Healing with Herbs: Slippery Elm

Welcome to the 4th and final installment of my Healing with Herbs series… Today I’ll be covering the benefits of slippery elm for your dogs and cats.

Growing up to 60ft tall, slippery elm’s inner white bark is harvested for it’s mucilaginous (viscous or gelatinous) properties. It can be consumed orally or used topically.

History of Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is a tree native to North America, used for many ailments through history.

Indigenous people have used it for a variety of reasons, such as a birth aid for its lubricant properties. Physicians during the American Revolution used it for poultices for gunshot wounds.

A note on sustainability: slippery elm is currently an endangered species from Dutch Elm disease, and over harvesting. I will attach some sustainable brand links at the end for you.

Uses and Dosage for Slippery Elm

While slippery elm mainly comes in a powder form, capsules are more accessible.

Slippery elm can be used for health issues such as:

  • Cough and Sore Throat
  • Gastro-Intestinal Upset
  • Wounds, Burns, Skin Infection
  • Kidney Failure
  • Diarrhea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Respiratory Issues

Here are some of my remedies for common ailments.

  • Kidney Failure in cats. When cats deal with Kidney Failure, they can often feel sick and nauseated and may not want to eat. Using the powder form, mix in 1/8tsp -1/4tsp for every 10lbs, daily.
  • Coughing Dog. You can make a syrup for your pet using: 1tbsp slippery elm, 1tbsp honey, and 1 cup of warm water. This will create a jelly-like paste. Give your pet 1tsp of the mixture for every 10lbs to relieve their cough.
  • Diarrhea. Give 1 capsule/20lbs every 8 hours.
  • Chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 350-400mg capsule/10lbs, every day sprinkled over food.

*Because it can interfere with kidney absorption, if you give slippery elm, be sure to wait at least 2 hours if giving any sort of medication.



I hope you enjoyed my four part Healing with Herbs series, let me know in the comments what you’d like to hear from me next!

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