Slippery Elm: What is it and its benefits – Vitamins and Supplements Online Canada - Shop With Free Shipping

Free Shipping - Buy 2+ Products, Get 20% Off With Code "VORST20"

Slippery Elm: What is it and its benefits

Slippery Elm: What is it and its benefits

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines, including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • What is Slippery Elm?
  • Historical Usage
  • Nutritional Profile
  • Medicinal Properties
  • Forms and Dosage
  • Precautions and Side Effects
  • Conclusion

Slippery elm, botanically known as Ulmus rubra, is a species of elm native to North America, particularly found in regions of eastern and central United States and parts of Canada. It has been traditionally revered by Native American tribes for its medicinal properties and versatile applications. Its inner bark, when moistened, yields a slippery, mucilaginous substance, hence its name. This mucilage is the key component that lends slippery elm its therapeutic properties, making it a popular remedy in various forms for a wide range of ailments.

What is Slippery Elm?

Slippery elm is a deciduous tree characterized by its rough, reddish-brown bark and serrated green leaves. Its inner bark, rich in mucilage, is the part used for medicinal purposes. When mixed with water, this inner bark forms a gel-like substance that has soothing and protective properties. Historically, Native American tribes such as the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Sioux used slippery elm for its medicinal benefits, as well as in various culinary preparations.

Historical Usage

The historical usage of slippery elm spans centuries, with indigenous peoples of North America incorporating it into their traditional healing practices. Native American tribes utilized it to soothe sore throats, relieve coughs, and alleviate gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation. They also used it topically to treat wounds, burns, and skin irritations. European settlers later adopted these practices and introduced slippery elm to mainstream Western medicine.

Nutritional Profile

The nutritional profile of slippery elm bark is noteworthy for its diverse array of constituents, with its primary therapeutic component being mucilage. Beyond mucilage, slippery elm bark contains various other nutrients, including carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which contribute to its overall nutritional value.

  1. Mucilage: Mucilage is the key therapeutic compound found abundantly in slippery elm bark. It consists of complex polysaccharides, including arabinose, galactose, and rhamnose, which give the inner bark its characteristic slippery texture when mixed with water. This mucilaginous substance forms a gel-like coating when ingested, providing a soothing and protective layer over irritated mucous membranes in the throat, stomach, and intestines. It acts as a demulcent, helping to alleviate inflammation, irritation, and discomfort associated with various digestive and respiratory conditions.
  2. Carbohydrates: Slippery elm bark contains carbohydrates in the form of sugars, starches, and dietary fiber. These carbohydrates provide a source of energy and support digestive health. The fiber content, in particular, contributes to bulk and regularity in bowel movements, promoting gastrointestinal health and relieving symptoms of constipation.
  3. Fiber: Slippery elm bark is rich in dietary fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber, such as mucilage, forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, which can help regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and support overall heart health. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and promotes regularity, aiding in the prevention of constipation and supporting healthy digestion.
  4. Vitamins: While not as abundant as other nutrients, slippery elm bark contains trace amounts of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and various B vitamins. These vitamins play essential roles in immune function, antioxidant defense, energy metabolism, and overall health and well-being.

Check out Vorst Vitamin C Chewable Orange Flavour 200 Tablets and  Vorst Vitamin E 400IU 90 Vegan Capsules Without Gelatin

  1. Minerals: Slippery elm bark contains trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. These minerals are important for bone health, muscle function, electrolyte balance, and various metabolic processes within the body. While the mineral content of slippery elm bark may not be as significant as in other food sources, it still contributes to its overall nutritional profile.

Check out  Vorst Magnesium Bisglycinate 200mg 180 Vegan Capsules and Vorst Potassium Iodide 800mcg 120 Vegan Capsules,

Medicinal Properties

Slippery elm is prized for its numerous medicinal properties, which are primarily attributed to its high mucilage content. As a demulcent, it forms a protective layer over mucous membranes, providing relief from irritation and inflammation. Its emollient properties help soothe and soften tissues, making it beneficial for conditions such as sore throat, cough, and digestive discomfort. Additionally, slippery elm has been studied for its potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may contribute to its overall therapeutic benefits.

Forms and Dosage

Slippery elm is available in various forms, including powdered bark, capsules, lozenges, teas, and topical ointments. The appropriate dosage depends on the form and intended use. For example, powdered bark can be mixed with water to create a soothing drink, while capsules provide a convenient option for oral supplementation. Dosage recommendations vary, but it is typically advised to follow the instructions provided on the product label or consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Precautions and Side Effects

While slippery elm is generally considered safe for most people when used as directed, there are some precautions and potential side effects to consider. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or diabetes, should exercise caution when using slippery elm supplements, as it may interact with medications or exacerbate existing health issues. Additionally, allergic reactions to slippery elm are rare but possible, particularly in individuals with allergies to plants in the Ulmaceae family. As with any herbal remedy, it is important to use slippery elm responsibly and seek medical advice if you have any concerns or experience adverse effects.


Slippery elm is a versatile herbal remedy with a rich history of traditional use and a growing body of scientific research supporting its therapeutic benefits. From soothing sore throats to aiding digestion, its mucilaginous properties make it a valuable addition to natural medicine cabinets. While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and potential applications, slippery elm continues to be embraced by individuals seeking natural alternatives for common health concerns. As with any herbal supplement, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating slippery elm into your wellness regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

References and Resources,gel%20when%20mixed%20with%20water.