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Ulmus Fulva. Slippery Elm.

Botanical name:

Related entry: Elm bark

Slippery elm (Ulmus, U.S.P.; Elm) is the dried bark of the slippery elm, Ulmus fulva, Michaux (N.O. Urticaceae), deprived of the dark outer portion. The bark usually occurs in large strips, several decimetres in length, but only about 3 millimetres thick, consisting of secondary bast. The outer surface is reddish-yellow, with patches of the brown outer portion, and is longitudinally striated; inner surface, tawny yellow. The bark is extremely tough and fibrous. The transverse section is minutely chequered, and, after moistening, exhibits numerous cells filled with transparent, swollen mucilage. Odour, strong, resembling foenugreek; taste, very mucilaginous.

Constituents.—The chief constituent of slippery elm bark is mucilage, of which it contains so much that 10 grains of the powdered bark will convert a fluid ounce of water into a thick jelly. It also contains a little tannin.

Action and Uses.—Slippery elm bark is used chiefly as a demulcent in catarrhal affections of the intestine and urinary tract, and in diarrhoea and dysentery. The powdered bark is sometimes mixed with hot water to form a poultice.

PREPARATIONS.

Cataplasma Ulmi Fulvae, B.P.C.—SLIPPERY ELM POULTICE.
Slippery elm, in powder, 24; boric acid, in powder, 4; wood charcoal, in powder, 4; water, boiling, sufficient to produce 100. A useful application for indolent ulcers and whitlows.
Decoctum Ulmi Fulvae, B.P.C.—DECOCTION OF SLIPPERY ELM. 1 in 8.
Used as a demulcent in dysentery, diarrhoea, and diseases of the urinary passages. Dose.—4 to 15 mils (1 to 4 fluid drachms), or more.
Enema Ulmi Fulvae, B.P.C.—ENEMA OF SLIPPERY ELM. 1 in 20.
The enema should be injected while warm, about a pint being used in cases of inflammation of the bowels.
Mucilago Ulmi, U.S.P.—MUCILAGE OF ELM. Syn.—Mucilago Ulmi Fulvae.
Slippery elm, bruised, 6; distilled water, 100. Used as a demulcent in the treatment of inflammatory affections of the respiratory, intestinal, and urinary tracts; it is also applied locally for the relief of erysipelas and other cutaneous inflammations. Average dose.—16 mils (4 fluid drachms).

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.



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