Slippery Elm Benefits

Slippery elm is a medium–sized tree but can reach over 50 feet in height. It is native to North America and has brown, red or orange branches that grow downward. It also has stalk less flowers that grow in dense clusters. Its leaves are rather long and green and will become darker during fall. Its bark has a gummy texture with deep fissures and has a distinct odor. The compounds present in slippery elm make it quite beneficial for health. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best slippery elm benefits.

Health Benefits of Slippery Elm

There are a number of different health benefits associated with the use of slippery elm. Here are a few of those for your understanding.

1. For Digestive Health

Slippery elm proves extremely beneficial for digestive health. Because mucilage in the bark soothes digestive tract and even helps reduce inflammation. It is also quite beneficial for someone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The bark of slippery elm contains a large amount of fiber that bulks up stool and prevents constipation. It also contains several acids that create a coating on the lining of the intestines and help prevent gastrointestinal issues like ulcers.

2. For Sore Throat

One of the most impressive slippery elm benefits is due to its anti-inflammatory property. It works amazingly well to calm sore throats. Its anti-inflammatory compounds reduce irritation in your throat. You can simply drink a powdered mixture of slippery elm to treat your sore throat.

3. For Circulation Issues

Slippery elm is loaded with a number of different nutrients; such as iron which is essential for the production of red blood cells and also improves blood circulation to all parts of the body. It helps boost your cardiovascular system and relieve strain because it contains potassium as well.

4. For the Skin

Thanks to the rapid healing properties of slippery elm, it has always been a preferred choice for people to treat burns, injuries, abrasions, and even serious wounds. You can find several balms and salves that use slippery elm bark as an ingredient. Its bark also has minerals as well as antioxidant compounds that accelerate healing. It is equally beneficial for your skin and helps get rid of scars and skin blemishes. The combination of antioxidants and vitamins make it a perfect herbal salve to eliminate free radicals and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Its regular use may also help protect your skin from infections.

5. Other Benefits

A number of other slippery elm benefits make it very popular. For instance, it helps detoxify your body, relieves pain, and improves your oral health. It contains a compound called Essiac that makes it a good treatment option for different types of cancer.

How to Take It

While there are numerous slippery elm benefits, it is important that you give it to your child under the supervision of an experienced practitioner. Here are some ways to use slippery elm to get its amazing benefits.

  • You can make herbal tea using the bark of slippery elm. Take about 4g of powdered bark and pour a couple of cups boiling water over it. Steep it for 5 minutes and drink thrice a day.
  • You can use it in the form of tincture. It may contain alcohol but using about 5ml thrice a day will help.
  • You can find capsules of slippery elm. These capsules are available in 400-500mg that you need to take thrice a day for at least 4-8 weeks to get its benefits. Be sure to take it with a full glass of water.
  • You can use it in the form of lozenges. Be sure to follow the instructions printed on label.
  • You can make a poultice by mixing powdered bark with boiling water. Let it cool off and then apply it on the affected area for relief. Do not use it on an open wound.

Precautions and Warnings

It is true that different types of herbs have been used to achieve different health benefits, but some herbs can trigger side effects as well. Some herbs may even interact with other supplements, herbs and medications. It is therefore a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider before you start using slippery elm. Having said that, slippery elm is generally safe to use and has no serious effects. Keep in mind that it coats your digestive tract, so other medications may take a while to be absorbed completely. A good idea is to take slippery elm at least a couple of hours after or before other medications.

Scientists believe that slippery elm is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim though. Some herbalists believe you should avoid slippery elm during pregnancy because it may cause miscarriage.

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