder shape. Cut in to 10 equal pieces and roll in to little marble-sized balls.
  • Roll each ball into cinnamon powder.

These would not only be good for digestive symptoms but a sore throat too.


Take a capsule

Earnshaw’s Herbal Dispensary Slippery Elm Capsules

Living Nutrition, The Fermentation Alchemists, Organic Fermented Your Flora Terrain with Aloe Vera and Slippery Elm

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