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Week of Feb. 22, 2013 - slippery elm ball with Monica Jean

Friday, February 22, 2013 6:24 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
Green greetings to you all!

I am enjoying the snowy winter and the snow days of “free” time, being inside. I trust you are finding some time, too, to tidy up your herb storage area, dream about the garden/s you will plant, and try out some new herbal potions.

As you know, I don’t use, or recommend the use of powdered herbs or of herbs in capsules. But there are a few herbs that I do use almost always as powders, such as slippery elm, the herb of the week. In the expanded ezine, we will look more closely at the pros and cons of using powdered herbs.

When I want to add large amounts of antioxidant culinary herbs (leaves or seeds) to my food, I will often powder them. I grind them in an electric coffee mill that I keep just for powdering herbs.  It grinds dried herbs so finely that “smoke” (tiny particles of ground herb) drift into the air when I take the lid off the grinder.

And there are a few herbs that I buy as powders, such as slippery elm, because they are too hard or too dense for my little grinder to tackle and survive.

Ulmus fulva, slippery elm, or red elm, is a small elm tree that prefers wet environments. The inner bark is the part used medicinally. It is best harvested from branches, so it does not require the destruction of any tree. (Elm blight usually kills the tree before it gets to be a dozen years old though.)

Slippery elm inner bark is a soothing demulcent that coats and eases the digestive system, from the mouth to the throat, into the esophagus and stomach, all through the small and large intestine, right down to the rectum. Folks with IBS, ulcerative colitis, even Crone’s disease hail slippery elm as a miracle.

Lavish use of slippery elm heals acid reflux and can replace the use of antacids and acid inhibitors.

Both the inner bark and the powdered inner bark are commonly for sale. The inner bark may be brewed into a tea or an infusion, but the resulting slimy drink has a texture that is hard to handle unless heated and honeyed. In one instance, a woman healed herself of Crone’s disease using a tincture she make from the dried bark.

While slippery elm grows by my house, I have never harvested it.  I use slippery elm powder that I buy commercially. I mix it with honey and rolled it into slippery elm balls that I can carry with me when I travel and have at hand when home. Slippery elm balls are so easy to make that a child can do it, especially if she is my granddaughter. Or powdered slippery elm can be added to food, as in this nourishing way to start your day.


 
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