Top5 Slippery Elm Bark Powder

  • Gentle fibre supplement
  • Healing properties
  • Safe in pregnancy


To make a slippery elm bark powder drink, first mix a teaspoon of powder with just enough water to make a thick paste then pour over additional water, stirring to even consistency. The longer it stands, the more water will be absorbed by the powder and the thicker it will get. So DOWN THE HATCH!

A teaspoon of powder with just enough water to blend into a paste.

The longer it stands the thicker it gets, so stir quickly and get it down the hatch!

Top5 Beneficial Actions of Slippery Elm Bark Powder (SEB)

1. Regulate bowel motions EITHER way!

In the case of constipation, SEB as a source of mucilaginous fibre, attracts water to dry and stubborn fecal matter, bulking it up and softening it so as to make it easy to pass. Part of the process of eliminating bowel motions is the churning and squeezing action of the bowel wall muscle, and when stools are stuck for one reason or another, the stimulation of the activity of the bowel wall muscles is decreased. It’s like there’s a beached whale lying there just waiting for the tide to come in.

And where diarrhea is concerned, the loose and watery consistency of fecal matter is plumped up by the same swelling action of the powder, creating solid stools.

IN PREGNANCY: Progesterone, the hormone that increases significantly during pregnancy, acts in many ways to sustain pregnancy including the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue of the gastrointestinal tract, which prolongs the time it takes to digest food, allowing for maximal absorption of nutrients to pass from mother to baby. This explains the burpy, farty, bogged-up joys of pregnancy.

2. Prebiotic (nourishing to beneficial gut flora).

SEB is a source of nourishment to beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that live inside the bowel. Probiotics contribute to our health by assisting with the digestion of foods, reducing inflammation and allergic response, contributing to cholesterol excretion and keeping “bad” bacteria in check. See above, when there has been irregularity in bowel motions, one can assume an imbalance of beneficial flora, so taking it for constipation or diarrhea is beneficial in mechanical and biochemical ways.

3. Treatment during allergies, colds and ‘flu.

After a couple of days of sneezing, coughing and wiping away at a runny nose one is left feeling swollen up with a scratchy throat, raw and ouchy nostrils and with difficulty swallowing or even talking. The mucilaginous coating of SEB on inflamed tissues is both soothing and healing. And as per above, it contributes to the recovery of infections by promoting beneficial bacteria and participating in the immune response.

4. Promote tissue healing, internally.

SEB stimulates the mucous secreting cells of the intestines which acts to reduce the pain associated with ulcers, reflux and diseases such as IBS and Chron’s Disease. Meanwhile it promotes the regeneration of intestinal cells, strengthening the integrity of the gut.

(I used SEB during my 7th month of pregnancy with SP, taking it before meals to prevent reflux and it worked a charm!)

5. Promote tissue healing, topically.

Traditionally, in Native America, SEB was used both orally and topically to suppurate (draw out pus and toxins) from flesh wounds as well as promote the healing of skin. Colonial Americans adopted this practice during the Civil War, using SEB poultices on injured soldiers.

(I have also used a SEB paste on some pretty bad sunburn and it was very soothing.)


  • Slippery elm bark powder also contributes to satiety, as it is a source of fibre, and when taken a half an hour or so before eating, it may play a role in appetite modification.
  • It has been used for many years as a source of nourishment in those who have trouble feeding: infants and those with anorexia caused by disease.
  • Note: as it slows the rate of digestion, it can interfere with the metabolism of drugs and supplements, and it is advised to separate the ingestion of a slippery elm bark preparation from medications or supplements by about two hours.

  • I have come across no conclusive information about its safety in pregnancy, so I contacted a lecturer from my college who assured me it is safe, but advised me to keep my hydration levels up. The only definitive causal relationship between slippery elm bark and “abortive” properties of slippery elm bark powder that I could find was that of its use by desperate women in years gone by, who would soak the bark of a slippery elm bark tree and insert it into their cervix, where it would swell and cause the cervix to open, thus causing an abortion. As such, the sale of whole bark was forbidden.
  • Slippery elm bark powder is derived from the inner bark of the tree, and when taken with plenty of water it is considered safe for use during pregnancy. In fact,  it can be included as part of pre-labour preparation and post-labour recovery due to its smooth muscle tissue nourishment and healing.
  • Kids can be dosed using a dropper, in 1mL increments or you can mix the paste in with a teaspoon of honey and bribe them with some iPad time! You could also mix the paste in with other foods but it does have a distinguishable earthy, “dirt” kind of taste. It’s acquired!


~Yours in freely shifting poo, K180, x








  1. Ooh am intrigued. I became vey fond of a daily Metamucil dose after my first pregnancy and am still going. Perhaps your suggestion is better!

  2. Thanks so much for advice, I was being cautious with preggy belly, but now in 2nd Tri, happy to relieve conditions. Waking up with digestive pains, for eg. 3.30am now, hope to get back to sleep… Cheers

    • Providing that you drink plenty of water along with your slippery elm bark powder and make sure to separate it by an hour or so each side from any supplements or medication you may be taking, then you’re doing it right. I hope you find relief! Katie :)

  3. I am in my first trimester and taking SE for Psoriasis. I have not taken the full dose because I was afraid it would affect my pregnancy. Web md mentioned something about it being abortive and it freaked me out this morning! Another website said the inner bark may be contaminated with the outer bark which an e abortive. Glad you cleared that up though.

    • Hi Melissa,

      I am suggesting one teaspoon before meals, so about three times daily and with plenty of water afterward too. I’m not sure what the dosage is for your psoriasis, but if you have any doubts please ensure you see a practitioner face to face. All the best with your pregnancy! :)

  4. Best blog ever, besides my daughter’s.
    You are funny, intelligent and informative!
    Nice work!

  5. THANK you katie..
    i was prone to you-name-it digestive issues pre pregnancy. now 22 weeks pregnant with the obvious constipation and day-ruining indigestion, without the joy of usual relieving prescription medications, and finding no relief from typical over the counter pharmacy preparations. a friend proffered slippery elm which WORKED (after i read that it was considered safe in pregnancy on “doctor internet”). then my midwife told me it could cause abortion. great ensuing distress. my obstetrician said it would be fine, but am SO SO happy to have a (once fellow pregnant) nutritionist clarify its uses&benefits and properly explain the abortive bit. thank you.

  6. Dear Katie,
    I read a lot about slippery elm bark. I also read it on your website. I would like to try taking SEB powder to heal my IBS with constipation. I do not know how to prepare the drink. What the dosage is. Shou;d I use hot or cold water? How many times a day to drink. I also take digestive enzymes with meals. Is it ok to take SEB powder 30 minutes before meals, and after 30 minutes I take my enzymes with food, or it would still interfere with digestive enzymes in 30 minutes? You explained that it get thicker if stay longer in the water. I take Metamucil powder, and if it stays longer time in water, it also thickens and aggravates constipation. How does SEB works if it thickens in water. Does it aggravate constipation like Metamucil? Can you help with these questions? I talked to many natural doctors who could not advise anything that would really heal my system. Thank you. Roza

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