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Ulmus fulva


Ulmus fulva


No documantation

Vernacular Name

Sweet Elm, Indian elm, moose elm, red elm, elm.


Ulmus fulva or Sweet Elm has been used traditionally by the Native Americans for digestive disorders and is now commercially available as an herbal mixture. The tree contains mucilage, which become a gel-like substance when combined with water. This substance then can coat the mouth, stomach and intestines, producing a soothing effect on the digestive tract.

U. fulva grows quickly to a maximum height of 40m. Between the months of February and May, U. fulva produces small, short-stalked, perfect flowers from the buds of the twig. The leaves grow to roughly 18cm long and have jagged edges. The pubescence on the buds and twigs of U. fulva make distinguishable from other Elm species.

Origin / Habitat

U. fulva is a species of the deciduous elm tree native to North America ranging from Maine and southern Quebec to eastern North Dakota; from northern Texas to northern Georgia. Though it typically grows best in moist soils, it can be found in drier climates, as well.

Chemical Constituents

Mucilage (D-galactose, L-rhamnose and D-galacturonic acid), Cholesterol, campesterol, beta-sitosterol, sesquiterpenes, tannins. [1],[2]

Plant Part Used

Bark, Root

Medicinal Uses


Digestive Aid



Irritable Bowel Syndrome




Most Frequently Reported Uses

Digestive Aid



Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Dosage Range 

Tea: 3- 4g of powdered bark steeped in hot water 1-3 times per day.

Dried Powder Capsules: 500-1500mg daily

Most Common Dosage

500mg twice daily in capsule form



The mucilage in the plant is responsible for its use in soothing mucous membranes of the throat, stomach and intestines. Many of the studies published are on a product known as Essiac, which is a combination of U. fulva and several other herbs. Studies on the individual use of U. fulva are limited.

Several small laboratory studies have investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of U. fulva [3],[4] as well as its antioxidant properties. [5]


At this time, there are not any published clinical studies.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Interaction with Drugs

There are no reported interactions between U. fulva and specific prescription or over-the-counter medications. However, based on pharmacology, it should not be used in combination with laxatives.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

No documantation


Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Age limitation

No documantation

Adverse reaction

No documantation

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  1)  Native American Herbs


  1. Hough L. Chemical Constitution of Slippery Elm Mucilage: Isolation of 3-Methyl D-Galactose from the Hydrolysis Products. Nature. 1950;165(4184);34-35.
  2. Bacon JS. Apiose and mono-O-methyl sugars as minor constituents of the leaves of deciduous trees and various other species. Biochem J. Sep 1971;124(3):555-562.
  3. NAL. Hybrid protocols plus natural treatments for inflammatory conditions. Posit Health News. Fall 1998;(No 17):16-18.
  4. Langmead L. Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an in vitro study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. Feb 2002;16(2):197-205.
  5. Choi HR. Peroxynitrite scavenging activity of herb extracts. Phytother Res. Jun 2002;16(4):364-367.


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