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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Slippery Elm Bark for Tummy/Colon/Sore Throats and more

During one of my weekly updates (Family Jots and Tittles), I mentioned that we had a tummy bug and I was treating it with Activated Charcoal and Slippery Elm. A dear friend from Australia, commented asking for more info possible. (Be careful what you ask for Lus!) ;-) So she is the inspiration for this post. I hope you find this information helpful too. I used them alternately - not together. The charcoal was to purify/detox our system, in case we had been exposed to food poisoning or some toxin we were not aware of. We took this in capsule form (I make my own with veggie caps - it is something I always have on hand - it is a MUST for one's natural first aid kit - it has many applications).

Slippery Elm Bark can be powdered and taken in capsules. It can also be made into a "gruel" (which is kind of like a thick tea or thin porridge). It really tastes better than it sounds! It is a sort of a light nutty flavor, that I find quit pleasant. It is very safe for children and infants, so I love to have it on hand, knowing it is safe for all. Slippery Elm Bark is also very nourishing to the whole body, often used as a food when recovering from any number of illnesses. It is very soothing and healing to the whole digestive tract, not just the tummy but especially the colon. As a matter of fact, it is used to sooth sore throats - so really, it helps you from brginning to end!! :-) It is often one of the few things that people can keep down when they are nauseous. It soothes indigestion and is a wonderful remedy for diarrhea or constipation. It is also a key herb to use in healing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It heals that which CAUSES the symptom - not just the symptom!

The following method is a very effective and easy way to take method of preparing and taking this healing powder. My 4 year old has a very sensitive digestive system and she doesn't yet take capsules well. I gave her these Healing Herbal Balls (below) and she popped them like candy. I now keep this powder mix on hand in a jar. (You could do this with Slippery Elm Powder alone too.)

Healing Herbal Balls

Equal parts of Slippery Elm Powder, Licorice Root Powder, Marshmallow Root Powder, and Comfrey Root Powder

When you want to take it, put a little pile on a plate and add several drops of water to the powder and work it together with your fingers to form a little dough similar to soft pie dough. (You could use a spoon too, it's just not as fun!!) Roll into pea size balls. Take three balls (just swallow them down), every 15 minutes to half hour depending on the severity of the case - as needed. You may also store some premade balls in a Ziploc bag in the fridge to keep them moist if you want to make a bunch of them at once. I got this recipe from Rachel Weaver.

Slippery Elm Gruel, Rosemary Gladstar
It is nice to have these powders premixed on hand. You can also make a jar full of gruel and store in the fridge and warm it up as needed. You can do the same thing with plane old Slippery Elm by itself, but this is the "supped up" version. It is safe for infants they may drink as much as they like. If momma is nursing it is also wise for her to drink 3-4C a day to help a colic baby.

1 part marsh mellow root powder
1 part slippery elm powder
1/8 part cinnamon powder
1/8 part fennel seed powder


Use 1 Tablespoon of mixed powders per 1C water. Bring water to boil - turn down heat to low. Mix in powder, cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

You may sweeten with maple syrup to taste, for more mature pallets. You may add this to warm cereal too take it that way too.

Botanical Information for Slippery Elm

More Uses for Slippery Elm

Introduction to Slippery Elm

I want to echo here the fact that Slippery elm does make a wonderfully soothing ande delicious tea, but you want to use the "cut and sifted" version for a clear tea, as shown above in my gallon jar, not the powder. You ALWAYS want to cover your cup, as shown in the video to hold in the volatile oils that can evaporate in the steam! (Do that for ANY medicinal infusion.) I am a BIG fan of herbal teas! They also make LOVELY Popsicles in the hotter months!! My kids LOVE herbal teas!! The more I think about it - this might be the easiest way to encorperate slippery elm into your lives if you ar enew to herbs. You can keep a sippy cup full of cooled teas for the littles or make them by the gallon jar and keep them in the fridge for the whole family on hot summer days in the summer time!! You can make teas with powder, it will just give you a cloudy sediment in your tea. It an be strained with some effort too. (It's just not something I would serve "company" or picky folks.) :-)

The following video looks like a great way to do it too...I'm looking forward to trying this, I've never mixed peppermint in, but have used honey! The honey version is nice if ones needs a little energy pick-me up at the same time.

Here is a quick reading about nutritional value of Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm - in the wild. Don't be turned off by his word "slimy" and describes it as tasting like "pencil shavings". This is not my experience, but it is good to see what others think. :-)

Slippery Elm for animals!

Be Well!

This post was shared at Simple Lives Thursday


Rhodes said...

Thank You so much for this information. We have had a stomach virus going around here with both home and daycare. I will be calling the health food store to find this, until I can find or grow my own slippery elm. Thanks again

Moira said...

Thanks Pamela!
This was so informative, I have a friend I will be forwarding this to whose mother-in-law has IBS. I will have to go get some to have on hand, Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful herbal information! It is reminding me that I really need to start stocking up and filling my "medicinal chest". ;).

Marillyn Beard said...

Good stuff and great information! Thank you for linking up at Simple Lives Thursday :o)

Anonymous said...

I made candies/lozenges for a friend of mine that has complications from diverticulitis and has trouble eating. They work wonders. I've also had good reviews of them from an acquaintance with IBS.