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Slippery Elm Benefits

Updated on June 28, 2013

Slippery Elm is a tree native to Northamerica. In fact, its leafs are quite slippery, and that is probably the reason it was given the name. The inner bark which consists of mucilage is loaded with nutrition, such as calcium, vitamin E, bioflavonoids, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc and vitamin A, F and K, and it is mainly used to treat digestive and respiratory conditions. Native American healers used to make salves to heal topical wounds and inflammation. Even today natural healers and people who believe in the benefits of medicinal herbs treat wounds and inflammation by applying slippery elm to the affected area.

Intestinal Health

Slippery elm is a demulcent relieving inflammation and irritation, soothing and protecting mucous membranes by coating them with a gel-like substance. Because of its soothing and softening qualities, it has been a very powerful and effective aid in neutralizing stomach acids and improving conditions of ulcers. Its nutritious properties also help with other digestive conditions such as constipation or diarrhea as those two conditions are signs of imbalances. But even temporary conditions such as indigestion can be reduced or eliminated with the use of slippery elm tea or capsules.

If one experiences any type of digestive problems, it is wise to try a natural remedy such as slippery elm before opting for medicine. Sometimes a nutritious herb from nature's garden can help us find balance again.

Body Detox

A body detox serves the purpose of removing old build-up which can be found anywhere inside our body. This acidic waste can block important functions and slow down not only the digestive system but other body functions. It doesn't happen all the sudden. It is a slow process. A body cleanse will remove all dirt and build-up and allows the body to rejuvenate at a cellular level.

Slippery elm has been used as a very effective body detox medicinal herb. Most often it is used in combination with other effective herbs such as psyllium husk, for instance. While it protects the digestive tract with its nutritious gel-like substance, it removes toxins and build-up. This will allow for better nutrition absorption which will benefit every aspect of health. Less toxins means better health, improving the overall state of wellness.

Back in the 19th century slippery elm tea was given to patients who were believed to have tapeworms. Apparently, large quantities of this tea washed the tapeworms right out of the digestive system.

Respiratory System

Slippery elm can also have soothing effect on a sore throat as it coats the affected area and therefore reduces irritation and pain associated with sore throat. If used in combination with pure aloe vera juice it can even slowly reduce the symptoms of strep throat. While the aloe vera juice fights off the bacteria, the slippery elm soothes the sore throat. Furthermore it can greatly improve respiratory conditions as the gel-like substance coats the irritation and therefore reduces coughing. This can be a beneficial aid when conditions exist that cause us to cough a lot such as bronchitis or pneumonia. In the 19th century doctors would give their patients suffering from pneumonia plenty of slippery elm.

But before you take slippery elm make sure you talk to your physician to make sure it doesn't cause a negative reaction when mixed with your prescribed medicine.

Topical Wound Healing

Mother earth has bestowed us with quite a few amazing healing herbs that protect our skin and help it heal very rapidly. One of these natural helpers is slippery elm. It can be an effective aid to ease burns, reduce cold sores, speed up the healing of rashes and other minor topical injuries or inflammation.

It is best to mix some slippery elm powder with plenty of water. As soon as slippery elm comes in contact with water it will expand and turn into a gel-like substance. This gel can be applied on top of your skin for external healing. If you do have an open wound it is best to place the gel-like substance between two pieces of cloth and place the cloth on top of your wound.

In addition slippery elm mixed with water can even be applied on top of your skin to detoxify it and help it breathe again.

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