I need suggestions for slippery elm bark

esoterica(7)May 4, 2005

I made a mistake on my internet order and I recieved four packages of four ounces of slippery elm bark when I thought I was getting the powder. It's not powder. LOL

I don't know how to use it. I am getting some powder in soon for my specific apothocary uses but what to do with this bark?

Teas? Does anyone make tincture out of it? Has anyone tried to powder it at home? If so, how?

Me Oh My...

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I'd make a really good tea for sore throats with it...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 11:44AM
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Herbite(z4 WI)

The inner bark itself works great for tea, especially if it's the shredded kind. Ends up making a cup of thicker liquid (almost like really runny jello). I don't mind the flavor myself, tastes kind of nutty and sweet. Most people I know only object to the consistency. If it's too thick, you can add more water. But I've found the tea is the best way to get the benefits from slippery elm (soothing upset stomache & sore throats). Never made a tincture of it, personally.

It is possible to powder it at home. A coffee grinder dedicated to herb use would probably work. I know someone who used an old fashioned industrial metal blender to powderize it. (The thing had some real ZIP!) She paused while doing it, and shook up the contents so the heavier particles settled. Worked well, but she found she had to sift it a few times to get larger particles out. But in the end, perfect powder. If you use a blender, be sure to give it a few moments to settle before taking the top off. Dusty stuff!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 11:52AM
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Thanks for the suggestions friends.

I tried to ground it up and it makes a stringy mess. We use it in capsules but in teas? I've made a tea with it in there but that was a special tea for a friend who was sick.

Mine is shredded... Yes.

I might give the company a call to find out what I can do with it. Thanks again...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 8:30AM
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Cricket48(z8 NC)

Some of my herbal capsules that I take daily list directions to take "with food". I take 3 of the slippery elm capsules each morning first thing because Slippery elm inner bark was a food of some Indian tribes long ago. They even used it at to times to avoid starvation.
I have also read that slippery elm is used to control excessive mucus. Wheat products and dairy products can cause me to be congested in the mornings. So, if I received shredded slippery elm by mistake, then I would add it to my dry herbal tea mixture. I have opened capsules in the past and added the powder to my teas as a decongestant. Years ago, I began to make my own herbal teas by putting the kinds of herbs that are specific to my own ailments in one container.
(Actually this all started when I met a man at an arthritis support group in 1996 who seemed very, very restless. I was somewhat annoyed by his figeting and tried kindly to put him at ease. Later after the program, he wanted my phone number so we began to share information and became friends. He confided at that time that he was suffering from "gout". It caused his knee and toe to swell. It was extremely painful and it became necessary that he visit an arthritis specialist. This doctor prescribed very large doses of prednisone because of his condition. But he felt the prednisone caused his agitation. His doctor had just taken him off one brand of prednisone and put him on another because he had a bad reaction to the coating on the first brand. The latest side affect was that he could not relax to get to sleep. He was averaging only 2 hours of sleep per night. It had been many days since he had slept well. I told him that I was getting really good at growing herbs and had found a great deal of herbal lore on the internet. I asked if he would like for me to add some chamomile, or some relaxing type herbs and spices to his tea for him. He drank much ice tea all day and evening. I suggested that if it was warm that it might be more relaxing and promote sleep. I suggested using green tea instead of the black tea. I also made him a rice bag that he could wrap in a towel and then around his knee after heating in the microwave. This helped him to let go and get some badly needed sleep. Finally his doctor discontinued the prednisone and proclaimed him free of that episode of gout).
Sometime later, I decided to make medicinal herbal tea for myself. I had a bunch of herbal teas from sales and from gifts crammed in my cabinets. My aunt had emptied her spice cabinets and given me so many spices I did not know where I would put them all. I consulted a favorite book (The Complete Book of Spices), as part of my research. Most spices also have medicinal uses. I opened the herbal tea bags and combined them all in a clean, dry container with a lid. I added the spices that would help me as many are medicinal. When I feel the spiced ingredients in my tea are complete in my large container of dry tea and herb ingredients then I begin to try small batches (I normally make a two or four cup pots), to check for taste. I use a drip type coffee pot with a clean filter for each new pot. It make take me days to get it just right but each time I taste some of it I know if I need to add a little of something more (usually a spice) to make the taste and aroma pleasurable. For years, I used honey to sweeten each cup. This works fine. When the healthfood grocer started carrying stevia... I began to use this powder sparingly for my dry tea mixture, as it is quite sweet.
I continue the tasting process until it is perfect to my own taste. I normally end up with a large steamer type pot full... about 5 pounds or so. When the mixture of my latest batch of herbal tea is just right for me, then I put it into an airtight container/canister and store any excess in the freezer in ziploc freezer bags (quart size) that I get from dollar store. When I was working full time I kept a cannister at work and often got compliments on the lovely aroma.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 10:44PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Slippery elm bark is a key component of a fabulous tea called Throat Coat.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 7:56PM
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I am lucky to be able to get slippery elm bark from an herbalist here who collects it himself. This year, I helped him harvest a tree. Quite an operation, takes a week or two to strip the bark, and harvest the root bark as well.

He is the only person I've ever seen use the root bark;he learned it from his W. Virginian mentor, Catfish Gray, of good reknown. The root bark is heads above regular bark for mucilaginous qualities, but is Hard Work!, so you rarely see it offered.

At any rate, I just chew the strips of bark, letting saliva mix and dissolve the desired bits, and swallow a bit at a time. It's gummy, but not unpleasant, and quite soothing. When the bark is "chewed out", you spit out the spent part.

A word of warning: When you have really good slippery elm bark, the next morning's bowel movement is quite notable in it's, um, ease of exit. Again, not unpleasant, and better than any other herbal I know for a smooth cleanout. You're lucky to have bark strips; it keeps longer and is better medicine, to my mind, than powder, providing you're amenable to chewing it.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:47PM
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Try to combine the elm bark powder with other sore throat remedies to give it flavor. The traditional combination is with thyme which you can grow yourself or buy in bulk in scoop and weigh places among the kitchen herbs. Tastes great together.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 9:47AM
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