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Slippery Elm & a Clean Colon

Slippery elm remedies come from the dried inner bark of the Ulmus rubra or U. fulva tree, which has been used medicinally by Native Americans to treat diarrhea, sore throats and inflammatory skin conditions. Slippery elm was a popular medicinal remedy among Native American tribes, and European settlers subsequently began using the bark, as well. You can take slippery elm to help soothe your colon, but you should first consult your doctor to discuss the proper dosage and potential risks.

Function

Slippery elm contains mucilage, phytosterols and fatty acids, but the mucilage generally accounts for the main effects of the herb, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The mucilage in slippery elm has emollient, demulcent and antitussive actions. These are “soothing” effects that appear to protect the throat and gastrointestinal tract, says the University of Michigan Health System. Slippery elm might also offer anti-inflammatory actions, specifically on your intestines, stomach and throat.

Effects

The mucilage in slippery elm turns into a gel when it comes into contact with water, coating the throat and gastrointestinal tract, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. Slippery elm stimulates mucus secretion in your gastrointestinal tract, which can offer protective effects and reduce acidity. Due to these actions, you might take slippery elm to help totreat sore throats, coughs, heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Slippery elm may help to clean your colon, particularly if you have Crohn’s disease or gastritis. You could use topical remedies containing slippery elm to help to treat inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, burns, boils and wounds, as well. Talk with your physician before using slippery elm to treat any health condition.

Potential

Slippery elm might have the potential to cleanse and soothe your colon, says the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. You could use slippery elm to help to treat diarrhea, indigestion, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Slippery elm could possibly treat hemorrhoids, too. Other potential uses for slippery elm include treating peptic ulcers, fever, bronchitis, cancer and skin abscesses. No widely accepted medical research supports the use of slippery elm for any health purpose, however.

Dosage

Slippery elm comes in the form of tablets, capsules, lozenges and dried, powdered inner bark. For your colon health, you might take 800 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams three to four times daily of slippery elm capsules or tablets, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Slippery elm bark is sometimes made into a tea by boiling the finely powdered dried bark in water. To make the tea, steep 2 tablespoons of powdered bark in 2 cups of boiling water for about five minutes and drink it three times daily, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Alternatively, you can take 5 milliliters of slippery elm tincture three times daily. Ask your physician about the dosage that’s right for you before taking any form of slippery elm for your colon.

Warning

The main safety risk for taking slippery elm is that the mucilage can slow the absorption of medications and supplements, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Therefore, you should take slippery elm at least two hours apart from other remedies or medications. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to slippery elm can occur.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.