Soothe Yourself with Slippery Elm |

Soothe Yourself with Slippery Elm

Angela October 3, 2013

Photo Credit: Deamstime

Cough? Sore Throat? Soothe it with slippery elm.

Skin Inflammation? Burns? Soothe it with slippery elm.

The Health Benefits of Slippery Elm

Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. It has been known to be used externally for healing wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, and skin inflammation. Internally for cough relief, sore throats, diarrhea, stomach problems, urinary tract problems, colds, flu, sore throat, beneficial for ulcerative colitits, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, and gastritis. (1)

The ingredient in slippery elm that helps soothe the above mentioned health concerns is called mucilage. It is a substance that becomes a slick gel when it is mixed with water. This action helps to coat and soothe whatever it comes in contact with.

Slippery elm has other health benefits as it contains the Phytochemicals: Beta-carotene, campesterol, mucilage, starch, tannin. Nutrients: Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C. (1)

The inner bark of the elm is the part that is dried and made into a powder.

If you would like to harvest and make your own slippery elm supplement, it is possible. You can find the instructions online and in some herbal books. While it is possible to make it yourself, it is much easier to purchase it already harvested. Slippery Elm comes in tablets, capsules, lozenges and powder form.

How To Use Slippery Elm

If you have some on hand, or if you are considering purchasing slippery elm, you can check out this post on Modern Alternative Mama to find out how to make a Homemade cough and cold syrup containing slippery elm.

According to James A. Duke, Ph.D in the book The Green Pharmacy, you can prepare Slippery Elm like oatmeal, adding hot milk or water to the powdered bark to make a cereal. This is a perfect way for children or those who are weak with a low appetite as it has a mild taste and can be sweetened with a natural sweetener if necessary.

Here are a few other easy ways to prepare and use slippery elm from The University of Maryland Medical Center (2):

* The following are recommended adult doses for slippery elm

1. Tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 g (roughly 2 tablespoons) of powdered bark, then steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.

2. Tincture: 5 mL 3 times per day. Note: Contains alcohol.

3. Capsules: 400 – 500 mg 3 – 4 times daily for 4 – 8 weeks. Take with a full glass of water.

4. Lozenges: follow dosing instructions on label.

5. External application: Mix coarse powdered bark with boiling water to make a poultice; cool and apply to affected area. Never apply slippery elm to an open wound.

* Give Slippery Elm to a child only under the supervision of a knowledgeable practitioner. Dosage is usually dependent on weight. (2)

Keep slippery elm in your fall and winter natural medicine cabinet to help soothe what ails you.

Have you used Slippery Elm? How do you use it?


1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Phyllis A. Balch



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Angela Montgomery is a wife, homeschooling mom, photographer, organic gardener and lover of all things natural. She is a certified holistic health coach who works individually with busy moms who need support reaching their health and weight loss goals. She also offers support with group health coaching, healthy recipes, healthy pantry makeovers and health seminars. You can find out more about Angela and the programs she offers at Real Whole Health You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter @RealWholeHealth
  1. I have been afraid to use this because I have read it can cause an abortion. What is your understanding on this?


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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