Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm

Botanical Name:
Ulmus Rubra, Ulmus Fulva, Ulmus Ruba

Slippery Elm, Red Elm, Indian Elm, Moose Elm

Slippery Elm is a beautiful stately tree that can grow up to be 18-20 meters high, Family of the Ulmaceae. Slippery Elm is found in from Central and North America. The outer bark is brown in color, but the medicinal inner bark is whitish. The inner bark is abundant with functional mucilage.

Active Ingredients:
Mucilage (made up of Polysaccharides); Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex, C, K, Starch and Sugars, Calcium, Magnesium, Chromium, Selenium. Slippery Elm has traces of the Mineral Iron, Phosphorus, Silicon, and Zinc, Gallic Acids, Galactose, 3-Methyl Galactotose, Rhamnose, Galacturonic Acid, Carbolic Acid (referred to as Tannins). The bark contains a complex mixture of Polysaccharides including Pentoses, Methyl-Pentoses and Hexoses that form a soothing gelatinous fiber or mucilage. The bark also contains high concentrations of anti-oxidants including Beta-Sitosterol, traces of Beta-Carotene and Flavonoids including Proanthocyanidins.

Beneficial Qualities:
  • Soothing for the mucous membranes (demulcent and emollient)
  • Mild astringent, Nutrient, Expectorant
  • Stimulates excretion of urine (diuretic)
  • Soothes the digestive system
  • Protects the stomach and lessens inflammation
  • Protects the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and lungs
  • Regulates and supports intestinal flora
  • Reduces stomach aches and excess gastric juice
  • Stimulates the growth of new cells
  • Vitalizes, invigorates
  • Cleanses the organs, tissues, glands, and nerves of accumulated mucus and waste material
  • Natural lubricant for the bones and joints
  • Antibiotic and antibacterial properties
  • Soothing and nerve-strengthening


Historically or traditionally known to help Support the Body's Function and physiology in dealing with:

  • Irritation of inflammation mucous membranes, for instance in the throat, gullet, mouth, lips, stomach, intestines, urine passages, bladder, lungs (coughing, bronchitis), vagina
  • Infections and ulcers of the mucous membranes of the stomach (gastritis), intestines (colitis), appendix, gullet (esophagitis i.e. Esophagitis symptoms include difficult and painful swallowing, heartburn, mouth sores feeling of something stuck in the throat, nausea and vomiting.) rectum
  • Digestive problems, diarrhea, dysentery
  • Kidney stones, gravel
  • Tissue damage through burns, wounds, operations etc.
  • Infirmity, exhaustion
  • Arthritic complaints
  • Reinforcement of muscles and tissue.

Side Effects:
Some people may be allergic to Slippery Elm

Although consulting a physician is always recommended, there are no complications known of the use of slippery elm during pregnancy.

As early as in the 18th and 19th century, the inner bark of slippery elm was very popular for its many variety of application. It was the most frequently used herb for the relief of many complaints. The Indians used slippery elm for many of the problems mentioned above. Because of its high nutritional value, slippery elm is often used in dietary food for the infirm or health challenged.

The inner bark of slippery elm is a slimy, fibrous substance naturally accruing in the plant, which can also be found in its plant juices. A decoction of slippery elm will also be slimy in substance once it has cooled down.

Slippery Elm is a very valuable tree that has many traditional uses. The Slippery Elm is a beautiful deciduous tree which can grow to 20 meters in height. Slippery Elm bark helps soothe the digestive tract because it contains large amounts of natural mucilage. This bark is especially noted for soothing inflammatory irritation. It grows widely throughout North America. In times of famine, early American settlers used it as a survival food. The tree also was used by the Ojibwa to treat sore throats. The fresh inner bark was boiled and the Dakota, Omaha-Ponca, and other tribes drank the resulting decoction as a laxative. The indigenous people taught some of these uses to early non-Indian settlers

Slippery Elm inner bark is very rich in mucilage, a complex mixture of polysaccharides that form a soothing gelatinous fiber when water is added. The pleasant tasting high fibre 'gruel' or porridge made by adding water to the bark was traditionally used as both a food and a medicine by First Nations peoples, and later by European colonists. The mucilage was traditionally used internally for soothing sore throats and tonsillitis, coughs, dryness of the lungs and digestive upsets, and other skin inflammations. The bark is particularly recommended for soothing gastric issues. The viscous fiber has several beneficial effects on digestion: 1) it reduces bowel transit time; 2) it absorbs toxins from the bowel; 3) it increases fecal bulk and dilutes stool materials thereby reducing stool contact with the intestinal mucosa; and 4) it is extremely important for enhances beneficial bacteria in the gut and provides an excellent substrate for bacterial fermentation. Eliminating estrogenic anaerobes from the gut can significantly help the body to regain critical hormone balances that are required for basic health. The bark has noted anti-inflammatory properties and because the mucilage resists hydrolysis and digestion by stomachs acids and enzymes, it therefore maintains its soothing action throughout the entire digestive system. Slippery elm bark mucilage also helps to moisten the throat, nasal passages, and lungs. Slippery elm bark was also traditionally used for treating abscesses, dysentery, urinary conditions and fever.