SLIPPERY ELM

OTHER NAME(S):

Indian Elm, Moose Elm, Olmo Americano, Orme, Orme Gras, Orme Rouge, Orme Roux, Red Elm, Sweet Elm, Ulmus fulva, Ulmus rubra.<br/><br/>

Overview

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.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

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.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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.
  • Coughs.
  • Colic.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Bladder infection.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of slippery elm for these uses.

Side Effects

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.

Interactions

Interactions?

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.

Dosing

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.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Czarnecki D, Nixon R, Bekhor P, and et al. Delayed prolonged contact urticaria from the elm tree. Contact Dermatitis 1993;28:196-197.
  • Covington TR, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.
  • Hawrelak, J. A. and Myers, S. P. Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med 2010;16(10):1065-1071. View abstract.
  • Monji AB, Zolfonoun E, Ahmadi SJ. Application of water extract of slippery elm tree leaves as a natural reagent for selective spectrophotometric determination of trace amounts of molybdenum(VI) in environmental water samples. Tox Environ Chem. 2009;91(7):1229-1235.
  • Pierce A. The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines. New York: The Stonesong Press, 1999:19.
  • Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
  • Zalapa JE, Brunet J, Guries RP. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for red elm (Ulmus rubra Muhl.) and cross-species amplification with Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila L.). Mol Ecol Resour. 2008 Jan;8(1):109-12. View abstract.
  • Zick, S. M., Sen, A., Feng, Y., Green, J., Olatunde, S., and Boon, H. Trial of Essiac to ascertain its effect in women with breast cancer (TEA-BC). J Altern Complement Med 2006;12(10):971-980. View abstract.

More Resources for SLIPPERY ELM

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.