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Botanical Name : Ulmus fulva
Species: U. rubra
Common Names : Elm, Slippery , Red Elm, Moose Elm, Indian Elm
Habitat :Elm is native to eastern North America (from southeast North Dakota, east to southern Quebec, south to northernmost Florida, and west to eastern Texas). It is similar to American Elm in general appearance, but more closely related to the European Wych Elm, which has a very similar flower structure. Other common names include Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm and Indian Elm.
The Slippery Elm is a deciduous tree which can grow to 20 m in height with a 50 cm d.b.h.. The tree has a different branching pattern than American Elm, and its heartwood is reddish-brown, giving the tree its alternative common name ‘Red Elm’. The leaves are 10–18 cm long and have a rough texture, coarsely double-serrate margin and an oblique base. The perfect wind-pollinated apetalous flowers are produced before the leaves in early spring, usually in clusters of 10–20. The fruit is an oval winged samara 20 mm long and containing a single, central seed. Slippery Elm may be distinguished from American Elm by the hairiness of the buds and twigs (both smooth on the American Elm) and by its very short-stalked flowers.
Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Burns/SunBurn * Diarrhea * Pregnancy * Sore Throat/Laryngitis
Properties: Demulcent* Emollient* Expectorant* Diuretic* Astringent*
Parts Used: Inner Bark
In herbal medicine a Slippery Elm bark powder is considered one of the best possible poultices for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns and reducing pain and inflammation. The tree’s inner bark is rich in mucilage, a spongy, slippery fiber that soothes and coats mucus membrane inflammation and irritation in the throat and urinary tract when the herb is taken as a tea or infusion.
Slippery Elm is a valuable tree that has many traditional uses. The inner bark can be ground into a nutrient-rich gruel, off which one can solely survive for a short period. The bark also contains a mucilage that is used as a remedy for sore throats. Sometimes it is dried and ground into a powder beforehand, then made into a tea. Both Slippery Elm gruel and tea are said to soothe the digestive tract, especially the GI tracts of those with irritable bowel syndrome or gastritis. There are no known contraindications for Slippery Elm. According to Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide, “Although Slippery Elm has not been scientifically investigated, the FDA has approved it as a safe demulcent substance.”
The bark has also been used historically as an abortifacient, first moistened with water and then inserted into the cervix. This practice became thoroughly regulated by “elm stick laws” in several US states, which forbade selling pieces of slippery elm bark longer than a certain length. Selling whole Slippery Elm bark is banned in several countries including the UK because of its ability to induce an abortion.
Babies First Food;
Slippery Elm is from the dried, powdered inner-bark of the North American Red Elm tree. Over the past one hundred years it has been used by both naturopaths and medical professionals. Its main use has been as weaning food for young babies and also as an easily assimilated and soothing gruel for the elderly.
It can be bought from most health shops in powder form. It is considered good for the baby when starting their first solids, especially if you have to start early. The mucilage, which is its greatest contribution therapeutically, is of a unique kind. It absorbs intestinal fluids but at the same time providing nutrition and in particular calcium phosphate. It is considered better than baby rice and farex, as these can cause constipation and have no nutritional value. Slippery Elm is easy to digest and it very good for their bowels.
To make, you only need a tiny amount of powder and mix it with water, formula or breast milk. It can also be sprinkled on food to help with digestion.
The fibrous inner bark is a strong and durable fibre, which can be spun into thread, twine or rope. It can be used for bow strings, ropes, jewellery, clothing, snowshoe bindings, woven mats, and even some musical instruments. The wood is used for the hubs of wagon wheels, as it is very shock resistant owing to the interlocking grain.
Once cured, the wood is also excellent for making fires with the bow drill method, as it grinds into a very fine flammable powder under friction.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.