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Herbal Education: Slippery Elm

Slippery elm, also known as red elm, is a medium-sized tree native to North America. Slippery elm is a mucilaceous herb that has been used as a remedy in North America for centuries. 

Slippery Elm contains a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This mucilage causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract, increasing mucous production which coats and soothes the mucous membranes and digestive tract. In addition to mucilage, slippery elm is also quite high in antioxidants, making it a great remedy for relieving inflammatory bowel conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis and chronic diarrhea. Our Vegi Plus formula was created using slippery elm as a base for a family member who was suffering from Chron's. It worked so well that we started using it for other chronic and debilitating diseases with great success! 

Slippery elm works to regulate bowel function, by bulking loose stools to treat diarrhea and by loosening hardened stools, relieving constipation. 

Because of it's antioxidant properties, slippery elm is also an incredibly soothing treatment for external skin conditions such as wounds, ulcers and psoriasis. As an herbalist, I keep our People Pack powder, which contains slippery elm as a main ingredient, in my first aid kit for treating wounds. 

Although slippery elm has no known side effects, it may slow down the absorption of other drugs or herbs because it coats the digestive tract. It may be best to take slippery elm two hours before or after other herbs or medications you may be taking.

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