Slippery Elm Bark - Glossary

Slippery Elm Bark

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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.

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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