The word 'slippery' comes with all sort of unpleasant connotations. It doesn't describe someone you'd trust or something you'd want to walk through. Yet this is totally unfair to unfortunate Slippery Elm, a potent ingredient with countless health benefits.
Native Americans are widely recognised with discovering the myriad benefits of Slippery Elm. Amongst other things, they used it to lower swelling and inflammation on the skin or speed up the healing of wounds.
Derived from a tree of the same name, Slippery Elm is an herbal remedy that’s been used in central and eastern America and Canada for centuries. The Slippery Elm tree is also known as Ulmus rubra, Red Elm, or Indian Elm.
Slippery Elm is most commonly used in complementary or alternative medicine. It is used in topical applications to heal wounds, burns, and ulcers, and to reduce skin inflammation. The benefits of this herb don’t just stop there! It’s a great natural remedy for sore throats, coughs, gastrointestinal issues, and even upper airway conditions.
Slippery Elm is obtained from the peel or bark of the tree. Native Americans found that when the bark was mixed with water, it formed a gooey or sticky substance (which is known as mucilage). They would rub this substance on the skin to provide soothing and healing effects. It was even used to heal gunshot wounds during the American Revolution.
Nowadays, Slippery Elm is used in a range of supplements because of its widely recognised benefits. Our Gut Health product contains Slippery Elm to enhance your digestive health and reduce digestive discomfort.
How Does Slippery Elm Improve Gut Health?
Slippery Elm forms a gel-like substance when it is mixed with water. This gel forms a protective layer along the gastrointestinal tract and can relieve the symptoms of inflammatory digestive disorders. It can reduce the risk of ulcers and excess acidity too.
Mucilage is effective in treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), and diarrhea.
It’s also been shown to have prebiotic effects, meaning it can feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, such as Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus. This can boost your gut health and keep negative digestive symptoms at bay.
How Can You Take Slippery Elm?
There are lots of ways that you can take Slippery Elm to reduce your digestive problems and maintain a healthy gut. The most common forms of Slippery Elm are tablets, lozenges, and powders. You can also get teas and extracts that contain powdered Slippery Elm.
If you’re not sure how to take Slippery Elm, chat with a doctor or dietitian to get their expert advice. Medical professionals will also provide advice on the best dosage for your needs too.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Taking Slippery Elm?
Generally, Slippery Elm is safe to take directly. However, we always advise that you seek medical advice if you’re unsure whether it’s the best supplement for you! It’s especially important to chat with a medical professional if you:
- Are currently pregnant
- Are currently breastfeeding
- Have existing medical conditions
- Are taking regular medications or supplements
Now you know what Slippery Elm is and how you can take it to improve your gut health, you can start trying to add it into your diet.
Our own Gut Health supplement is vegan and non-GMO. It contains Slippery Elm alongside a range of other beneficial ingredients, such as DGL liquorice root extract, aloe vera, ginger, and live bacteria (Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei).
Ready to boost your gut health? Check out our Gut Health capsules here.