I believe in the power of simplicity. With the busyness (busi-ness centric focus) and fast pace of modern day living – also a time when leaky gut syndrome, gluten intolerance, malnutrition, and toxicity are at an all-time-high — it is extra important to have quick and easy solutions to implement into the daily diet to nourish, cleanse, and soothe. One of my favorite foods (also an herb in this case!) is Slippery Elm Bark. It is the inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree, powdered down and consumed as food. Rich in tannins and mucilage, it soothes the intestines, reduces inflammation, and provides gentle nourishment worth writing about. Native Americans loved using this inner bark externally to heal wounds and internally as a nourishing food, ample to provide sustenance during times of famine. Wonderful for children and pregnant/nursing mothers too. I am a nursing mother and can attest to it’s supportive qualities. It is also simple to incorporate! Just a tsp or tbl per cup of liquid will do. You can create a simple beverage using 1 cup of hot water, 1 tbl coconut oil, 1 tbl Slippery Elm Bark Powder, a dash of stevia, a dash of sea salt or Himalayan salt – blended up! We enjoy making a more porridge-like consistency with it for our toddler with the add on’s of chia seed gel and organic hemp seeds. It is reminiscent of eating Cream of Wheat, minus the wheat. We love the flavor of hot oatmeal in the morning, and will definitely enjoy that from time to time. But consuming oats on a daily basis (even after extensive soaking) is a bit heavy on our bodies, so we like to consume slippery elm as a more sustainable alternative to that flavor we love. We do take in medicine from the oat plant on a daily basis; in the form of oat top/oatstraw infusion, but as far as the grain itself goes, we like to limit that. Slippery Elm Bark is excellent if you are on GAPS diet, Ketogenic diet, Paleo diet, etc. A very “friendly” choice!
My absolute favorite breakfast? A combination of our coconut-based Healthy Crunchy cereal, Pine Power Cedar Nut Flakes (by Ringing Cedars of Russia – the company that created and sells the Anastasia books – a personal favorite series of mine!), topped with some “milk” made by blending:
~ 4 cups of (real) spring water
~ 1 cup of cedar nut flakes
~ 1 tbl of slippery elm bark powder
~ & a dash of (real) salt and stevia
(Yields 1 quart of milk which can be stored in the fridge for 2 days, preferably in glass) No need to even blend the milk, as it creates a beautiful smooth texture on it’s own. Rich in healthy fats, silica, minerals, iodine, protein. . . (the list goes on!)
Another excellent Slippery Elm recipe I will share with you comes from one of my favorite books for seasonally-based activities for little ones and family: The Rhythm of Family by Amanda & Stephen Soule – she must have found Amy’s recipe along the way and I am grateful for her sharing it in the book.
Slippery Elm Throat Lozenges by Amy Carol
(makes about 68 lozenges)
What You’ll Need:
~ 1/2 cup powdered slippery elm
~ 1/4 cup tea (peppermint, licorice, and/or ginger lemon works well)
~ 1-2 tbl of honey
What To Do:
Make the tea and pour it onto the powdered slippery elm in a bowl. Stir until a dough forms. Knead until smooth, adding a bit of extra slippery elm powder to keep it from sticking to your hands. Pat or roll the dough flat, about 1/8″ thick. Using a small circular cutter (such as the cap of a bottle) cut out the lozenges, re-rolling the scraps as needed. Smooth any rough edges with your fingers. Let the pieces dry for a day or two, and store them in a tin or jar. To consume: Suck on a lozenge, allowing it to dissolve and coat the throat. Enjoy!
May the simplicity and power of the Slippery Elm soothe you, nourish you, and gently encourage you to “go with the flow” in grace! And as always, feel free to edit the recipes shared above to suit your needs & taste!