Slippery

(Ulmus fulva) An American tree, best known as the medicinal slippery elm, the inner bark or cambium, the new tissues of which are formed each spring, and taken for among other complaints, stomach ulcers. It could be chewed for a cough (Corlett), or worms could be dealt with by taking it - "makes the intestines so slippery the worms can't hold on" (H M Hyatt). The American Indians made a soothing drink for fevers from it, and they also used it as an external application in some skin diseases (Lloyd), a practice that lasted in domestic medicine. For example, mixed with lard, slippery elm bark is applied to a boil in Alabama (R B Browne), or a paste could be made by pouring boiling water over the bark, and that could be put on the boil (H M Hyatt). One oddity from Alabama is a recipe for blood poisoning resulting from spiders, insects or snake injuries. The bark has to be powdered with that of sassafras, in equal parts, and this should be put into a pan with enough water to be absorbed. Then the mixture is to be put into a gauze bag and applied to the affected part (R B Browne). But in Illinois they claim that blood poisoning can be cured simply by drinking slippery elm tea (H M Hyatt).

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