Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) as the name suggest is a slippery plant, the red, brown, or orange branches grow downward, and the stalkless flowers are arranged in dense clusters. The plant’s leaves are long and green, and they darken in colour during the fall. The bark has deep fissures, a gummy texture, and a slight but distinct odour. The inner bark of the slippery elm tree holds the main health benefits of slippery elm it contains various nutrients, such as beta-sitosterol, campestrol, tannin, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, beta-carotene and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C which offers many benefits, including as a popular herb used in herbal remedies to treat inflammations.
Slippery elm is used in some baby foods and adult nutritionals, and in some oral lozenges used for soothing throat pain in medicine. It is also used in a gentle body powder, in salves and lip balms and other skin soothing balms. In people who suffer from heartburn, the acidic contents of the stomach tend to flow back into the oesophagus and damage the delicate oesophageal lining. By coating the oesophagus with mucilage, slippery elm (taken in tea or lozenge form) may help lessen heartburn pain.
Slippery elm is widely promoted as a potential treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a functional disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain and alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhoea. It is beneficial for people who suffer from acute or chronic constipation. When it interacts with gastric juices, it creates an effective bulk material for flushing debris from the colon, with far fewer side effects than stimulant laxatives.
The slippery elm plant, more specifically slippery elm bark, is also part of a North American formula called Essiac, which is a popular herbal treatment for cancer. An earlier use for slippery elm inner bark was as a mechanical irritant to abort foetuses. Its use became widespread and uncontrolled, and therefore it is now banned in a number of countries. The use of herbs is a time honoured approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.