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. 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).
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).