Slippery elm, also known as red elm has long been used as a natural remedy for many different ailments. It is native to the Eastern United States and widely cultivated to harvest its bark. Its unique properties make it a safe, natural relief for many things. Although slippery elm has different healing properties, it's most active ingredient is the mucilage. This is a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This mucilage coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, bringing relief to many gastral complaints. Slippery elm has other healing properties, making it a popular ingredient in homeopathic compounds.
Slippery elm improves the symptoms of constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and general bowel complaints. The mucilage in slippery elm coats the stomach and gut with a thick substance, soothing irritation from IBS and providing extra help to move things along to relieve constipation. Slippery elm also has plenty of fibrous tissue, which is good for relieving constipation but also helps to firm up loose stools or diarrhea. It's also used to treat diverticulitis. While it's important to balance fiber in your diet, slippery elm can help keep your gut flowing smoothly.
The anti-inflammatory properties of slippery elm have historically been used to calm sore throats, as it both reduces swelling and contains mucilage, which coats and soothes. It's also good for conditions that produce periodic flare-ups, such as arthritis and some joint complaints. Swollen joints and some conditions such as fibromyalgia may be relieved from the use of slippery elm, as well, to manage swelling and stiffness better.
Slippery elm has a coagulant property that helps promote wound healing. The mucilage also gives a natural protective layer, helping protect from infection and irritants on scrapes and cuts. Salves and balms may be made from the bark to help speed the healing process. Slippery elm has vitamins and minerals that help your body heal and repair. It also has analgesic properties, making it a historic battlefield remedy. It's used in many homeopathic remedies a salve.
The anti-inflammatory properties of slippery elm also help improve blood circulation. By keeping the arterial walls supple and flexible, blood is pumped more efficiently from the heart, reducing pressure in the circulatory system. Iron is present in slippery elm, which is necessary for the healthy production of red blood cells. Increased red blood cell count aids circulation and increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the rest of your body. Combined with the potassium in slippery elm, there's a significant relief of the strain of high blood pressure.
The thick mucilage of slippery elm coats the interior of the stomach, affording protection against harsh stomach acids. Coupled with the healing properties and analgesic effects, slippery elm is soothing and healing for gastric ulcers. It also may help protect against ulcers and excess acidity in the body because it causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract, and that reaction leads to increased mucus secretion. Improving the function of your gut and digestion helps ease the occurrence of stomach ulcers. Incorporating slippery elm into your treatment plan should give relief to a painful stomach, as well as protection so the ulcers can heal naturally.
Slippery elm may also be used as a diuretic, helping your body remove excess salts and toxins from the body. It may also help with the bloating sensation of extra water - "water weight." This can help the health of your kidneys and keep your metabolism running smoothly. Slippery elm may also be used in a cleanse, which can help repopulate your gut bacteria, cleaning your gut and improving health and possibly leading to weight loss.
Slippery elm contains a natural analgesic. The bark may be used to create teas and tinctures which can be applied to open wounds or ingested for internal relief. Slippery elm may also be made into a balm, for pulled muscles or bruises. When this balm is applied, users notice a fairly rapid decline of their pain. The anti-inflammatory compounds in slippery elm aid in pain relief, also. For bruising and swelling, especially, the balms made with slippery elm help reduce the inflammation of the bruised tissue.
While cancer treatment is an inexact science, many patients have found relief using the herbal remedy Essiac - which has slippery elm as one of the primary active ingredients. The inner bark can be used as both a treatment and as secondary prevention. Some studies indicate that when slippery elm bark is paired with burdock root, Indian rhubarb, and sheep sorrel, it may improve conditions for women with breast cancer, including alleviating the feeling of depression and fighting fatigue. It is also used to help control the negative side effects of more traditional cancer treatments.
For people with gum disease, mouth ulcers, and bleeding gums, balms containing slippery elm may help reduce the swelling and pain from these conditions. For a toothache or pain in the gums, natural analgesics made with slippery elm provide relief and reduce swelling. Slippery elm balm may even be applied directly to the cap of the inflamed tooth, if the root is partly exposed, for pain relieving and anti-inflammatory relief. Although slippery elm shouldn't be used as a substitute for dental care, it may provide relief until you can visit your dentist.
While slippery elm may be used to treat some skin conditions and injuries to the epidermis, it may produce a reaction in those with especially sensitive skin, or infants and babies. Discontinue use if you experience itchiness and redness. If you are pregnant, do no use slippery elm, as it has been shown to induce premature labor in some cases. You should be able to purchase slippery elm from a local homeopathic shop or online, usually in the form of powder or capsules. Use caution when incorporating slippery elm into your existing supplement regimen - because it coats the digestive system, it may delay or inhibit the absorption of some other medications you use. Consult your physician before adding slippery elm to your diet.
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