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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: slippery elm (Pronunciation: SLIH peh ree ELM)

What is slippery elm ()?

The use of slippery elm in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Slippery elm is also known as Ulmus fulva, red elm, sweet elm, Indian elm, and moose elm.

Slippery elm has been used orally to soothe irritation or ulceration of the stomach and intestines. Topically or locally, it has been used for toothaches, cold sores, abcesses, boils, ulcers, burns, and other skin conditions.

Slippery elm has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of slippery elm may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Slippery elm may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of slippery elm ()?

Although rare, allergic reactions to slippery elm may occur. Stop taking slippery elm and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

An allergic rash has been reported infrequently with the use of topical slippery elm preparations. Other less serious side effects have not been reported. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What is the most important information I should know about slippery elm ()?

Slippery elm has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of slippery elm may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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