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Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm

What is Slippery Elm?

Native to North America, slippery elm is a tree known for its reddish to dark brown bark. The bark has been traditionally used by Native Americans in remedies for many illnesses including fevers and sore throats. The bark is mixed with water to generate a mucilage which has therapeutic properties when it touches the skin or is digested.

Also known as red elm or indian elm, the bark was used by soldiers during the American civil war to provide some relief to gunshot wounds. The inner bark is that part of the elm that is harvested and used for therapeutic purposes.

Slippery Elm benefits

Despite the American  indian’s widespread use of slippery elm, the answer to what does slippery elm do? is not cut and dried. There is some evidence to suggest that slippery elm does have therapeutic benefits but more definitive research needs to be done. Advocates of slippery elm, however will say that there are several well-known benefits that come from consuming this product. The slippery elm benefits include:

  • It can treat irritable bowel syndrome. Slippery elm has the capability to sooth the lining of the stomach that can reduce irritation. This can have positive effects in the treatment of bowel diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and Chron’s disease.

  • It can soothe a sore throat. The mucilage that is present in this product produces a coating within the throat that helps to soothe irritation. Therefore, you often will see slippery elm as an ingredient in commercial throat lozenges.

  • It can provide positive urinary benefits. Slippery elm powder has been shown to reduce irritation that is occurring within the urinary tract. In addition, as a diuretic it can help to flush the system of waste and provide benefits to those experiencing constipation.

Whilst there are some great health benefits, there might also be some slippery elm side effects that consumers should be aware of. While the product is largely safe, especially when digested, some people have experienced allergic reactions when the product is applied directly to the skin. In addition, pregnant mothers should consult their doctor prior to using this product.

What is slippery elm good for?

People use slippery elm to treat a variety of ailments. These include coughs, diarrhea, sore throats constipation, urinary tract infections, and  excess stomach acid. It can also be used topically to treat wounds, gout, burns and rheumatism.

How to take slippery elm powder for acid reflux

Slippery elm is available in powdered, capsule or gel form. If taking slippery elm powder, One tablespoon of powder mixed with water taken three times per day should be sufficient. The solution can be mixed with honey or sugar to make it a little easier to drink.

Slippery elm dosage

When consuming slippery elm powder, all customers should take note not to follow the guidelines of use. The correct slippery elm dosage will vary depending on several factors including the age of the consumer, their health and whether they suffer from various conditions. Most products have the recommended dosage listed on the packaging, but if concerned, then please see a medical professional.

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