• Slippery elm inner bark is a highly mucilaginous substance, which has been traditionally used as a topical application to soothe irritated and inflamed skin conditions and promote wound healing. • It is used internally to soothe an irritated throat and is often combined with antiseptic herbs. • Slippery elm is used to provide symptomatic relief in acid dyspepsia, gastrointestinal reflux and inflammatory bowel diseases, but has not been scientifically studied to any significant extent. • Overall, slippery elm has not been significantly investigated in clinical studies, so most information is derived from traditional sources. Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions What will this herb do for me? The inner bark of slippery elm is highly mucilaginous, meaning that it forms a thick gel-like substance when combined with water. Traditionally, it has been used internally to relieve symptoms of dyspepsia and inflamed bowel conditions and topically to soothe irritated skin and promote wound healing. When will it start to work? Whether used internally for upper gastrointestinal symptoms (such as reflux and dyspepsia) or applied topically to irritated skin, it should theoretically provide Read more […]
Archive for category Slippery Elm'
Insufficient reliable information is available. Adverse Reactions Insufficient reliable information is available. Significant Interactions Controlled studies are unavailable, but interactions are theoretically possible with some medicines. Since slippery elm forms an inert barrier over the gastrointestinal lining, it may theoretically alter the rate and/or extent of absorption of medicines with a narrow therapeutic range (e.g. barbiturates, digoxin, lithium, phenytoin, warfarin). The clinical significance of this is unclear. Separate doses by 2 hours. Contraindications and Precautions Insufficient reliable information is available. Pregnancy Use Insufficient reliable information is available.
The therapeutic effectiveness of slippery elm has not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions, so evidence is derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies. GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS Based on traditional evidence, slippery elm is taken internally to relieve the symptoms of gastritis, acid dyspepsia, gastric reflux, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. It is widely accepted that the mucilage acts as a barrier against the damaging effects of stomach acid on the oesophagus and may also exert mild anti-inflammatory activity locally. Currently, clinical research is not available to determine the effectiveness of slippery elm in these conditions; however, anecdotally the treatment appears to be very successful and patients report rapid improvement in upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Solid dose tablets and capsules are used in the treatment of diarrhea when it is believed the fibre will slow down gastric transit time and act as a bulking agent. Although clinical studies are not available to determine its effectiveness, the high mucilaginous content and presence of tannins in the herb provide a theoretical basis for its use. DERMATITIS AND WOUNDS Slippery elm Read more […]
Common Name Slippery elm Other Names American elm, Indian elm, moose elm, red elm, sweet elm, winged elm Botanical Name / Family Ulmus fulvus or Ulmus rubra (family Ulmaceae) According to current botanical nomenclature, it should now be referred to as Ulmus rubra. Plant Part Used Dried inner bark Historical Note The dried inner bark of the slippery elm tree was a popular remedy used by many Native American tribes, and subsequently taken up by European settlers. It was mixed with water and applied topically to treat wounds, bruises and skin irritations, and used internally for sore throat, coughs and gastrointestinal conditions. When mixed with milk, it was used as a nutritious gruel for children and convalescents. It also gained a reputation as an effective wound healer among soldiers during the American Civil War. From 1820 until 1960 it was listed in the US Pharmacopeia as a demulcent, emollient and antitussive. The name ‘slippery elm’ refers to the slippery consistency of the inner bark when it comes into contact with water. Chemical Components The inner bark chiefly contains mucilage (various hexoses, pentoses, methylpentoses), glucose, polyuronides, tannins, galacturonicacid, L-rhamnose, D-galactose, Read more […]