SLIPPERY ELM Overview Information
Slippery elm is a tree. The inner bark (not the whole bark) is used as medicine.
People take slippery elm for coughs, sore throat, colic, diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bladder and urinary tract infections, syphilis, herpes, and for expelling tapeworms. It is also used for protecting against stomach and duodenal ulcers, for colitis, diverticulitis, GI inflammation, and too much stomach acid. Slippery elm is also taken by mouth to cause an abortion.
Slippery elm is applied to the skin for wounds, burns, gout, rheumatism, cold sores, boils, abscesses, ulcers, toothaches, sore throat, and as a lubricant to ease labor.
In manufacturing, slippery elm is used in some baby foods and adult nutritionals, and in some oral lozenges used for soothing throat pain.
How does it work?
Slippery elm contains chemicals that can help soothe sore throats. It can also cause mucous secretion which might be helpful for stomach and intestinal problems.
Possibly Effective for:
- Sore throat, when added to lozenges. Commercial lozenges containing slippery elm are preferred to the native herb when used for cough and sore throat. The lozenges prolong the pain-killing effect.
- Cancer. Early research suggests that a specific product containing burdock root, Indian rhubarb, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm bark does not improve quality of life in breast cancer patients.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). An early study shows that taking a specific product containing slippery elm bark, lactulose, oat bran, and licorice root can increase bowel movements and reduce stomach pain and bloating in people with IBS that is characterized by constipation. A different combination product containing slippery elm bark, bilberry, cinnamon, and agrimony can reduce stomach pain, bloating, and gas in people with IBS that is characterized by diarrhea.
- Bladder infection.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Other conditions.
SLIPPERY ELM Side Effects & Safety
Slippery elm is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. When applied to the skin, some people can have an allergic reactions and skin irritation.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Folklore says that slippery elm bark can cause a miscarriage when it is inserted into the cervix of a pregnant woman. Over the years, slippery elm got the reputation of being capable of causing an abortion even when taken by mouth. However, there’s no reliable information to confirm this claim. Nevertheless, stay on the safe side and don’t take slippery elm if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with SLIPPERY ELM
Slippery elm contains a type of soft fiber called mucilage. Mucilage can decrease how much medicine the body absorbs. Taking slippery elm at the same time you take medications by mouth can decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction take slippery elm at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.
SLIPPERY ELM Dosing
The appropriate dose of slippery elm depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for slippery elm. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.