Slippery Soup™ / Slippery Elm Tea: I use this herb more than any other in my practice! It provides superb relief, and has kept many patients from hospitalization. It is a soothing nutritive herb which is perfectly suited for sensitive or inflamed mucous membrane lining of the digestive system. The bark contains mucilage and tannins that act as demulcent, emollient, protectorant, and astringent. You might think of it as a soothing internal bandage coating the digestive tract for its entire length. Imagine the relief for your pet to have a jelly-like coating soothing in an eosophagus (food pipe) burned by acrid vomitus, or in an ulcerated colon. This herb makes a huge difference. It is easy to make and has a very bland taste which makes it easy to add to tasty things.
Slippery Soup™: Preparation and Administration: You can find the herb in a dry powder form in capsules, as dried leaf in tea bags, or as loose dried leaf in the “bulk” products section of many health food stores. Any of these forms will do. Do not use the tincture (which already comes as a liquid in a dropper bottle). It may help in a few cases but it will not have all the healing physical properties of the brewed tea. The same goes for mixing the dried herb directly into the food. It will not give all the benefits of the brewed tea.
1. Simple Tea Method. You’ll prepare this medication just like a tea you might drink yourself. First, put a heaping teaspoon of dried herb in a coffee mug, and add 8-12 oz of boiling water or diluted broth. Allow to cool. If using capsules, open them up, discarding the shells, and note that it may take a bit less to get good results.
2. Long-Brew Method: To get more out of your supply or to create a thicker medicine use the same amounts of herb and water listed above and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
3. The resultant liquid, once cooled, should be somewhat thicker than water. If it is as thin as water double the dry herb amount next time, or try the long-brew method. If it is thick like jelly, that’s fine. You can use half of the dosages listed below. This makes it much easier to spoon feed reluctant patients! Do not worry about any loose herb in the liquid. It does not have to be filtered out. This infusion or decoction will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.
4. Add the liquid to the food at mealtimes, or add to the water bowl, or give as a treat. The goal is 4 doses per day, but even once daily will provide some relief. I hate to force feed anything. But this is one treatment that is probably worth it if you must. If force feeding is your only choice use the stove top brewing method and aim for a thicker, jellylike consistency so you can administer less physical amount for the same beneficial effect.
5. Palatability Tricks: To give Slippery Soup™ as a treat (my preferred way!) you can do several things. You can mix the liquid 50/50 with broth, soup, a favorite canned food, milk, tuna juice, or baby food. It may not smell great to you, but these soups are highly appreciated by pets! You can also add it to yogurt or cottage cheese if dairy is not an issue.
6. Dose size (goal is 4 doses per day):
Cats and Dogs under 25 lbs 1-2 Tablespoons
Dogs 25-50 lbs 2-4 Tablespoons
Dogs 50 lbs and up ¼ to ½ cup
Epilogue I: Slippery Elm is a very safe herb. It can literally be a life saver by preventing dehydration from continued vomiting or diarrhea. It is virtually impossible to overdose, and it can be used for extended periods of time. However, if you find your pet needs this treatment for several weeks and the symptoms still reappear when you attempt to wean off or discontinue, this is a sign of significant chronic disease and you should seek professional veterinary care.
Epilogue II: I am a Natural Health Coach for people as well. These first aid guidelines are solid recommendations for humans as well. This includes the Slippery Elm information. You can count human adults as “Dogs 50 lbs and up” : ) for dosing.
Good Luck! Good Healing!