The dried, inner bark of Ulmus fulva, Michaux (Nat. Ord. Ulmaceae). Eastern half of the United States, in woods.
Common Names: Slippery Elm, Elm, Elm Bark.
Principal Constituents.—Chiefly mucilage.
Preparation.—Mucilago Ulmi, Mucilage of Elm. Dose, Ad libitum.
Action and Therapy.—External. Elm bark forms a good emollient poultice of lighter weight than many others and is useful where such applications are permitted, as upon inflamed surfaces, hemorrhoids, and forming abscesses. As a rule, poultices should not be applied to open surfaces.
Internal. Elm bark is nutritive and demulcent. A mucilage of elm of good quality should be prepared with very cold water. Take shredded elm bark, bundle the shreds together after the manner of making a whisk broom, by tying one end with a long string. Suspend the bundle of bark in a vessel of ice water, from a support placed across the top of the container. A thick, ropy, mucilaginous preparation will result which is far more serviceable than those prepared on a water bath, the common method of preparing mucilage of elm.
Mucilage of elm is a splendid demulcent for irritable and irritated or inflamed mucous membranes, and to relieve dryness of the tissues of the mouth and throat, and to alleviate cough. It is one of the best agents to use after poisoning by irritants, to allay the distress and protect the inflamed tissues.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.