Slippery elm is useful in treating digestive conditions with inflamed mucous membrane linings such as gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer, enteritis, and colitis, where it has a soothing demulcent action. (4)
One of the worlds best known herbal remedies is Slipper Elm bark. The principal component is mucilage. Mucilage is a naturally formed viscous or sticky fiber which consists of a gum dissolved in the juices of a plant. The mucilage in slippery elm bark is similar to that found in flax seed.
Slippery elm bark is one of natures miracle cleansers. Its sticky substance dissolves mucus that has been deposited in organ tissue, lymph glands and nerve channels. Its lubricating action protects and softens all the membrane linings in the body, especially damaged and inflamed areas. It buffers the effects of increased discharge of urine through the urinary tract. (Increased urine usually occurs as a result of the detoxifying abilities of some of the other herbs included in the ESSIAC/FLOR-ESSENCE formula.)
Slippery elm barks sticky adhesive quality also lubricates the bones and joints, gathers up dissolved toxic waste material from all areas in the body including the bowel and then helps to discharge them. As the mucilaginous material passes through the alimentary canal, it coats the organs over which it flows with a sticky film. This action reduces irritation, reduces sensitivity to acids and bitters and, most importantly, slows down the entry of harmful chemicals. Slippery elm bark can reduce the pain of ulcers and eventually heal them by restoring normal mucus coating to irritated tissues.
When applied externally, slippery elm bark has been shown to have extraordinary healing properties. The mucilage penetrates wounds and covers them. Impurities are drawn out of abscesses and ulcers. Slippery elm bark reportedly has the ability to grow new cells to repair tissues. The new cells form fresh skin which readily forms over sores and quickens the healing process.
It has been reported (1) that tumors are reduced in female organs when a suppository made with water and a powder made from slippery elm bark is used. Inflammation of the vagina and uterus have been relieved with a douche consisting of a decoction of the bark. Slippery elm bark also produces an antibiotic and antimicrobial effect.