slippery elm
Slippery elm. Photo by Will Cook.

Herb of the Month: Slippery elm

I was once asked at an herbal conference what herb I would want if stranded on a desert island. I didn’t have to think hard and answered: Slippery elm.

Not only does it treat nausea, heartburn, constipation, car sickness, sore throat, UTI pain and wounds it contains calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, beta carotene, Vitamin C and B complex. You can literally live on it for a while if stranded on a desert island!

This herb is safe for kids and pets and the only contraindication is pregnancy or those who are trying to get pregnant because it’s a mucilage that coats the mucus membranes in the body and soothes and protects with a thick sticky substance when it passes through the body.

When a tablespoon of slippery elm is mixed with ¼ cup of warm water it tastes a bit like Cream of Wheat. I’d add a little honey if you use this method or just plain is fine. It can be purchased in bulk online or you can buy it prepackaged.

I prefer the warm water technique or I pack gel caps for those who prefer taking pills. I’ve even made slippery elm cookies for my dog who was recuperating from a GI bleed.

Another of many success stories about slippery elm (Ulmus rubra, Indian Elm, Red Elm).

Read previous Herbs of the Month here.

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