Herbs in alphabetical order
The powdered inner bark of the slippery elm is a wonderfully soothing remedy for the mucous membranes throughout the body. Slippery elm will soothe irritation and inflammation in the stomach, bowels, kidneys and urinary tract, the reproductive system and the whole of the respiratory system. It makes a good remedy for gastritis, acidity, peptic ulcers, colitis, enteritis and for diarrhea. It will relieve cystitis, irritable bladder, nasal and bronchial catarrh, and soothe a dry irritating cough.
The powder can be mixed with warm water or milk to make a nourishing gruel, which will not only soothe indigestion and heartburn, but also provide an easily digested and assimilated meal, ideal for adults and children during convalescence or when debilitated. Honey or powdered cinnamon or ginger can be added to it to improve the flavor. Slippery elm powder can be mixed with water or glycerine to form a paste to apply as a healing and soothing poultice for cuts and wounds, burns and scalds, inflammatory skin problems and ulcers. Slippery elm makes a good drawing remedy for boils and abscesses.
Inner bark, leaves, flowers.
Nourishing - Taken regularly, slippery elm is nutritious and soothing.
Slippery elm is an excellent food in convalescence and debilitated states,
especially if the digestion is weak or overly sensitive. Slippery elm
is also a good baby food.
HABITAT AND CULTIVATION
Slippery elm is a native of the US and Canada, and is found most commonly in the Appalachian Mountains. The tree thrives on high ground and dry soil. The inner bark of the trunk and branches is collected in spring.
Mucilage - There is limited
research into slippery elm, but
its action as an herb with large
quantities of mucilage is well
understood. When the herb
comes into direct contact with
inflamed surfaces such as the
skin or the intestinal membranes,
it soothes and coats the irritated
tissue, protects it from injury,
and draws out toxins or irritants.
HOW MUCH TO TAKE
Two or more tablets or capsules (typically 400-500 mg each) can be taken three to four times per day. A tea is made by boiling 1-2 grams of the bark in 200 ml of water for ten to fifteen minutes, which is then cooled before drinking; three to four cups a day can be used. Tincture, 5 ml three times per day, can be taken. Slippery elm is also an ingredient of some cough lozenges and cough syrups.
SIDE EFFECTS AND CAUTIONS
Slippery elm is quite safe, with no known side effects or interactions with any other medicines.
The inner bark, the
most important part of the tree, is collected in the following way: select an
elm that is at least 10 years old, cut out
a rectangle without, however, peeling
all the way around so as not to injure
the tree-ideally, apply a clay poultice to
regenerate the tree. The bark of a
healthy elm will fold when pressure is
applied. Remove the outer bark. Cut the
inner bark into small pieces and dry in
the shade for at least 2 weeks. Finely
grate and reduce to a powder using a
coffee grinder: the finer the powder, the
more powerful its effect on ulcers,
digestive ulcers, aerophagia or anorexia.
The active principles are soluble in
warm or cold water: combine the powder with 4 times its volume of water and
stir well. Excellent against all sorts of digestive inflammations.
ANTI - ULCER DECOCTION
Infuse the plants in the boiling water for
10 minutes. Strain and let cool to lukewarm; combine the slippery elm powder
in the teapot. Allow to swell for 10 minutes.