Have you wondered about the difference between slippery elm root and bark? Across the globe, different plants are prized, grown, and harvested for the medicinal qualities they possess, but not every plant offers potential health benefits in the same way. Many herbs and trees are harvested for their leaves and flowers, while others are valued for their roots or rhizomes. On the other hand, the roots of some plants are not used at all. For example, slippery elm root is not harvested for use in the supplement world. Instead, the inner portion of the bark is collected and preserved for use in supplements, cough drops, and teas. Read on to learn more about the benefits of slippery elm bark and the unique ways it can support your natural, healthy lifestyle.
Differences Between Roots, Rhizomes, and Bark
If you’re like some consumers, you may have been confusing slippery elm root with other parts of the plant. Roots are the “part of the body of a plant that develops, typically, from the radicle and grows downward into the soil, anchoring the plant and absorbing nutriment and moisture.” Rhizomes are thick, underground stems that are harvested for their health potential as well as the flavor and spice they add to cooked dishes. Ginger, turmeric and galangal are all examples of rhizomes that are harvested for their supplemental and nutritional benefits. The inner soft bark, or bast, is plant tissue produced by the vascular cambium that works similar to human skin, transferring food from the leaves to the rest of the plant.
Potential Health Benefits of Slippery Elm Root vs. Bark
Even though the slippery elm root possesses no proven health benefits, the sticky, inner bark is rich in antioxidants and is a beneficial source of mucilage. Mucilage is a thick, sticky substance produced by nearly every plant which plays a role in moving water and food throughout the organism as well as germinating seeds and thickening membranes.
According to researchers, mucilaginous plants have “been studied by pharmacologists and found to possess biologically active principles. However, they all have in common a beneficial effect on burns, wounds, ulcers, external and internal inflammations and irritations, diarrhea, and dysentery.” Additionally, the mucilage in the slippery elm bark is packed with antioxidants, making the supplements created from it a helpful support for individuals struggling with a wide range of symptoms and seasonal afflictions.
What You Need to Know About Taking Slippery Elm Bark
Occasionally, slippery elm supplements masquerade under the name slippery elm root, but don’t be fooled, all slippery elm supplements are derived from the slick, inner bark of the tree. Slippery elm is taken in several different ways, the most natural of which involves the harvested and cleaned bark being brewed into tea directly with hot water.
Fear not, you don’t have access to fresh slippery elm bark to reap its benefits; Natural Healthy Concepts offers many high quality supplements and tea. Dried slippery elm supplements should be taken in a quantity of 800 mg to 1,000 mg, up to four times a day.
Slippery elm teas can be used with similar frequency, and cough drops containing slippery elm can be used as needed and according to packaging instructions. If you’re worried about drug interactions, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider before introducing new medications and supplements into your health routine to rule out any concerns.
Check Out These Slippery Elm Bark Products
Are you ready to try slippery elm? Stock your cupboards with teas, drops, and supplements to bring comfort and healing to your home as the seasons change. Slippery Elm Bark from Nature’s Way is a soothing emollient for digestive system support, which is available in easy-to-swallow veggie capsules.
For a warm, comforting experience, try Slippery Elm Powder from NOW Foods – a nutrient-rich supplement that can be added to warm water to create a tea that supports the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.
For an easy-to-use, liquid supplement, check out Slippery Elm from Oregon’s Wild Harvest. This slippery elm bark extract can be taken three times daily in warm water to provide temporary relief from occasional discomfort in the throat and stomach. Feel free to add raw honey for a sweet tonic that naturally supports a healthy internal response.
Were you previously confused about slippery elm root? Have you tried slippery elm bark supplements? Tell us more in the comments section below.