Slippery elm bark powder is a wonderful herb used for healing common digestive ailments. It has no known toxic effects and therefore is considered safe for children, pregnant women, and adults a like.
Due to its demulcent properties slippery elm in used to heal irritated and inflamed mucous membranes along the digestive tract, including esophageal irritation, GERD/acid reflux, and gastric ulcers. It is also used to alleviate both diarrhea and constipation.
When mixed with boiling water slippery elm becomes a slimy consistency due to its unique carbohydrates called polysaccharides. These polysaccharides are considered prebiotics and may therefore cause symptoms in some patients with SIBO. If you do have SIBO, it may be best to use slippery elm slowly and cautiously and monitor for symptoms. Usually, patients tolerate slippery elm well after SIBO has been treated. However, for most slippery elm is very well tolerated and is considered safe for regular use.
You can drink slippery elm as a tea in combination with other demulcents in Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat blend, you can use slippery elm lozenges, or you can make your own slippery elm gruel (my preferred method) and eat it straight or mix it into other mucilaginous porridges like oatmeal or buckwheat porridge.
Slippery Elm Gruel
Making a gruel is a great way to get larger therapeutic amounts of the herb in one sitting. If you are new to slippery elm gruel, I would suggest starting with a smaller amount to see if you tolerate it well (especially if you have SIBO or IBS). Ideally, it is best to take the gruel on an empty stomach such as before bed or in between meals. To enhance the the flavor of the slippery elm bark gruel I like to add ground fennel and ginger due to their gut healing benefits, but these are optional. I also like to sweeten it with a little drizzle of honey to make it taste like a little treat. You can find slippery elm bark powder at your local herb shop. In Bellingham, you can find it at Living Earth Herbs and Wonderland Herbs. You can also find slippery elm bark powder online at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Makes 1 Serving
1/2 tablespoon slippery elm bark powder
Sprinkle ground fennel (optional)
Sprinkle ground ginger (optional)
Pinch sea salt (optional)
3-4 tablespoons boiling water
Drizzle honey (optional)
Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the slippery elm bark powder with the optional spices, and salt. Pour in the hot water, and begin to stir vigorously with a spoon until a gelatinous pudding forms. Stir in optional honey and enjoy.
Have you used slippery elm before?
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.