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Soothing Slippery elm

Slippery elm has traditionally been used by Native American tribes and a number of early European settlers for various health complaints. One of its most popular uses, both then and now, is to help soothe irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the digestive system.

The dried inner bark 
The inner bark of the Slippery elm tree was traditionally harvested in spring and then dried and stored for future use. The name slippery elm refers to the ‘slippery’ consistency of the dried inner bark once it comes into contact with water. Slippery elm dried inner bark contains two important active components responsible for its therapeutic activity:

  • Mucilage

Mucilage is considered hydrophilic or ‘water loving’ which gives Slippery elm the ability to trap and retain large quantities of water, anywhere from 50-140 times its original volume. As the dried inner bark swells in size, it develops a gel-like or slippery consistency. The mucilage, considered a soluble fibre, coats the mucous membranes of the digestive system providing demulcent activity which helps to soothe irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the digestive system. The insoluble fibre content of Slippery elm can be broken down by digestive flora into beneficial short chain fatty acids, which when taken internally, provides fuel for the cells of the large intestine. 

  • Tannins

Tannins from the dried inner bark provide astringent activity, which helps to constrict the mucous membranes and exposed tissues, providing a barrier for the mucous membranes and exposed surfaces.

Health benefits of Slippery elm

  • Traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of gastritis and heartburn or gastric reflux 
  • Helps maintain healthy digestive function
  • Provides a barrier to the lining of the digestive system, protecting it from stomach acid
  • Soothes irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the digestive system. 

See Herbs of Gold Slippery Elm 400mg here.

For best effect, take Slippery elm three times daily, before food.

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