What is it?
These entries are from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center website, which is free and available to all at www.MSKCC.org/AboutHerbs, and available in book form. Last updated : July 2013.
Although little laboratory research has been done with slippery elm per se, scientists are familiar with the effects of the fiber content in this bark extract. Slippery elm products contain mucilage, a sticky mixture of complex sugars that cannot be broken down by the human digestive tract. A formula containing slippery elm improved bowel habits and symptoms in patients with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Mucilage also generally has a soothing effect when applied topically, and relieves cough and sore throat when taken by mouth, but these effects have not been shown specifically for slippery elm.
Does it work?
Slippery elm is used to treat cancer but there’s no scientific evidence supports this use.
No research, either in humans or in animals, has been performed on slippery elm to test whether it is safe or effective for any of its proposed uses.
Is it safe?
Do Not Take If:
You are taking any other medications by mouth at the same time (In theory, the high fiber content of slippery elm can reduce the absorption of other drugs taken at the same time, thereby reducing their effectiveness).
Slippery elm appears to be safe for coughs and minor gastrointestinal complaints, but it should not be used to treat cancer or bronchitis.
Ulmus rubra Muhl
Ulmus fulva Michx
Ulmi rubrae cortex
Ulmus fulva Michaux