Slippery Elm Bark
The inner bark of the tree, Ulnus umbra. The bark was used by Native Americans and early European settlers to the US as a laxative, antiseptic, analgesic and emollient. It’s high in mucilage, a sticky, gelatinous substance containing polysaccharides and glycoproteins that coat and sooth irritated tissues. This property of Slippery Elm accounts for its medicinal uses as a treatment for sore throats, colitis and wounds. It also contains oligomeric procyanidins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
Slippery Elm bark powder or extracts are sold as standalone supplements, or as ingredients in “cleansing”/”detox” supps. It’s also a component of the unproven alternative cancer “cures” Essiac and FlorEssence.