Struggling with digestive issues can be frustrating, embarrassing and quite painful. If you often experience constipation, diarrhea or other digestive issues, there’s a natural solution that might be able to help.

Slippery elm, also known as red elm, has been used as an herbal remedy since the 19th century, thanks to its natural ability to treat digestive issues. Slippery elm contains a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This substance is known as mucilage. The mucilage is able to coat and soothe the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines, which makes it an ideal remedy for many health issues.


Slippery elm can be used to treat:

  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • GERD
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Here’s what slippery elm can do:

1. It Reduces The Severity Of Psoriasis Symptoms

Slippery elm is known to help patients with psoriasis, which there is no cure for. Studies in those who suffer from psoriasis found that slippery elm is a beneficial addition to any psoriasis diet treatment, as it has the ability to naturally improve the condition.

2. It Improves Digestive Problems

Slippery elm comes in handy when you’re battling digestive problems, including constipation, bloating, diarrhea and issues with IBS. Studies have shown that subjects experiencing digestive problems reported reduced bloating, abdominal pain and IBS symptoms after using slippery elm.

3. It Can Aid In Weight Loss

Thanks to slippery elm’s ability to improve digestion, it can also aid in weight loss. In a study performed at New York Chiropractic College, participants consumed healthy meals along with a cleanse supplementation containing slippery elm and several other ingredients. A few weeks into the study, participants noted reductions in weight, along with lower cholesterol levels.

4. It Can Help Lower Stress And Anxiety Levels

Like many plants, slippery elm contains phenolics. These are aromatic benzene ring compounds that provide protection against stress. Studies have shown that herbs containing phenolics are a great natural option for relieving stress and anxiety.

5. It Can Be Used In Breast Cancer Treatment

The inner bark of slippery elm is known as Ulmus fulva or U. rubra. It’s becoming increasingly popular as an herbal remedy for breast cancer treatment, secondary prevention and controlling negative side effects of breast cancer treatment. Slippery elm has immune-boosting benefits and anti-inflammatory effects that may help to relieve pain associated with breast cancer.

How To Use Slippery Elm

Look for slippery elm at your local health food store. It comes in several different forms, including tea, capsules, tablets and extract. Some of the most common uses include:

    • Diarrhea – capsules, tablets, tea or extract
    • Cough – lozenges, tea or extract
    • Acid reflux – tea or extract
    • External skin conditions – treatment by shampoo or topical cream infused with extract

Watch the video below to learn how to make slippery elm tea for digestive issues:

Dr. Axe
University of Maryland Medical Center