Thursday, 31 October 2013

Slippery Elm Bark - Herbs for Dogs and Cats

Slippery Elm Bark herb for dogs and cats
★ 3 min read
In this article:
1. What is Slippery Elm Bark?
2. Health Benefits of Slippery Elm Bark
3. How to Use Slippery Elm Bark
4. Cautions
5. Side Effects
6. Drug Interactions
7. Dosing Chart

1.0 What is Slippery Elm Bark

Slippery elm bark (Ulmus fulva) is the inner bark of the slippery elm tree.  The inner bark has been used as a demulcent (soothing) herbal remedy for centuries.  The inner bark is stripped from the outer bark, air dried and used in various forms to heal ailments.
Slippery elm bark contains astringent tannins and mucilage. When mixed with fluid, slippery elm bark turns into a healing, soothing, lubricating gel. The gel works to coat and sooth mucosal tissues in the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammation.

Your dog and cat's mucosal tissues can become inflamed, swollen and irritated as a result of: dietary indiscretions, bacterial and viral infections, trauma and illness. Slippery elm is an excellent herbal remedy to help treat this type of inflammation, swelling and irritation.

Slippery elm bark is effective for coughs, sore throats, inflamed gums, diarrhea and a variety of stomach issues and conditions. It's also an effective topical remedy to treat boils, burns and skin inflammation.
This wonderful bark also triggers stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract, promoting increased mucus secretion. This helps protect the upper and lower GI tract from excess acidity and helps prevent the formation of ulcers. 
Slippery elm bark is safe for puppies and kittens and dogs and cats of all ages, and has a sweet scent similar to caramel.
Slippery elm bark is safe for puppies, dogs, kittens and cats of all ages, and has a sweet scent similar to caramel.

2.0 Health Benefits of Slippery Elm Bark

Slippery elm bark reduces:
Helps to heal damaged tissue:
Mucosal tissue
Skin tissues
Helps fight infection:
Slippery elm bark is a helpful remedy in the treatment of health issues and conditions, the following is a partial list:

Colon cancer
Liver cancer
Mammary cancer 
Ovarian cancer
Uterine cancer
Gastrointestinal issues and conditions including:
Anal fissures
Anal gland issues
Chronic indigestion resulting in malnutrition
Crohn's Disease
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Leaky Gut 

Oral health issues:
Inflamed gums
Oral abscess
Respiratory issues and conditions, including:
Hoarse vocal cords from excessive barking, trauma, or illness
Sore throat
Skin issues:
Sun burn
Urinary Tract Issues:

3.0 How to Use Slippery Elm Bark

Slippery elm bark can be used in various forms:
- Capsules
- Dry powder
- Syrup
- Tea
- Tincture
See the dosing chart provided at the end of the article.
Slippery Elm Bark Powder
General Use:
See the dosage chart by body weight provided farther below. 
 Slippery elm bark powder can be added directly to:
- Your dog and cat's food.
If your cat or dog is experiencing diarrhea, the dosage is 1/2 tsp of slippery elm bark powder for every 10 lbs of body weight. Administer the slippery elm bark 2 times up to 4 times per day. For more information on treating and remedying diarrhea go here.

The dry powder can also be used to make slippery elm bark syrup, see the recipe below.

Slippery Elm Bark Syrup Recipe

Slippery elm bark syrup recipe for dogs and cats

Slippery Elm Bark Syrup Recipe
You'll Need:
- Slippery elm bark powder
- Water
- Stainless steel saucepan

- Place 1 tsp to slippery elm bark powder in your saucepan.
- Add one cup of water.
- Stir the powder and water.
- Turn the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, while you stir the mixture.
- Once the mixture reaches the boiling point, turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Then remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the resulting syrup to cool to room temperature.
- The slippery elm syrup is ready to use.
- Administer the slippery elm syrup to your dog or cat 2 times up to 4 times per day as needed.
- The syrup can be dosed directly into your dog or cat's mouth, mixed into food or offered on the palm of your hand or on a plate. 
Small size dogs - 1 teaspoon, 2x up to 4x per day
Medium size dogs - 1 to 2 tbs, 2x to 4x per day
Large dogs - 3 to 4 tbs, 2x to 4x per day
Cats - 1 teaspoon, 2x up to 4x per day
Use for as long as needed.
The active constituents in slippery elm bark increases when mixed with fluid and heated in the making of the syrup.

Store the syrup in the refrigerator. Make a new batch every day or two until no longer needed.

Slippery Elm Bark Capsules, Tea and Tincture

You can purchase: slippery elm bark capsules, cut and sifted bark to make tea, or tincture from a natural health store or herbal store.

Cut and sifted slippery elm bark can also be used to make a brewed tea that can be served once cooled. Brew a new batch daily until no longer needed

For dosing by body weight, see the dosing chart at the end of the article.

4.0 Cautions

Dose at least 30 minutes away from conventional drugs.

5.0  Side Effects

None unless your dog or cat is hypersensitive (allergic) to slippery elm trees, in which case do not use slippery elm bark powder.

6.0 Drug Interactions

Slippery elm contains a soft fiber called mucilage which can decrease how much medicine the body absorbs.
To prevent interaction, administer slippery elm bark at least one hour after conventional drugs.

7.0 General Guidelines for Dosing

Dosing Based on Your Dog and Cat's Body Weight
To zoom-in, click on the chart below:

Slippery Elm Bark daily dosage based on dog and cat body weight

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld