What the hell is Slippery Elm?
Ulmus rubra - aka Slippery elm! I love it so much. It is one of nature's most soothing remedies for the digestive tract. It is especially effective on sore tummies for those with any bowel issues.
The inner bark of slippery elm is what's used medicinally. It is recognised as a mucilage- capable of trapping water, causing it to swell and create a gel like consistency.
The Slippery Elm down-low:
- Contains calcium, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and potassium making it a wonderful nutrient.
- Soothes inflamed and irritated tissue by coating mucous membrane surfaces
- It's soothing action and fibre content make it great for the treatment of diarrhoea by slowing down bowel transit time
- Useful in all gastrointestinal conditions such as gastric reflux, peptic ulcers, IBS and IBD
- It can be used topically on inflamed skin such as wounds and burns to soothe irritation
I would never recommend taking slippery elm in capsules as you don't get it's full mucilage and digestive lining action achieved when consuming it in powder form . Many people find slippery elm difficult to stomach just mixed with water so I prefer to make into a pudding with some other soothing gut herbs.
Slippery Elm Pudding:
- 1/2 cup of almond/coconut milk
- 3 tbsp of slippery elm powder
- 1 Tbsp of cacao
- Generous few pinches of cinnamon
- Generous few pinches of dried ginger
- 1-2 Tbsp of sweeter of choice (honey, rice malt syrup etc)
Heat the milk slowly in a pan on stovetop. Add the spices and stir. Then slowly add the slippery elm powder, making sure to stir throughout as it will form a gluggy paste- (that's the mucilage quality in action). Finally stir in the honey/ricemalt syrup until melted and mixed thoroughly. Add more almond milk or water if neccesary. This can be stored and reheated later or eaten straight away.
Note: Always consume slippery elm away from drugs and supplements as its mucilage effect on the gut lining may effect absorption.
Sources: Braun, L & Cohen, M 2010, Herbs & Natural Supplements, An Evidence Based Guide 3rd Ed, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Chatswood, NSW