an Alternative to Natural Health
Nature's Sunshine Products
Slippery elm is a stately tree that grows up to 60 feet tall and GVO feet in diameter. It is found in the central and northern United States from Maine to the Dakotas, south to Texas and east to Florida. It is collected in large quantities, especially in lower Michigan. The bark has been collected in the spring and has been used for medicinal purposes for over 100 years in the U.S.
Slippery elm's traditional use date back 1,000 years. In the Eastern and Mediterranean parts of the world, physicians as early as the first century prescribed slippery elm baths to speed the healing of broken bones, a prescription that survived 1500 years. Slippery elm was first mentioned in Chinese medical literature at the time of the Shen Nung Pen Tsao Ching.
Seventeenth century English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper prescribed the herb for broken bones, burns, wounds and to restore hair to bald spots However, slippery elm bark was not a popular medicinal herb among the Europeans until the American settlers discovered its values.
Slippery elm was used by roughly a dozen northwestern American Indian tribes. The Ojibwa tribe treated sore throat with a tea made from the inner bark3 Indians of the Missouri River valley cooked slippery elm bark with buffalo fat to prevent rancidity. Colonists found other tribes using it as a food and to treat wounds, sore throat, coughs and even mastitis (inflamed breasts).
Once the colonists recognized the medicinal value of the plant, it became popular among them as well. One early frontiersman said that one could subsist a great deal of time solely on the bark of slippery elm.5 It was often eaten as a nutritious gruel similar to oatmeal by convalescents and babies. In 1859 a physician wrote, "Slippery elm, the inner bark of which is one of the most useful medical agents we have ... so important an article that it may be had at almost any drug store now.
By the time of the Civil War, slippery elm was being used to treat syphilis, gonorrhea and hemorrhoids. Slippery elm sore throat lozenges were found in almost every home medicine cabinet and the herb was the nation's most popular home remedy for anything needing soothing. Today it is still listed in the National Formulary and sore throat lozenges are still found in health food stores.
The actions associated with slippery elm are demulcent, emollient, nutrient, antitussive and mild astringent. Its main indication is for inflammations or ulcerations of the gastrointestinal tract. Esophagitis, gastritis, colitis, diarrhea and gastric or duodenal ulcers are soothed by the herb. Because of its nutritional value, it is also used as a food in wasting diseases.
Slippery elm contains polysaccharides, starches, tannins, two polyuronides, calcium and calcium oxalate. The soothing effects of the herb are due to its high content of mucilage, a gelatinous substance that swells in water to form a soothing coating for inflamed or irritated mucous membranes.
Traditionally Slippery Elm has popular soothing effects, slippery elm may also have antimicrobial effects. Studies report that preparations of the herb have antiherpetic and antisyphilitic activity.
Slippery elm (7oz bulk)
Slippery elm (100 capsules)