SLIPPERY ELM BARK POWDER
Product No. P19137
Slippery Elm Bark is also known as Red Elm, Moose Elm, Indian Elm, Winged Elm and Ulmus fulva.
Slippery Elm grows widely throughout North America. The branches are very rough, and the leaves long and unequally toothed, with rough with hairs on both sides. The leaf-buds covered with a dense yellow ‘wool’.
The inner bark has important medicinal value and is an official drug of the United States Pharmacopoeia. It is collected in spring from the bole and larger branches, and dried – it is recommended that ten-year old bark be used. The bark as it appears in commerce for use in medicine consists only of the inner bark and is sold in flat pieces 2 to 3 feet long and several inches wide, but only about 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch in thickness. It is very tough and flexible, of a fine fibrous texture, finely striated longitudinally on both surfaces, the outer surface reddish-yellow, with patches of reddish brown, which are part of the outer bark adhering to the inner bast. It has an odour like Fenugreek and a very mucilaginous, insipid taste. The strips can be bent double without breaking. A section moistened and left for a few minutes, and again examined, shows large swollen mucilage cells.
The powdered bark is sold in two forms: a coarse powder for use as poultices, and a fine powder for making a mucilaginous drink. In times of famine, early American settlers used it as a survival food. George Washington and his troops survived for several days on Slippery Elm gruel during the bitter winter at Valley Forge. Native Americans found innumerable medicinal and other uses for this tree. Canoes, baskets, and other household goods were made from the tree and its bark. The Red Indians used the viscous inner bark to prepare a healing salve, and Slippery Elm bark powder was considered one of the best possible poultices for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns and other inflamed surfaces, soothing, healing and reducing pain and inflammation. Slippery Elm was also used internally for conditions such as sore throats and diarrhoea.
The principal constituent of the bark is the mucilage (galactose) contained in large cells in the bast. This mucilage is very similar to that found in linseed. The mucilage does not dissolve, but swells in water, and is so abundant that 10 grains of the powdered bark will make a thick jelly with an ounce of water. Also present are tannins, starch, calcium, vanadium, and zinc.
The high amounts of mucilage in Slippery Elm act as a demulcent and emollient to soothe and reduce inflammation of the digestive tract. It provides a protective environment for inflamed and irritated tissue to heal itself, and its coating action soothes the irritated tissues of the intestines, colon, urinary tract, and stomach ulcers.
Slippery Elm may help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, acid reflux, nausea (including morning sickness), abdominal distension, gas, and colic. It is particularly useful in these conditions as it can be tolerated by the stomach when most other foods cannot.
It not only has a most soothing and healing action, but in addition, possesses as much nutrition as is contained in oatmeal, and when made into gruel forms a wholesome and sustaining food for infants and invalids. It forms the basis of many patent foods.
The herb works with the body to draw out impurities and toxins, assisting with the healing of all body parts. Slippery Elm is also beneficial in alleviating inflammation caused by arthritis, and for soothing sore throats. It is of great value in bronchitis, bleeding from the lungs and soothing a cough. and is considered one of the best remedies that can be given for this as it combines both demulcent and stimulating properties. Being mucilaginous, it rolls up the mucous material so troublesome to the patient and passes it down through the intestines.
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