Slippery elm, also known as Ulmus rubra, is a tree native to North America that has been used for centuries by Native American tribes for its medicinal properties. The inner bark of the tree is rich in mucilage, a substance that becomes gel-like when mixed with water. This unique characteristic of slippery elm has made it a popular natural remedy for various health issues. In this article, we will explore the benefits of slippery elm and how it can improve your overall well-being.
Relieves Digestive Issues
One of the most well-known benefits of slippery elm is its ability to soothe and heal digestive issues. The mucilage in slippery elm coats the lining of the digestive tract, providing a protective barrier against irritants and reducing inflammation. This makes it an effective remedy for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, and ulcers.
In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found that slippery elm improved symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain and bloating, in 89% of participants. Another study showed that slippery elm helped reduce symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn and regurgitation, in 62% of participants.Read:What are health benefits of garlic?
Moreover, slippery elm has been used to treat diarrhea and constipation. The mucilage in slippery elm absorbs water, making stools firmer and easier to pass. It also helps to lubricate the digestive tract, promoting regular bowel movements. This makes it a safe and natural alternative to over-the-counter laxatives.
Soothes Sore Throat and Cough
Slippery elm has been traditionally used to soothe sore throats and coughs. The mucilage in slippery elm coats the throat, providing a protective barrier against irritants and reducing inflammation. It also helps to lubricate the throat, making it easier to swallow and reducing coughing.
In a study published in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, researchers found that slippery elm was effective in reducing coughing and throat irritation in patients with upper respiratory tract infections. Another study showed that slippery elm lozenges were as effective as over-the-counter cough drops in relieving sore throat symptoms.
Slippery elm can also be beneficial for those with chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis. The anti-inflammatory properties of slippery elm can help reduce inflammation in the airways, making it easier to breathe.
Heals Skin Conditions
The mucilage in slippery elm has emollient properties, making it an effective remedy for skin conditions. It can help soothe and heal burns, wounds, and skin irritations. The anti-inflammatory properties of slippery elm can also help reduce redness and swelling associated with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.Read:What are the benefits of elderberry
In a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, researchers found that a topical cream containing slippery elm improved symptoms of eczema, such as itching and redness, in 80% of participants. Another study showed that slippery elm was effective in reducing symptoms of psoriasis, such as scaling and thickness of skin, in 62% of participants.
Moreover, slippery elm can also be used to treat diaper rash in infants. The gentle and natural properties of slippery elm make it a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based diaper rash creams.
Supports Weight Loss
Slippery elm can also be beneficial for those looking to lose weight. The mucilage in slippery elm can help you feel full for longer, reducing the urge to overeat. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and crashes that can lead to cravings and overeating.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that participants who consumed a drink containing slippery elm before a meal consumed 20% fewer calories compared to those who did not. Another study showed that slippery elm helped regulate blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.Read:What are the benefits of dates?
Moreover, slippery elm can also be beneficial for those with binge eating disorder. The soothing and calming properties of slippery elm can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are often triggers for binge eating episodes.
Boosts Immune System
Slippery elm contains antioxidants, which can help boost the immune system and protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and tissues, leading to various health issues. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants can help prevent chronic diseases and promote overall health.
In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that slippery elm had significant antioxidant activity, making it a potential natural remedy for oxidative stress-related diseases. Another study showed that slippery elm helped boost the immune system in patients with HIV.
How to Use Slippery Elm
Slippery elm can be consumed in various forms, including capsules, teas, and lozenges. It is also available in powder form, which can be mixed with water to create a gel-like substance. This gel can be applied topically to the skin or consumed orally to soothe and heal various health issues.
When purchasing slippery elm products, it is important to choose high-quality and organic options to ensure maximum benefits. It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating slippery elm into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications.
Slippery elm is a powerful natural remedy that has been used for centuries to improve various health issues. From soothing digestive issues to boosting the immune system, slippery elm offers a wide range of benefits that can improve your overall well-being. Its gentle and natural properties make it a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based medications. So, the next time you are looking for a natural remedy, consider incorporating slippery elm into your routine and experience its powerful benefits for yourself.