Slippery elm bark has been used for centuries as a multi-purpose herbal remedy. The indigenous populations of North America harvested this bark to use as a remedy for problems with the urinary tract, digestive system, and skin. A topical application made with the inner bark (which is the portion of the plant with medicinal properties) was utilized during the American Revolution to heal gunshot wounds! This is possible because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.*
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of slippery elm bark may help alleviate inflammatory conditions of the intestines including colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulitis.
Slippery elk bark is rich in mucilage, which swells in the body and becomes slippery as it passes through the digestive tract. This indigestible substance enhances digestion, absorbs toxins, softens waste, and promotes the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
The presence of slippery elm bark in the body also increases mucus secretion, which may protect the gastrointestinal tract against excess acid and the formation of ulcers.*
When applied directly to the skin as a topical aid (combined with glycerin), slippery elm bark powder is useful in healing burns, boils, and inflammatory skin problems. A paste made with slippery elm bark powder and other antibiotic herbs like burdock root and wild thyme helps to heal bacterial infections of the skin.*