Need to overhaul your gut health? Meet Slippery Elm, a herbal supplement – that can be remarkably helpful in soothing the gastrointestinal tract. And that’s not all!
BY HELEN CLEMSON

Described as “an incredible herbal product”, director at Flora Force, Jurgen Kerschbaumer goes on to say that only the inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree is intended for use. “For the sake of sustainability, limbs are carefully selected to be pruned and then the outer bark is stripped back to reveal the soft, inner bark that is dried and powdered for our tablets,” he explains. As Slippery Elm is high in soluble fibre, it makes it a great food for gut-friendly bacteria, Kerschbaumer adds. And while a simple internet search will reveal many of its good-for-your-gut benefits, and help bring relief to those suffering from conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the experts reveal that every-day common issues that all of us will battle with from time to time can be eased with Slippery Elm.

“A tablet dissolved in a bit of water is soothing for a sore throat – it works a charm!” says
Kerschbaumer.
How to really make Slippery Elm work for you and your body? Read on…

MUCILAGINOUS MARVEL
Time to get a little (more) technical. This herbal antidote is so good at improving your gut health because “it’s mucilaginous quality (a healthy version of slimy) means that it provides a protective layer that soothes the gastrointestinal tract,” Kerschbaumer further explains. And so even if you suffer from ulcers or reflux, “it is remarkably safe and highly beneficial,” he adds. In a report by Healthline.com, a study even found that Slippery Elm had an antioxidant effect in people with Crohn’s disease.
However, remember this type of condition is a serious one, so ask a registered healthcare practitioner for appropriate advice before any self-treatment.

D IS FOR DEMULCENT
As Healthline.com reports, Slippery Elm bark is a demulcent, so it’s capable of calming the lining of the stomach and intestines and reducing irritation. Demulcents are sometimes referred to as mucoprotective agents.

LOOK TO YOUR LIFESTYLE
While there’s no denying the health payoffs of Slippery Elm, Kerschbaumer stresses the need to investigate your wellness holistically, especially when it comes to treating your gut and potentially severe conditions. “We are prone to self-medicating or relying on the pharmacist to do a doctor’s job – and we do so at our own peril,” he cautions. “Just like a
healthy diet and exercise, there is no substitute for the value that a close relationship with a practitioner can add. All too often we ignore the importance of having someone that can share our burden. And we are most blind to our own pathology.” He uses Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as an example of not just relying on pills but rather considering lifestyle
changes such as reducing coffee and alcohol, including exercise as part of your routine as well as “introducing destressing practices like yoga or mindfulness meditation.”

TAKE TWO
That’s two hours (or up to four) after any chronic medication or supplements. Why? The very quality that makes Slippery Elm so amazing can inhibit the absorption of chronic medication or supplements when taken simultaneously, Kerschbaumer explains.

9 CONDITIONS SLIPPERY ELM COULD ASSIST IN TREATING:
• Acid Reflux
• Heartburn
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
• Constipation
• Soothing a Cough and Sore Throat
• Diarrhoea
• Urinary Tract Infections
• Stomach Ulcers
• Haemorrhoids