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Slippery Elm


Slippery elm is a tree that grows in North America. The bark has been used to ease digestion and cold-like symptoms. Slippery elm can be taken as pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea.


There are no advised doses for slippery elm.

What Research Shows

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Irritable bowel syndrome 1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take slippery elm in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



1. Hawrelak JA, Myers SP. Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1065-1071.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 3/27/2020