Slippery Elm is a much storied and beloved tree of the Eastern United States, which had once nearly reached extinction, and is still absent or greatly reduced across much of its natural range. Due both to improper harvesting methods and commercial exploitation, this tree-of-many-uses also continues to face challenges from pathogens including the Dutch Elm Disease fungus that has destroyed millions of trees across our region. Across Kentucky, our Slippery Elm populations are significantly healthier and more abundant than in other states, a fact for which we feel especially grateful.
Slippery elm is a frequent member of floodplain forest communities, often growing right up to the streams edge. For this reason, it’s frequently found having fallen, but still thriving for one more season as its roots have not quite separated from the trunk. From decades of intimate observation of our forests, we know that these trees will inevitably die after another season or two. In this way, we harvest fresh, healthy and vital inner-bark from our fallen Elms from a boat, without the need to kill or damage standing trees. You can use our potent, concentrated Slippery Elm extracts knowing that the population is not being
What are the Benefits of Slippery Elm?
The name Slippery Elm arises due to the rich polysaccharide content of the inner bark. This bark is so concentrated with these soothing, nutritious and healing substances, that it literally becomes slippery to the touch with a texture reminiscent of Aloe Vera gel. Similar to Aloe Vera, Slippery Elm mucilage heals every surface that it contacts, both inside and outside of our bodies! It is loaded with nutrients, such that the Slippery Elm bark can sustain us as an emergency food source.
Historically, people with a very weakened digestion, such as after traumatic illness or injury, were fed on a Slippery Elm porridge due to the ease of digestion of this life-giving herb. Not only is it nutritious, but it is truly delicious with a slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of maple syrup. While it is a medicinal food in this way, it also imparts its anti-inflammatory actions throughout our body, especially in the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts. As such, it is useful in a vast array of ailments including colds and flus, inflammatory conditions of the bowels and more. The bark also has an overall tonifying effect, which can help to reduce diarrhea, and in this way as a ‘drying’ herbs, is contraindicated during constipation.