Slippery Elm: The Natural Remedy for Digestive Health

In today’s fast-paced environment, keeping excellent gut health is critical for overall well-being. While modern medicine offers various solutions, nature has also provided us with valuable remedies. One such gift from nature is Slippery Elm, a medicinal herb known for its therapeutic properties. In this article, we will delve into the benefits, uses, and precautions associated with Slippery Elm, shedding light on how this natural remedy can promote digestive health for everyone.
Table of Contents

What is Slippery Elm?

Slippery Elm, scientifically known as Ulmus rubra, is a deciduous tree native to North America. Native Americans have utilized it for ages for its therapeutic benefits. The inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree is collected and processed to create various forms of the herb for medicinal use.

Slippery elm includes a variety of important elements, including complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains a substance called mucilage, a gel-like substance that contributes to its soothing and healing properties.

Health Benefits

Its Soothing effect on the Digestive System

  • Slippery elm works to promote a healthy digestive system. It forms a protective layer in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby preventing problems like heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. It provides relief by reducing bloating and neutralizing excess stomach acid.
  • Slippery elm has been shown to reduce inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and relieve symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.

Helps Promote Regular Bowel Movements

  • It acts as a natural laxative, promoting bowel movements and reducing constipation. Slippery elm’s mucilaginous content adds bulk to stools and helps lubricate the intestines, making it easier to pass a bowel movement.
  • In addition to its laxative effects, it may also help regulate bowel movements and prevent diarrhea. It absorbs excess moisture in the intestines and adds bulk to loose stools, thereby providing relief to individuals suffering from diarrhea.

Helps Soothe Sore Throat and Cough

  • It has soothing properties, meaning it forms a soothing and protective layer over the throat when consumed. This paste helps in reducing the irritation, soothes the sore throat, and gives relief from the symptoms of cough.
  • Due to its soothing effects, Slippery Elm may also provide relief for respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. By reducing inflammation and irritation in the respiratory tract, it can help reduce coughing and promote easier breathing.

D. Helps in Wound Healing

  • Topically, Slippery Elm has long been used to enhance wound healing. Its mucilaginous content forms a protective barrier over the wound, preventing infection and enhancing the healing process. It can be beneficial for various types of wounds, including burns, cuts, and ulcers.
  • The mucilage in Slippery Elm not only protects the wound but also aids in tissue regeneration. It aids in the growth of new tissues, speeds up the healing process, and reduces the appearance of scars.

How to Incorporate Slippery Elm Into Your Routine

A. Make its Herbal Tea

Steep its bark in hot water to make a soothing and healing tea:
  1. To prepare the tea, steep one to two teaspoons of powdered Slippery Elm bark in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the mixture and drink the tea while it’s warm. This soothing tea can be consumed two to three times a day.
  3. For added flavor and potential health benefits, you can sweeten the tea with a teaspoon of honey or add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Honey provides antimicrobial properties, while lemon offers vitamin C and antioxidants.

B. Take this herb in capsule or tablet form

  • Supplements are readily available in health stores and online in capsule or tablet form. Follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer. It is advisable to take Slippery Elm supplements with a full glass of water.
  • It is important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines on the product packaging or as provided by a healthcare professional. If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications, consult with a professional before using this herb.

C. Use Lozenges or Throat Pastilles

  • Using lozenges or throat pastilles: Slippery Elm lozenges or throat lozenges are specially designed to provide relief from the symptoms of sore throat and cough. These products dissolve slowly in the mouth, allowing the mucus to settle on the throat and providing a soothing effect.
  • A selection of organic and natural varieties: When choosing slippery elm lozenges or throat pastilles, choose organic and natural varieties that don’t contain added artificial ingredients. Check product labels to ensure purity and minimal additives for the best therapeutic benefits.

Precautions and Considerations

A. It can cause some Allergies and Sensitivities

1. This herb is generally safe for most individuals, some people may have allergies or sensitivities to it or related plants. If you have a known allergy to elm trees or experience any allergic reactions after consuming it, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

2. If you are taking any medications or have underlying health conditions, it is necessary to discuss the use with a healthcare professional. Some medications may interact with Slippery Elm, and potential side effects should be considered.

B. Harmful for pregnant and lactating mothers

1. There is limited research available on the safety of slippery elm during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Therefore, individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to consult with their healthcare provider before using it as a precautionary measure.

2. Due to the limited research available, caution and informed decision-making are necessary regarding the use of this herb during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Consult a healthcare professional before using this herb.

C. Choose a quality product from a good source

When purchasing the products, it is important to choose reputable brands. Look for products that go through rigorous quality control procedures to ensure purity and effectiveness. Certifications such as organic or GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) indicate that the products meet strict quality standards. Look for these certifications on the product label.


Slippery Elm, a natural remedy with a long history of traditional use, offers numerous benefits for digestive health and overall well-being. Its soothing properties can provide relief from various gastrointestinal issues, promote regular bowel movements, and even support wound healing. Whether you prefer Slippery Elm tea, capsules, or throat pastilles, incorporating this herbal remedy into your routine can be a step towards maintaining optimal digestive health. However, it is crucial to exercise caution, consider individual circumstances, and consult a healthcare professional when necessary.

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