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February 10, 2022

Slippery elm and 8 uses, dosage, risks, more

Slippery elm is a tree native to the northeastern region of North America. The tree got its name due to the slippery feel of the inner bark.

Slippery elm is also known as Indian elm, red elm, or gray elm.

Some people claim that slippery elm can help treat a number of ailments, including inflammation, sore throats, and acid reflux.

However, despite its growing popularity, there is little scientific evidence supporting the reported benefits of slippery elm.

This article will examine why people have traditionally used slippery elm and why many continue to use it today. It will also explain the different forms of slippery elm and the potential risks associated with it

Slippery elm for traditional uses.

there is a white pot of brown, slippery elm tablets
photo_gonzo/Shutterstock

According to a 2014 studyTrusted Source, people living in North America have used slippery elm for several centuries in traditional medicine.

Native Americans used slippery elm both topically and internally to help treat conditions such as:

People in various communities continue to use slippery elm for these conditions. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support its effectiveness

Slippery elm by modern uses.

Slippery elm and several other abilities have been noted by companies and the media.
However, not all potential uses have been well researched.
Instead, there are only anecdotal stories about the benefits of slippery elm as a treatment for certain health conditions.

Slippery elm with blood pressure

There is no evidence to say that slippery elm helps to lower blood pressure.

Instead, a person should follow the recommendations of the American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source and lower their blood pressure by:

  • Monitor your blood pressure at home and during checkups
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Maintain a healthy moderate weight

Learn how to lower blood pressure safely and naturally here.

Slippery elm with IBS symptoms

There is limited evidence that slippery elm can help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as diarrhea and constipation.

In a 2014 reviewTrusted Source, researcher stated that slippery elm may help reduce symptoms of IBS. However, the researcher has called for more studies to confirm this.

Instead, a person looking to ease symptoms of IBS can make dietary changes that have been approved by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)Trusted Source. These changes may include:

Learn more about how to treat IBS safely here.

Slippery elm and weight loss

Slippery elm with limited that can help control or lose weight.

2018 studyTrusted Source examined prebiotics in vitro in the stools of participants.

Researchers found that slippery elm and similar compounds may help control blood sugar. This can help a person maintain a moderate weight.

However, the researchers state that the effect may not be as strong in humans.

Instead, a person who wants to maintain a moderate weight can make a number of dietary and behavioral changes, including:

  • Eat more fiber
  • Eat less sugar and refined carbs
  • Track diet and exercise

Learn more science-backed tips on how to lose weight safely here.

Slippery elm and wound care

Slippery elm has no current studies looking at the use of slippery elm for wound care specifically.
Instead, caregivers of an open wound should take the following steps:

  1. Stop bleeding.
  2. Clean the wound.
  3. Apply antibiotic ointment to the wound.
  4. Bandage the wound.

Learn more about how to safely care for an open wound here.

Inflammation

Slippery elm and some evidence may help with respiratory inflammation.

In a 2018 studyTrusted Source, researchers suggested that slippery elm might help reduce inflammation.

However, the researchers stress the importance of further studies, specifically to see how slippery elm might be effective in treating airway inflammation.

Instead, here are some ways a person looking to reduce or prevent inflammation:

Learn about other herbal remedies for inflammation here.

Upper airway inflammatory conditions

Upper respiratory tract infections can include conditions such as upper respiratory infections.

In research published in the Journal of Investigative Biochemistry, scientists claim that companies advertised slippery elm supplements as treatments for inflammatory upper respiratory conditions.

However, most evidence of its effectiveness in treating these types of conditions has been anecdotal.

The study calls for more scientific evidence to support these companies’ claims.

Instead, a person who wants to treat an upper respiratory infection can take medication to ease symptoms. They may include:

Learn about home remedies for upper respiratory infections here.

Acid reflux

Only anecdotal evidence exists to support the use of slippery elm for acid reflux or sore throat.

According to a 2018 studyTrusted Source, slippery elm contains mucilage, which becomes a gel-like substance when mixed with water.

It is possible that this substance can coat the esophagus and help relieve pain.

Instead, the NIDDKTrusted Source says that a person with acid reflux can take the following steps to ease symptoms:

  • Maintaining a healthy moderate weight
  • Elevate your head wwhile sleeping.
  • Avoid smoking

Learn about which foods can help a person with acid reflux here.

Sore throat

When taken as a tea or tincture, slippery elm can help relieve a sore throat. This is due to the potential coverage effect of mucilageTrusted Source, a gel-like substance.

However, no studies have examined the exact effects of slippery elm on a sore throat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCTrusted Source)Trusted Source, a person can relieve a sore throat by:

  • suck on shaved ice
  • Gargle salt water
  • Drink plenty of fluids, including warm drinks

Learn about how to soothe a sore throat safely here.

Forms

Slippery elm can take many different forms.

Some forms may include:

  • Lozenges
  • Flour
  • Tablet
  • Capsules
  • Tea

Dosage

Slippery elm comes in many forms and dosages. In general, dosage is based on weight.
A person should read the package of slippery elm products they are using. They should follow the recommended dosage.
However, a person can also talk to their doctor about a safe and effective dosage for them

Risks

Slippery elm is POSSIBLY SAFE if taken as directed.

However, the lack of studies on slippery elm means that a person should be careful when taking it for the first time.

A person should talk to their doctor before taking slippery elm products or supplements, especially if they:

  • are pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • are giving the supplement to a child
  • have underlying health conditions
  • take other supplements or medication

Summary

Some people believe that slippery elm can treat a number of ailments, including acid reflux and symptoms of IBS.
However, most of the evidence for its effectiveness is anecdotal.
Several scientific studies show promise when it comes to treating the inflammation and symptoms of IBS.
However, scientists have called for additional research to understand the correct dosage, effectiveness, and safety of slippery elm.

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Originally posted 2021-10-08 02:22:33.

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