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Slippery elm is an herbal remedy made from the inner bark of the elm tree. The remedy is useful for treating any sort of inflammation, from sore throat to diaper rash, as well as digestive ailments. The herb has been used for centuries as a medicinal supplement, and makes excellent teas and syrups.
The Benefits of Slippery Elm
Slippery elm was originally used by Native Americans to treat a variety of conditions. It is most effective for physical aliments that are inflammatory - burns, sore throats, skin rashes. It can also be used to treat digestive ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
Slippery elm is available commercially in a variety of forms, including capsules, lozenges, and powders. If you purchase a commercial preparation, be sure to adjust the dosage for your child by weight. When consumed, the herb makes a slippery coating that eases internal inflammation. When powdered and mixed with water, it forms a poultice with antioxidant and antibacterial properties - helping to keep wounds clean and promoting healing.
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Using Slippery Elm Internally
Slippery Elm can be taken internally as a tea, capsule, lozenge, or syrup. It's highly effective for children's coughs when consumed as a syrup - blend slippery elm, honey, and water in equal parts. Store in a dark glass bottle and keep refrigerated. The herb can also be brewed as a tea, and blends well with herbs such as mint, cinnamon, or licorice. Adding stevia or honey to the tea will make it more palatable for your child, as the herb has a bitter taste.
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Using Slippery Elm Externally
Finely powdered slippery elm bark can be combined with water or additional herbs to make a healing poultice. The mixture, when applied to a burn or skin irritation, promotes healing and is highly soothing. The herb can be used to treat burns, boils, warts, and other skin irritations.
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The benefits of slippery elm are it is generally considered safe, and has no serious side effects. The herb is known for it's soothing properties, but is not highly medicinal. It has no serious side effects, but may slow the absorption of other herbal remedies or medications. Consult your doctor or herbalist before administering slippery elm to your child.