Slippery elm – The 10 health benefits of the Ulmus Fulva plant

Slippery elm is very well known in India and in North America. In fact, many people call it the Indian elm or red elm. The tree has a dark brown to reddish-brown bark.

The Slippery Elm Bark bit is what is of interest to us. When you mix it with water, it simply becomes a slick gel. This is what I call ‘wonders from our natural surrounding’.

By the way, it is not so easy to find this natural remedy. At the bottom of the article and just before the conclusion, I give you a link where you can buy Slippery Elm Bark.

Indian elm

Why is slippery elm bark so important to our health?

The bark found in the tree contains what is called as mucilage substance. It is this mucilage that has many beneficial healing properties.

The slippery elm holds a lot of antioxidants and has some wonderful anti-inflammatory properties.

Experts have documented that the bark has a number of very healthy nutrients.  These include vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C, magnesiumzinc, tannins, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, beta-carotene, and iron.

Why are slippery elm bark benefits?

There are a number of key reasons why you should consume this plant. Here I give you the top 10 benefits of slippery elm.

1. Treats inflammatory bowel diseases with slippery elm

inflammatory bowel diseases treatment with slippery elm

The plant is a demulcent. As such, its extract aids in soothing the lining of your stomach. That’s why slippery elm is used for gastritis. It is also used for your intestines too.

When soothing the lining, it lowers your stomach irritation. Thus, it alleviates the common cause of inflammatory bowel diseases. Therefore, the plant is really good at fighting Crohn’s disease.

It works wonderfully for people who have ulcerative colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). (1)

What I really like about this plant is that it promotes normal bowel movements. So, consuming it facilitates faster bowel and overall body healing.

The Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics published a study in 2012 where it identified that slippery elm has strong antioxidant effects. The was made in vitro. The study concluded that the bark could have therapeutic potential for people with inflammatory bowel disease.

Another study, published in 2010 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that patients with constipation-predominant IBS consuming the plant will enhance bowel movements.

The reality of the experiment described in the journal mentioned that the bark was mixed with other ingredients for optimum effect.

Recipe for to reduce inflammatory bowel syndrome

  • First, take 1 tablespoon of slippery elm powder and add it to a glass of hot water.
  • Second, wait for about 5 minutes.
  • Third, drink it. Make sure you drink the beverage about 1 hour after taking other medications.
  • Aim at drinking the solution every day. Say 2 to 3 times a day.

2. Fight your sore throat with slippery elm

Slippery Elm to treat Sore throat

As aforementioned, the bark contains mucilage.  The mucilage is a really good agent to provide a nice coat to your sore throat.

This coat will give you instant relief from a sore throat no matter if you have a cold, laryngitis, cough or tonsillitis. The bark gel will soothe irritation caused by your throat. It will also calm down inflammation and pain. (2)

In fact, the next time you get some throat medicine, ask if it contains slippery elm. If you want to know, it is a common substance used in throat lozenges.

The Journal of Investigational Biochemistry document that the bark is very good in helping people suffering from laryngitis. It good too for people who have throat inflammation and voice problems. The study was published in 2012.

How to use slippery elm when you have a sore throat?

  • First, get some boiling water.
  • Second, add 2 teaspoons of the inner bark of slippery elm to the water.
  • Third, mix the substance.
  • Fourth, cover the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Fifth, strain the lot.
  • Sixth, drink the mixture twice a day for a few days.

If you prefer a shortcut, you can use slippery elm lozenges. I am sure it is available near you.

3. Elm bark to fights constipation

Elm bark to fights constipation

Again, it is the mucilage that will do all the clever work. Slippery elm is fantastic at treating constipation.

The mucilage promotes the stimulation of your nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract. (3)

By stimulating it, it helps fighting constipation.

Note that if you have hemorrhoids, then you can use slippery elm. It has demulcent properties, which shall help in healing it.

A recipe for treating constipation

  • Take 1 teaspoon of slippery elm bark powder
  • Put it in a recipient with 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Now add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Add a little bit of cinnamon powder.
  • Done – you can drink 1 to 2 cups of this mixture twice a day.

4. Slippery Elm to treat Heartburn and GERD

Slippery Elm to treat Heartburn and GERD

We all have heartburn. These are characterized by a burning sensation in the chest or pain in your stomach.

Elm can greatly attenuate these unwanted heartburns. And again, it is the mucilage that will help us with this problem. (4)

The mucilage will put a coat of elm on the esophagus. This will reduce your inflammation and the heartburn when stomach acid flows up your esophagus. You’ll feel almost instant relief.

You can also use elm to treat GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). You’ll be cured in no time.

Recipe to reduce heartburn and GERD

  • First, take 1 to 2 tablespoons of slippery elm powder
  • Second, take a glass of water and mix with the slippery-elm.
  • Now drink it after a meal. Acid reflux usually occurs after a meal, so by using this method, you are targeting the cause of heartburn.

5. Indian elm to reduce asthma

Treat asthma with slippery elm

The plant is an antitussive. This means it helps you fighting respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis etc. (5)

The way it treats these is by using its anti-inflammatory agents. These aid thinning the mucus that clogs your airways.

What is also important is that it can help prevent some of the bronchial spasms, which are always associated with asthma attacks.

You’ll also reduce the number of coughing a day and help to tighten the chest.

Slippery elm tea for healing asthma

  • First, take 2 teaspoons of the inner bark of slippery elm
  • Second, put these into 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Third, cover the lot and wait for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Now strain the mixture.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of honey to make it easier to swallow.
  • Finally, drink the mixture as you drink tea. Say twice a day during asthma attacks.

6. Red elm to treat dermatitis

Treat dermatitis with slippery elm

Dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that is highly annoying. It causes all sort of problems such as redness, burning sensations, itching, inflammation and sometimes swelling. (6)

Well, red elm is really good at treating these symptoms.Obviously, it is its mucilage that does the trick. It promotes the moisturizing of your the skin and hence heals it.

Here is how to treat with red elm

  • Get some red elm leaves.
  • Wash and grind them to make a paste.
  • Just apply the paste to the affected skin.
  • Wait until the paste dries completely, then wash it off.
  • Aim at doing this 2 to 3 times a day. Do it till you see improvement.

7. Heal your stomach ulcer

Treat your stomach ulcer with slippery elm

You can use slippery elm to treat stomach ulcers. (7)

The mucilage (yes again the mucilage) soothes and calms inflammation. It also reduces ulcer pain. In addition to this, the mucilage works tirelessly to remove excess fats that may be present in your intestines.

Recipe to treat a stomach ulcer

  • First, try and grind the inner bark of an Indian elm into a powder.
  • Second, mix 1 single teaspoon powder with 1 cup of warm water.
  • Now, drink the beverage about 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Aim to do this for 1 week.

8. Heal your wounds with bark from Indian Elm

Healt your wounds with slippery elm

Slippery elm has fantastic healing power for wounds and boils. It is really good at healing our internal tissues, and as such draw out potentially infected wounds. (8)

If you have a pulled muscle, then you can use Indian Elm. Similarly, you can use this plant on painful areas of your body.

Recipe for making a poultice with red elm

  • First, make a paste of slippery elm powder. To do so, just add water to the powder and mix – warm water is preferable.
  • Second, allow it to cool for sometime.
  • When you are ready, apply the paste to the affected area.
  • Put a bandage.
  • After a few hours, just wash it.

IMPORTANT Note: It is highly advisable to not keep the paste on your skin for more than 24 hours. Similarly, do not use the paste on an open wound.

9. Diminishes irritation of your urinary tract

Prevent urinary tract with slippery elm

There are times where the lining of your urinary tract gets a little damaged. Slippery elm can help reduce the inflammation associated with this. (9)

As such, when you use the plant, you can reduce your urinary tract pain and at the same time fight the irritating symptoms.

I like this plant because it also helps to drain your body from waste.

Recipe for fighting urinary tract issues

  • Make slippery elm tea.
  • Drink it 2 or 3 times a day.
  • If you want, you can always use tablets supplement.

10. Support in weight loss

Lose weight with slippery elm

As slippery elm improves your digestion, it will help get rid of bad fatty substances that your body has issues to deal with. Flushing these bad fatty substances will help you lose weight. (10)

As I said above, the plant allows to slow down your absorption metabolism. Thus, your body does not absorb as many ingredients and substances that it used to do. Therefore, by the time your body will be ready for the next meal, you would not have stacked up a pile of fat.

If you want to know more, the plant binds to substances in the intestines. It does that so effectively that your body will not be able to absorb the excess fat.

As slippery elm is such an effective diuretic, it will reduce your fluid retention. So, it will flush excess water weight too.

In 2013, the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine investigated the effectiveness of the plant in a 21-day weight loss program.

The participants were fed with vegan meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The idea was to give about 1,200 to 1,400 calories for women. And on the other side, 1,600 to 1,800 calories for men. This was done and measured for the 21 days.

In this diet plan, the scientists included slippery elm within the food. It was one of the main meal components at each meal.

What they noticed is that each participant had a better digestion. They also, after the three weeks dieting, lost a substantial amount of body weight. But that is not all. They all (and I say all) reduced their levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). In other words, they reduced their level of ‘bad’ cholesterol.

If you want this, then eat healthily and add some of this wonderful slippery elm to your diet.

Recipe to help you lose weight – Slippery Elm Tea

  • First, take 2 tablespoons of slippery elm bark powder.
  • Second, add this powder to 2 cups of hot water.
  • Now, wait for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, drink the tea 2 or 3 times a day. You’ll see some changes soon.

Where to buy Slippery-Elm Powder?

I would lie to you if I say it is easy to find slippery elm. In a number of countries, you can find tree bark at your local health food store.

Usually, you will mainly find it processed such as in tea, capsules, lozenges, tablets, poultice and some will propose a number of liquid extracts.

The reality is that it is quite difficult to find some real slippery elm bark powder. If you want to try the health benefits of Indian elm, then you can click on the below picture. You’ll be redirected to a site where you can buy it.slippery elm


Long article, but it was worth it. I feel it is important to look at a plant and give you most of the information about it.

Now you have the knowledge about slippery elm. You can lose weight, reduce acid problems, heal your throat, decrease urinal tract infection, improve your bowel, fight constipation and asthma, etc.

The diseases that this plant heal are common to all of us. So if you like to heal, just go and get some Indian elm and heal yourself. You’ve got the power with all the recipes I gave you.

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