Slippery Elm Bark

Ulmus fulva, Ulmaceae. This plant is also known as Indian elm, moose elm and sweet elm.

The inner bark of the plant is used.

The bark is stripped from the trunk and large branches in spring.

Functions of slippery elm bark

The powdered inner bark of the slippery elm is used as a soothing remedy for the mucous membranes throughout the body. It will:

  • sooth irritation and inflammation in the stomach, bowels, kidneys, urinary tract and the whole reproductive system. It is useful for:
    • gastritis,
    • acidity,
    • peptic ulcers,
    • colitis,
    • enteritis,
    • cystitis, and
    • diarrhea.
  • mix with warm water or milk to make an easily assimilated gruel which is ideal for adults and children during convalescence and when debilitated.
  • mix with water or glycerine to form a paste to apply as a poultice for:
    • boils,
    • abscesses,
    • ulcers,
    • cuts and wounds,
    • scalds.


Decoction: use one part of the powdered bark to 8 parts of water. Mix the powdered bark in a little of the water first to ensure that it will mix well. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Drink half a cup three times per day.

Poultice: mix enough of the powdered bark with water to from a paste.


Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.




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