Why you need this herbal remedy [Slippery Elm!]

February 10th, 2023 at 10:43 am EDT

This is one of the lesser known, but SO beneficial herbal remedies that can really help your pets.. Also it can be good for all of those in your family, with 4 and 2 legs... I hope you are all doing well 😊

Not only is Slippery Elm is awesome, but so are the omega 3 fatty acids found in Krill:

  • Improve your pet's Skin:

    • Omega 3 Fatty Acids may help the signs and symptoms of allergic skin disease

  • Aid in normal brain / cognitive function:

    • Help maintain brain health and resilience to degeneration

  • Support and maintain your pet's musculoskeletal system:

    • Anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce swelling in joints

My very reasonably priced Krill Supplement is here:

Dr. Jones' Ultimate Omega 3 Supplement for Dogs and Cats


Slippery Elm for Pets

I have used Slippery Elm for the last few years, and it is now one of my most favorite herbal remedies for dogs, cats (and even on me!)

I am finding it effective for gastrointestinal disorders (from constipation to vomiting),Inflammatory Bowel Disease, for coughing, for cats that feel sick with CKD, and for bladder inflammation (Urinary Tract Disease)

Here is a very informative article by Jean Hofve, retired holistic veterinarian, author of Paleo Dog

Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) is a happy exception to the fears and cautions surrounding the use of herbs in animals. In fact, slippery elm for pets is very safe and nontoxic. The part of the tree used is the inner bark, which is soft and stringy. Its texture, however, can make it challenging to use. It doesn’t succumb easily to a mortar and pestle, so it may be easiest to buy it in capsule form, which is available at most health food stores or Internet sources. That way, it’s already ground to a fine powder and can easily be mixed into dosage form.

Slippery elm contains many nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium and several trace minerals. These nutrients make slippery elm for pets a beneficial choice, especially for recuperating pets. Another perk? It may stay down when other foods are not tolerated. In fact, slippery elm is known as “emergency” food. George Washington and his troops survived for days during the bitterly cold winter at Valley Forge on nothing but gruel made from slippery elm bark.


Slippery elm is one of the herbs used in the original formulation of Essiac, also called “Ojibwa Tea,” an herbal mixture widely promoted as a cancer-fighter.

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease

In the gastrointestinal tract, slippery elm acts directly. Think of it as a sort of natural “Pepto-Bismol.” (However, Pepto-Bismol itself should not ever be used in pets because it contains salicylate, aka aspirin). When it comes to slippery elm for pets, the plant’s mucilage content coats, soothes and lubricates the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract. That makes it an excellent treatment for ulcers, gastritis, colitis and other inflammatory bowel problems. It’s high in fiber, which helps normalize intestinal action. This means it can be used to relieve both diarrhea and constipation.

Kidney Disease

It may also help alleviate nausea and vomiting in pets suffering from non-GI illnesses, such as kidney disease. A syrup made from slippery elm bark is helpful in healing mouth ulcers from all causes (see recipe below).

Bladder Inflammation

Slippery elm is said to relieve inflammation of virtually any mucous membrane and is used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions of the lungs (bronchitis, asthma), kidneys, bladder (cystitis, FLUTD symptoms), throat (tonsillitis) and joints (arthritis).

In the case of cystitis (bladder inflammation), slippery elm is thought to soothe the bladder lining, even though there is no direct connection between the digestive and urinary tracts. But its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components may be at work. Slippery elm contains magnesium, so it may not be a good choice if your pet is dealing with an elevated urinary pH or if a bacterial infection is present. Why? Because struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) crystal formation may be a risk, causing more serious urinary problems.

Slippery elm bark also contains natural pentosans, a class of complex sugars that contains the same compound found in the pharmaceutical drug Elmiron®, which claims to be ”the major pain-relieving treatment for interstitial cystitis (IC) in women.” Pentosans have been used by the pharmaceutical industry as anticoagulants and anti-inflammatories for more than 40 years. (Anticoagulant effects are not seen at normal doses.) Since bladder disease in cats is very similar to that in women, slippery elm may be especially beneficial for our feline friends. Small, frequent dosages of pentosan have been shown in humans to be more effective than single large doses, and the same may be true for cats.

Using Slippery Elm for Pets

Give 1 capsule (per 10-20 pounds), opened up and the contents mixed with warm water, when using slippery elm for dogs and cats daily - this is the 400mg capsule. Slippery elm powder will absorb many times its own weight in water, so be sure to add enough to make a gruel. This gruel can be given before meals by syringe or eyedropper, or added to baby food, canned food or a homemade diet. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and is usually well-tolerated by cats and dogs when mixed with food.

Creating a Syrup

Author Anitra Frazier gives the following recipe for Slippery Elm Bark syrup in her book, The New Natural Cat, which applies equally well to our canine companions when adjusted for weight: into a small saucepan place 1/2 cup cold water and 3/4 teaspoon powdered slippery elm bark. Whip with a fork to break up clumps. Bring to simmer on low heat, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 or 2 minutes or until slightly thickened to a syrup or molasses consistency. Cool and refrigerate for up to 7 days. Commercially made syrups are also available.


For long-term use, it may be best to give slippery elm apart from meals, supplements and medications by at least an hour, and again at bedtime. Since cats and small dogs are ideally fed 3 to 4 times a day, that often makes a reasonable schedule for slippery elm, as well. A separate dose at bedtime will allow it to work, undisturbed, to enhance its benefits.

Medications should be given 1 to 2 hours before a dose of slippery elm, since the mucilaginous coating it creates can inhibit their absorption. Because it is itself so nutritious, there is much less concern about giving it with or near feedings. Most informational sources don’t make any distinction regarding timing of doses.

For Gastrointestinal Problems

Give a dose 30 to 60 minutes before, with or just after meals. If the problem is known to be in the upper GI (stomach or small intestine), taking it before meals will provide the best protection. For problems in the large intestine, such as constipation or inflammatory bowel disease, it may be better to give with food or just after meals. Give a half capsule or a half to 1 teaspoon of syrup (2.5 to 5 ml) per 15 pounds of your pet’s body weight.

For Mouth and Throat Problems

To soothe and heal mouth ulcers, give by syringe, coating the ulcerated tissue, at least an hour before or after food. For sore throat or cough, give by syringe and coat the back of the throat as much as you can; of course, stop immediately if choking occurs.

The dose can be adjusted for your pet’s size. Use plenty, but don’t get crazy; remember, this is an endangered plant. For a cat, 5 ml is more than enough, but for a large dog, 20 or 30 ml may be quite reasonable.

For Cystitis, Asthma or other Inflammatory Problems

Give 3 to 4 times a day.

For Skin Problems

Make a soothing paste of slippery elm powder (mix the powder with cold water) as a poultice for hot spots, insect burns, rashes, scratches, ulcerated areas or other shallow wounds. Smear onto the wound and allow it to dry. Native Americans used slippery elm bark to stop bleeding. It forms a natural “bandage” that can be left in place for several hours — if you can convince your dog to leave it alone! Just moisten with water to remove it.

Heal Your Pet At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew

P.S. Should you be using Slippery Elm?


Very safe, very effective, and I have seen it work so well on coughs, and gastrointestinal disorders.

P.P.S. About Krill...

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are considered to be one of the most important supplements in Veterinary Medicine (Clinician's Brief). Dr Jones' Natural Krill Oil provides high levels of the important Fatty Acids, EPA and DHA, better absorption/bioavailability, WITHOUT the toxins now found in many Fish Oil supplements.

Get your bottle here:

Dr. Jones' Krill Oil Supplement

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Dr Andrew Jones resigned from the College of Veterinarians of B.C. effective December 1 2010, meaning he cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make specific medical recommendations for your pet.

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