Slippery Elm Bark Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

Slippery Elm Bark Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

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What are the Benefits of Slippery Elm Bark?

  • May treat symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Can soothe sore throat and cough
  • Can be a cure for urinary tract irritation
  • May treat heartburn and GERD

Slippery elm bark is used to treat different symptoms associated with some diseases. No wonder it is now included in some health products as one of their key ingredients. Some of the health benefits attributed to this herb are the following.

One of the characteristics of the slippery elm bark is being a demulcent. Meaning, it can soothe the stomach and intestine lining. Plus, it can reduce irritation.

Some studies showed how this herb can be used to cure symptoms that are associated with different inflammatory bowel diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

One study discovered that the antioxidant effect of slippery elm could be beneficial to those suffering from Crohn’s disease. Another clinical study reported that a mixture of ingredients that included slippery elm bark resulted in improved bowel movements in people having constipation-predominant IBS. However, more studies are needed to prove these effects. (1, 2)

Moreover, this bark can be a remedy for cough and sore throat. It is because slippery elm has mucilage, which coats the wall of the throat. That is why slippery elm is usually contained in many throat lozenges brands.

Slippery elm is also said to be antitussive, which means it can cure cough and symptoms of respiratory diseases. However, this still needs to be backed up by studies.

One research, which examined the use of this bark in people with voice problems and throat inflammation, revealed that it has soothing effects. Yet, this needs to be supported by more studies too. (1)

In addition, slippery elm may provide relief to people with urinary tract inflammation, such as interstitial cystitis. This plant may soothe the urinary tract lining. For this reason, it could be helpful in relieving the symptoms of painful urinating. Of course, this claim needs to be supported by more studies as well.

Being a mild diuretic too, slippery elm may aid in increasing the urine flow and eliminating body waste.

Slippery elm can be used to cure acid reflux or heartburn as well. Also, it is considered as a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This is a chronic condition that happens when the stomach’s acid goes back to the esophagus, irritating the lining.

The mucilage of this herb coats the esophagus. As a result, the inflammation and irritation caused by the flowing up of the stomach acid can be prevented.

These benefits are really awesome. However, more studies are needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of using slippery elm bark. Thus, it should not be used to replace prescribed medications.

What is Slippery Elm Bark?

Also called the Indian elm, slippery elm is a tree that is native to some parts of Canada and the United States. This tree may reach up to 60 or 80 feet.

Slippery elm has a dark to reddish-brown coloured bark. This was commonly used by the Native Americans as a remedy for common ailments, such as sore throats, wounds, and fevers. They discovered that if you mix the bark with water, it produces mucilage, which is soothing and therapeutic. The inner bark was also used by the Native Americans to wrap around meats to keep them from rotting.

Slippery elm is also used as an ingredient in some adult nutritionals and baby foods. Some oral lozenges also contain this.

How Does Slippery Elm Bark Work?

The therapeutic effects of slippery elm bark are attributed to its chemical content, the mucilage, which is known to provide relief for sore throat. It also helps secrete mucous, which could be helpful in treating intestinal and stomach problems.

How Do I Take Slippery Elm Bark?

To consume this, the slippery elm’s inner bark is dried to be powdered. It is also available in the forms of tablets, lozenges, coarse powder for a poultice, and fine powder for extracts and teas.

For making a poultice, you should add the course powder into boiling water. After it cools down, you can apply the mixture to the affected skin area.

If you want to make tea, you need to add two tablespoons of slippery elm powder into two cups of boiling water.

When taking a slippery elm bark supplement, see to it that you read the label on the product. Also, consult your doctor first before trying it.

The proper dosing of slippery elm bark is dependent on different factors, including your health condition. At the moment, there is a need for more scientific studies to determine the right dosing range for slippery elm supplements. Keep in mind that dosages are important because using natural products does not always guarantee safety.

Can I Take It Along with Vitamins or Medicines?

Oral medications may interact with slippery elm. This is because of its mucilage content. Mucilage may affect how your body absorbs medications. For this reason, taking a slippery elm supplement is not advisable if you are on oral drugs. This will decrease the effectiveness of the medicines. To avoid interaction, you may take this supplement at least an hour after you have taken your medications.

Is Slippery Elm Bark Safe?

Slippery elm can be bought as a demulcent over the counter. It is approved as a cure for mucus membranes and sore throats. However, more studies need to be done to confirm its efficacy and safety.

There are no reports yet about side effects and toxicity in relation to slippery elm usage. Nevertheless, being a mucilage, it is not advised to be taken simultaneously with oral medicines since it can decrease their effectiveness.

More information is necessary to confirm how safe slippery elm is. For your safety, it is best if you tell your doctor about your plan to take it as a supplement, especially if you have health concerns. Your doctor can help monitor and regulate your supplement usage according to your body needs.

GET YUUTO® DETOX
TOTAL BODY DETOX NATURAL SUPPLEMENT

11 SCIENTIFICALLY-BACKED INGREDIENTS COMBINED IN OPTIMUM DOSE FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT FORMULATED FOR:

  • TOXINS ELIMINATION*
    Supports the body’s natural cleansing process.*
  • WEIGHT MANAGEMENT*
    Helps control appetite and aid weight loss.*
  • DIGESTION SUPPORT*
    Helps maintaining bowel regularity.*
DETOX™ NATURAL DETOXIFICATION FORMULA

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