What are the benefits of drinking slippery elm tea?
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What are the benefits of drinking slippery elm tea?

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Quick Answer

According to WebMD, there is insufficient evidence that slippery elm tea has any proven benefits. Traditionally, slippery elm is used to treat a variety of conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, coughs, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, hemorrhoids, colic, sore throats, constipation and syphilis. Additional treatments include colitis, diverticulitis, GI inflammation, herpes, intestinal parasites, wounds, burns, cold sores, gout, abscesses, ulcers, toothaches and rheumatism.

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Full Answer

Of all the possible uses for slippery elm, WebMD notes that the only treatment that may work is the use of commercial sore throat lozenges containing the ingredient. Slippery elm contains a type of soft fiber called mucilage, which is believed to soothe sore throats and increase mucous secretion. More evidence is needed to prove or disprove the efficacy of other uses. Slippery elm is possibly safe for people to ingest. However, when used on the skin, it can cause irritation and allergic reactions.

As a safety precaution, WebMD advises women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to not take slippery elm. Some people believe that slippery elm can cause miscarriages or abortions, but there is absolutely no proof to substantiate this claim. The mucilage in slippery elm may decrease the efficacy of other oral drugs, so WebMD advises taking slippery elm at least one hour after other medications.

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