IBS Network

Has anyone consulted a herbalist?

I live across the road to a herbalist. I hadn't seen her for a while, but yesterday she asked how my 'stomach problems' are going. I told her they are no better and she said I should go over and see her and she will sort me out with some 'bits & pieces', including slippery elm.

I know she means well, but there seems to be no end of people ready to relieve us of our money, but with no tried & tested cure. If there was one, we would all know about it! :)

Should I give it a go, or am I just going to end up adding to my collection of useless pills & potions?

PS - I love that we can now edit posts :)

12 Replies


I've read a lot in recent weeks about Bile Acid Diarrhoea/Malabsorption (BAD) which is thought by some gastroenterologists to be one of the causes of IBS. The treatment is a powder called colestyramine which you mix into a gloopy drink to absorb bile acids and is very effective. Some herbalists recommend using slippery elm bark powder instead which, they say, has the same effect - capsules don't work in the same way apparently. Might be worth a go.



Thanks. At least if it doesn't work, isn't very expensive :) - I have a Holland & Barrett voucher to use up by 31/7 so will get some tomorrow. I know that some brands have other things added so will look out for that. - again, something I used to give to one of my cats for constipation. I remember that it smells pretty awful, but he didn't seem to mind :) - I also read that it is quite nutritious and an american army in the 1800s survived on just slippery elm for several weeks.


Do put a post up letting us know how this works for you.


I will :)

I went to Holland & Barrett this morning. She showed me the capsules and I asked if they had the powder. She showed me a huge 454g box of Thompsons Slippery Elm food. I bought it thinking it looked great value compared to the capsules. When I got home I looked at the box and it contains 'cooked wheaten flour' and sugar. I'm sure there can't be a great deal of flour or sugar as a heaped teaspoon makes a mug full. It also gives instructions for making it into a gruel.


I'm not sure about this at all, but I just dug out an unopened box of slippery elm bark powder (the only ingredient) produced by G. Baldwin & Co which I bought a few months ago, but haven't yet got around to trying. Anyway, it cost £32.55 for 500gms, I don't know how that compares with your H&B price.


It was about £5.50 :) - I would like to know the % of slippery elm in it. I made a milk drink with it earlier and it was quite lumpy.

I guess I should have bought some over the road. She sells pure SEB, although I doubt it is organic.


Well, you can give it a try anyway. As long as you're okay with wheat, hopefully it won't do you any harm and may even do some good.


The only problem is, it is a bit like having a mug of Horlicks. My bedtime drink of choice is a couple of glasses of red! (I even cut that out for a while to see if if made a difference, but it doesn't so I can enjoy it without the guilt - ditto my morning coffee :) )

I guess the capsules can just be emptied out. I would rather just take it than have to drink or eat something gloopy.

I am curious about these - they have cinnamon, clove and peppermint added to help flatulence shipleyhealthstore.co.uk/po... (they are the ones I picked up by mistake years ago for my cat)


Apparently the dosage for treating IBS-D with slippery elm is: 1 rounded tsp of pure powdered bark which you mix with a little water to a paste, then slowly add half a pint or so of boiling water, stirring or whisking all the time, drink 2-3 cups daily preferably just before a meal.

Like you, I don't relish the idea of a thick drink which is probably why I've still got an unopened box of SE in the cupboard.

Sounds as if that's one very well-cared for cat!


my daughter has cured her very painful diverticulitis with the help of the pure slippery elm gruel she has every night with a little honey. I haven't tried it yet for my iBS-C pain because i'm too lazy.


Hi Pat, Is it the Slippery Elm food she has? - My problem is that I'm not a fan of hot milky things. I find that since I have had 'IBS', I am often slightly nauseous and the thought of something 'horlicksy' make me feel sick.

I think I will have to try some of the pure bark.

My sister swears by organic coconut oil for her IBS-C. I tried it but I was literally gagging when trying to eat it - it was like trying to eat lard! :)


no it's the slippery elm bark powder. pure organic.

yes, the cold congealed coconut oil is like eating lard. but cooking in it makes the house smell nice.


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