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The slippery elm is a large, deciduous tree that is native to North American from Texas to Manitoba, and from Florida to Quebec. When growing in well-drained soils, it can reach a height of 60 feet (20 meters). The inner bark of the branches is collected in spring for medicinal use. Slippery elm bark added to hot water has a slippery and mucilaginous consistency. Native Americans used soaked slippery elm bark as a natural bandage, allowing to dry over wounds. Many tribes also wrapped slippery elm around stored food to prevent spoilage. Slippery elm also served as a food during famine and for making porridge for small children and elderly persons.
- Since slippery elm is a food product, there is no upper limit on dosage, although about 2 tablespoons (10 grams) of the herb is the minimum amount that produces noticeable effects. Avoid taking it with other medications, as the mucilage can prevent proper absorption. Make sure to drink lots of water with slippery elm bark powder or capsules. For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.