Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) medicinal herb is a deciduous tree that is listed by the American Dispensatory of
1818 as being useful for pleurisy and as a poultice for tumors. It is
rich in nutrients and easy to digest. Known as a soothing and healing herb, it is good for the digestive system. Therefore it can be termed a digestive disorder herb and it is a very effective part of herbs for diseases.
It is indigenous to North America and grows throughout North Carolina and has been used for centuries. It is from the Ulmaceae family. The main part used as herbal medicine is the inner bark.
The common names are American elm, Red elm, Indian elm, Moose elm, Gray elm, Soft elm, Winged elm, Rock elm, Ulmus rubra and Sweet elm. When winters were severe and long, the Indians and pioneers were often saved from starvation by using the inner bark as food. The edible thin layer has a delicate scent and sweetish taste.
The medicinal properties of this precious herb are demulcent, emollient, expectorant, diuretic and nutritive.
It contains vitamins A,F,K and P, calcium, copper, iron, iodine, potassium, phosphorous, selenium as well as sodium. The main component or constituent is mucilage.
It helps to alleviate coughing, gastrointestinal
irritation, constipation, asthma, bronchitis, bladder ailments, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, diverticulitis and lung ailments. In
China, as a medicinal herb it is used for colitis, diarrhea and dysentery. It is also a good remedy to treat cancer of various types, such as, breast cancer, ovarian cancer as well as colon cancer.
Its health benefits will be able to assist women who suffer with tumors, abscesses and cysts. The Indian women takes it regularly because the tea assists in breaking up tumors and other cancerous growth in the womb. It is therefore seen as one of the ideal herbs for female conditions.
In 1814 Samuel Henry, a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the medical Society of the County and City of New York wrote that he found slippery elm bark effective for ulcers, burns and the best poultice he knew for fresh wounds. During the American Revolution, it was utilized by doctors as poultice for wounds resulted from gunshots. It is also good to put on boils, abscesses and toothaches.
It is a very useful medicinal herb for children. From the powdered inner bark a porridge can be made by boiling it in water until it is thickened. This is very nutritious, especially for infants and those convalescing since it is so easy to digest and also brings on a restful sleep. It is often the first food given to infants who are being weaned from the mother's milk. It is also found in some baby food products.
To make the elm tea, use a tablespoonful to a pint of water and allow to steep for one hour. Then let it simmer for a moment and use freely.
teaspoonful of the powder and mix it with cold water to make it into a
nice and smooth paste and then pour on one pint of boiling water, at the
same time stirring it to avoid lumps. Sprinkle a little cinnamon medicinal herb in this slippery elm bark mixture and
it is good to go.
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