Slippery stuff

Slippery Elm Bark

Slippery Elm is a popular and well-known staple in any health food store.  Its inner bark is what is used in medicinal preparations: gelatinous and nutrient-rich, it is often ground into powder that can be rehydrated with water, steeped into tea, or taken as capsules.

Slippery Elm is known to be soothing and helpful to those with sensitive stomachs and/or digestive tracks.

It is also helpful in neutralising stomach acids (making it a particularly good ally for those who have painful stomach ulcers), soothing sore throats, and cleansing the colon.

What’s in it?

Slippery Elm contains flavonoids and Vitamin E (which are both known antioxidants), phytosterol (which can help lower cholesterol’s absorption during digestion), salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin, and one of the ingredients in many stomach-relieving aids, with mild antibiotic properties), and caprylic acid (helpful to fight bacterial infections), amongst other nutrients.

What makes Slippery Elm so effective?

Put simply, its cocktail of compounds results in anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant action.  It reduces inflammation and pain where it hurts.  And did we mention some bacteria killing as well?


Capsules: recommended dosage ranges between 4-10 g per day, in three or four divided doses.
Tea: boil one or two teaspoons of the loose powder in one cup of water for ten to fifteen minutes.  Allow to cool before drinking.
Rehydrating powder: mix a teaspoon of powder in a glass of water and drink before or after a heavy meal to help with digestion.


Slippery Elm is considered a safe herb when taken at commonly recommended dosages. It is completely non-toxic, and has no known drug interactions. Slippery Elm is thought to be safe for use during pregnancy and lactation.

However, if you suffer from gastrointestinal problems please seek advice from a healthcare professional before taking any supplements (including Slippery Elm).